musings of a professional bassoonist

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't try this at home!

I've never been much of a cook.  My efforts in that realm have been known to require the presence of the local fire department.  The main problem is that I tend to forget that I'm cooking.  I have ruined many pots and pans by leaving them on the stove for hours, while forgotten food cooks to a crisp, until the pots eventually explode.  Or worse.   I realize that a crock pot would be a reasonable option for someone like me, except that I don't like anything that would come out of a crock pot.  Not that my scalded, charred ruins are exactly appetizing......

Considering my history, I should have known better than to conduct an experiment on my cane which involved a pot of boiling water.  But I didn't associate reedmaking with cooking.  Not until today.

I decided this morning that I wanted to make 2 blanks while watching Sunday morning political analysis on TV, but I hadn't been soaking any cane.  (Normally I soak the cane for a few hours.)  Remembering that some bassoonists boil their cane to prepare it for reedmaking, I decided to quickly boil a couple of sticks of cane, for just a minute or so. (People who really do know how to cook would call that "parboiling.")  So I poured water into a pot with 2 sticks of cane and turned on the burner, full blast, of course.

Then I did what I always do when there's a pot cooking on the stove; I went into another room, became distracted, and forgot all about it. 

A couple of hours later I became aware of an acrid odor similar to what I usually smell when I cook.  But I was fairly certain that I wasn't cooking, so I began checking all over the house, trying to identify the source of the increasingly noxious fumes. 

I reached the kitchen to find the pot in flames.  I have become rather adept at extinguishing fires; as I doused today's fire, I realized that it was my now unrecognizable cane which had been ablaze.  I watched the cane smolder, recognizing this as a sight I had not beheld before.  My main regret is that upon encountering the blaze, I had lacked the presence of mind to grab my camera to memorialize the sight of cane in flames.  For the future, I vow to consider consider photo ops prior to extinguishing any fires.

At any rate, there won't be any reedmaking going on here today.  Maybe I'll cook something (other than cane, that is).


8 comments:

T.B. said...

What, are you trying to send smoke signals so we remember where Columbus is?

DEE CANE!! DEE CANE!!!!!

T.B. said...

BTW, that still doesn't make you a worse cook than me, because I've never even tried cooking cane.

T.B. said...

So, what did you have for dinner?

T.B. said...

Put it on Ebay... I'll throw in a 5-year-old smoke detector our (fired) electrician tried to pass off as new...

Now, be honest. Knowing how much you love reedmaking, is there any chance this wasn't an accident?

;)

TFox said...

This is great. Oak wine barrels benefit from a bit of "toasting", I wonder what a little grilling could do for reeds.

B.S. said...

Dear T.B.,

Bassoon cane is one of the main sources of fiber in a traditional Western diet. I can't believe you've never cooked it before.

And you know, I did wonder about my underlying motivation in this fiasco. I had a lot going on yesterday, and maybe on some level I was seeing to it that reedmaking was not part of the mix. However, I am not an official pyromaniac.

Those smoke signals can be viewed from quite a distance, you know.

Betsy

B.S. said...

Dear TFox,

You never know what might improve the playability of a bassoon reed. I thought about experimenting, until I recalled that charred foods are carcinogenic- not that I was planning to eat the reeds, but I didn't think that it would be a good idea to stick them into my mouth.....

Betsy

Free Web Directory said...

Heh, don't word makes me do it :)