I sit here, goosebumps from the open silding-glass-door and the blowing of the floor box fan that sits in the dining area, my eyes squinting against the quality of air. Why? You ask. But of course I will tell you! It’s another cooking adventure!

You see, there’s smoke in the air. Even though this happened 15 minutes ago, there still a heavy fog…. everywhere in the apartment. I can’t tell if I want to scratch my eyes or sneeze, or maybe a bit of both. My poor dog is hiding in the bedroom because of the smoke alarm that went off. At least now I know it works!

Here’s how it happened.  My husband bought two 1 pound rib-eye boneless steak. Yum! Right? We don’t have a grill, or even one of those indoor grills, so I decided I would cook it in the oven. I’ve done this before, however it never turns out just right. So like any unskilled craftsman, I googled it. Found a nice how-to-cook-steaks page, which insisted I needed to brown the steak first. I believe, having read several pages like this, it’s called searing (but I could be mistaken).  I did what the page said, added some marination and salt and pepper then waited.

The instructions said to wait around 30 minutes for the steak to get room temperature. Fine with me. I preheated my oven and when the time came, proceeded with the next steps. Iron skillet? Check – got us a whopping cast iron skillet as a wedding present. Heat on high heat? Check, that burner sure looks red. Place steak, yada yada, cook until one side is brown and flip. Oh… my… gosh. When the first side of the steak landed in the skillet I’ve never seen such smoke rise! Quickly I turned on the overhead fan, but there was so much the fan couldn’t keep up. I thought eventually the gosh darn thing wouldn’t have anything left to smoke, so it should stop. Good idea if the steak was one sided. I had to flip. And swoosh! Another wave of smoke. I run to the sliding glass door, counting the seconds until I need to remove and add the second steak and run back to the kitchen.

In comes my husband, having just walked the dog, and he asks if he should turn on the floor box fan. No, I wanted to salvage what dignity I had left. Wrong move. Now the fire alarm starts to go off. But I have to finish the steaks! I tell my husband, “Go fan the smoke alarm!” Which he promptly does with a hoodie. Meanwhile I finish the last steak, plop them both on a baking sheet and slide them into the oven to cook for 25 minutes. I grab a hand towel and start fanning the general kitchen area.

Ah, the smoke alarm finally shuts off but the smoke is still heavy in the air. I take the iron skillet, noticing a layer of charred blackness that wasn’t there before, grumbling that all of my seasoning was there in the bottom, and start to rinse it. Bad move. More smoke, or steam – whatever it was, wasn’t pleasant – rises and I return the skillet to the stove to cool off.

My husband, being smarter than I at this point, plugs in the box fan and turns it on to push the smoke out of the sliding glass door. My poor dog is huddled in a corner, I find, of our bedroom afraid to come out. Sigh.

All I have to say is… these had better be some epically awesome steaks.

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