Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kitchen Incident Confession

So yesterday, I got five packages of hamburger out of the freezer for sloppy joes. I set them on the burners of the stove to thaw a bit while I did a few other things, and promptly forgot about them. Once I returned, they'd thawed enough to leak meat juice on the stove and down into the drip pans, some actually overflowing into that no-man's-land that you have to lift up the top of your stove to access. Major eew.

Fifteen minutes, one cranky toddler up from her nap and wanting MILK NOW, several paper towels, some Lysol, a quick soapy dunk of drip pans in hot water, and a few rags later, I was back in business. You may have guessed that dealing with raw meat is one of my least favorite parts of cooking.

My most famous incident, though, is the time I started a fire. It was a bunch of dumb little things that added up - and it added up big! A few days prior to the flaming incident, I had attempted to soften two sticks of butter on the back burner (not even the one over the oven vent) while the oven was on.

Of course, they melted a bit and some butter collected in the drip pan. I had needed new drip pans for oh, a little over a year at that point. I had actually tried to find some, but the one set I bought didn't fit. I'm also usually in a huge rush when I go to the "city" because I have a finite amount of time to get Goose home for her nap - and if I don't make the deadline, we both pay for it and that isn't fair to her. (or me.) And then I forgot that I needed them for a while. So, I didn't bother trying to clean that gunk out of the drip pans because I had good intentions of replacing them shortly.

Here's where it gets exciting. A few days later, I put a pot of water on to boil on that burner, forgetting about the butter in the drip pan. I continued with the other things I was doing, and realized it was smoking about the time that the flames started peeking out. Yikes! I moved the pot to another burner (I may have even used an oven mitt!) and shut the burner off. I then quickly assessed the situation.

On a side but related note, after moving here I opted to keep the fire extinguisher at the base of the stairs into the basement. Our bedroom is down there, and it would be difficult (at best) to get out of the windows down there in the event of a fire. We rent from a family member, and after casually mentioning that issue, he commented that "it wouldn't be too hard to put in one of those egressed windows . . . " and that was the end of it.

So. I grabbed the biggest pot lid I own, put it over the flaming burner, snatched up Goose, and headed down to get the fire extinguisher. After we got back upstairs (in a matter of about ten seconds), the fire had gone down considerably. Instead of using the extinguisher at that point, I just grabbed my box of baking soda and dumped. It worked! I was rather shaken for the rest of the night, but the next day, I just vacuumed up the loose soda, chucked the drip pan, scrubbed the top of the stove, and breathed a sigh of relief.

At least it finally prompted me to get the new drip pans! They were only like $12 for the set, too.

Anybody care to make me feel better about myself and share your best/favorite/most memorable "kitchen incident"?

1 comment:

Angela said...

Oh dear, I'm glad you were able to keep the fire under control.

My most memorable kitchen incident was about a year ago. Monte always talked about these cupcakes his mom made when he was growing up, they had some sort of a cream filling. So I decided to surprise him one day by making them. Since he couldn't have dairy, I did my usual non-dairy substitutions which turned out fine in everything else I made. However, when the cupcakes were done and I went to open the oven, the "cream" filling had EXPLODED all over my entire oven, leaving huge craters in all the cupcakes. It was a big, messy disaster!