Wasted October 16, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: fire, kitchen
I once went to an open house at a firestation and learned that kitchen fires are among the most dangerous in the home. A fire starts on the stove and the cook puts the fire out and doesn’t call the fire department, thinking that all is well. Several hours later, they have to call the fire department because their house is on fire. I didn’t fully understand the mechanism, but it was something about the fire getting into the walls and smoldering unseen for a few hours until erupting into a full-fledged fire. So the lesson there was to call the fire department for any fire on the stove.
We had a kitchen fire the other day in the oven. Since it was in the oven, we felt safe in not calling the fire department. Maybe that was a dumb move on our part, but we are still here, so I guess we won that game of Russian Roulette!
I’m going to place the blame squarely on the broiler. They are evil. It seems every time I use the broiler, something bad happens! The food was basically done. I just needed to broil it for 2-3 minutes and then we could have lunch. The food went in the oven, I set the timer and I started washing dishes. The timer went off just as I was getting ready to go into the dining room. I initially thought about continuing into the dining room, but at the last minute decided to check on the broiler. I opened the oven and saw that the top of the dish was charred black.
“Shoot!” I thought. “I burned the food!”
I bent a little lower to get a better look and thought
“Sh*t! There’s a fire!” Now this wasn’t your regular old, Sh*t! There’s a fire!” It was a “Sh*t! There’s a fire AND I have a baby on my back!” I immediately realized I couldn’t and shouldn’t handle this on my own.
“RICK!!!! I need some help in here!” I hear his office chair rolling.
“There’s a fire in the kitchen! There’s a fire in the kitchen!” He came bounding up the stairs, zoomed into the living room and returned with a fire extinguisher. I opened the oven again and we both looked at the flames. I slammed the door shut again. This was one of those times you often hear about. You know, the times when married people communicate without having to say a word? We both decided that the fire extinguisher wasn’t the way to go. I cleared out the sink, and then Rick brought the casserole dish over and I turned on the water.
Now some of you reading this are saying “NOOO! Not the water!” The rest of you are wondering, “Huh? Why not?” Well, here’s your science lesson for the day. When something cold hits something hot, the shape of the hot thing changes. In the case of glass, this shape change is not a good thing. When the water hit the casserole, it cracked and fell into the sink. Rick knew this was going to happen, so he was ready. I was too busy being shocked by the whole incident to think about the shape change, so I was surprised when it broke. I immediately jumped back and shoved Rick’s hands out of the way.
And then I just wanted to sit down and cry. You see, I had just learned how to make corn tortillas that very day. The tortillas weren’t very pretty, but they were homemade and oh, so good. I started at 11am. After a few minor mishaps and many phone calls back and forth with my mom (who would then text her sister for help) the tortillas were done at about noon. I then spent the rest of the time, up until the fateful fire at 12:30 assembling the burritos. As you can imagine, once the casserole dish broke, the meal was completely ruined. So here we were at 12:30 with not a single thing to show for the past hour and a half of work. I just wanted to sit down and cry!
I ended up getting pizza for the kids and Rick and I had the few left over tortillas with the left over filling. It just wasn’t the same, though. Had we been thinking a little more clearly, we probably would have just smothered the fire with a dish towel and then the meal would have been saved. Alas, in the heat of the moment, clear thinking just wasn’t there.
I’m telling you, there’s never a dull moment in our house. Never!