The one where she set the stove on fire

by DaniGirl on April 15, 2013 · 6 comments

in Happy @ home, Life, the Universe and Everything

We’ve had the new oven for maybe three or four months now. I like it, which makes it seem even more odd that I’d set it on fire. My first kitchen fire EVER, no less. I know, lousy cook and hopeless klutz that I am, you’d think kitchen fires would be a regular occurence for me, yes?

Well, I didn’t SET it on fire. It sort of set itself on fire. Cautionary tale #1: don’t use the maximum burner settings. Did you know when you set the burners to max they get infinitely hot? My friend Yvonne once liquefied a high-end pot when it boiled dry and I have never forgotten that lesson she learned on my behalf. I’m sure if you left the burners on max for a day or three you could go thermonuclear with those little coils.

No, what happened was that the plastic bag on the corn tortillas melted and then fused with the nylon cutting board resting on top of them, and I think it might have been the tortillas that combusted. Cautionary tale #2: don’t put crap on your burners. Even when you think you’re not using them.

As I said, it’s been three or four months since we got the new oven, but I am clearly having a hard time adjusting to the fact that the dials that control each burner are in a different spot than they were on the old stove. The inside dial controls the FRONT burner on this stove, not the rear burner. I’ve made the mistake a few times before and always feared someone *ahemmeahem* would put their fingers on the front burner that I’d accidentally turned on to boil the pot on the rear burner, which is a really ineffective way to boil a pot of water, let me tell you. Cautionary tale #3: once you commit to a certain burner-dial configuration, you are wedded to it for all the stoves you will ever own in your entire life and YOU SHOULD NOT MESS WITH IT.

I was completely oblivious to the blaze on the stovetop as I was busy at the sink pouring bleach into the compost bin to kill a surprise mould build up while I waited for the pot to boil, and I am very grateful that Beloved in the dining room and Tristan coming up the stairs both shouted out some sort of “hey, is that a fire?” sort of alarm. Beloved and I managed to contain the blaze, me by flinging the melting tortilla-cutting-board-mass off the burner and him by using his Super Freeze Breath powers to blow it out. (And he wasn’t even wearing his T-shirt with the big S on it!) I was impressed that he could blow it out, since pretty much the whole burner was flaming. Cautionary tale #4: go check your fire extinguishers RIGHT NOW. I haven’t looked at ours since I stashed it under the sink when we moved it and I’m not sure I could have remembered how to use it in a panicked situation or whether or how often they need to be replaced. Also, check your smoke detector batteries while you’re at it. And hug your mother.

In the end, the damage was limited to one sacrificed cutting board, one inedible bag of corn tortillas, and a bit of a mess. We managed to rub, scrape and peel most of the charred plastic bits off the burner, and I’ll take one more go at it tonight before I retry the burner UNDER CAREFUL SUPERVISION to make sure we got all the flammable bits off. Cautionary tale #5: from what I’ve been told, had this been a smooth-top oven I would have had a lot more damage with which to contend. At worst I would have had to replace a single coil, but even that may not be necessary. And the coil-top range was way cheaper than the smooth-top ones, too. Cheap is good, if you plan to regularly set fire to them, right?

It was only much later that I realized the true travesty of this whole event was the missed opportunity for a visit from the local fire department. Damn. You think it’s too late to call them over? You know, just to make sure everything is safe? It’s not like they’re not familiar with the location

Okay bloggy peeps, ‘fess up. What have YOU set aflame in the kitchen? Surely I’m not the only one!


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Just an Ottawa Dad April 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

Ha. I have to comment on this one…

I had two roommates years ago. They were a couple, I was the third wheel. At Easter one year, they were hosting family over for dinner, and she cooked up a turkey, from frozen, in a tinfoil roasting pan.

In case you didn’t know, a frozen turkey holds a fair amount of liquid. Some of it comes from rended fat, which ends up sitting on top of the liquefied ice.

So, as you picture it, there is a turkey, in a thin foil roasting pan, that’s filled with water, which rended fat sitting on top… Do I even need to mention her brother ended up the day without eyebrows?

That happened when they took the pan out of the oven and sloshed the fat onto the oven element. I do give him credit for not dropping the turkey during the entire episode.

2 Gertrude April 15, 2013 at 8:19 am

This is odd, I got a March 5 post in my email this morning instead of this one.

3 DaniGirl April 15, 2013 at 8:37 am

That’s odd Gertrude – it’s all automagicked behind the scenes so I’m not sure why that happened. Oh well. Hi!

Ottawa Dad, thank you for the last little bit of convincing I needed to make sure it’s always my mom and not me who cooks the Christmas turkey. šŸ˜‰ Why risk perfection and my eyebrows, right?

4 SC April 15, 2013 at 8:50 am

I have to say Dani… you’ve made my Monday morning a little brighter with this post!! Sorry to hear about the mishap, however, it’s made for a rather hilarious post – love the superman tee comment! LOL!

Hope your week is a little less eventful than your weekend!

5 Deb April 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

You are not alone!
During the winter Olympics a few years ago when Canada was playing for hockey Gold, there *may* have been a fire in my oven.
What I took away from that experience:
– don’t cook while you’re watching hockey – especially a gold medal game!
– toasting coconut does not take 2 minutes!
– your husband will not be pleased when he misses the winning goal! (TG for PVRs and rewind!)

Hopefully that’s the last fire in both of our kitchens šŸ™‚

6 suze April 15, 2013 at 8:58 pm

when we got a “new” (kijiji) stove, I had so many times where I turned on the wrong burner (because the dials were in a different place) that I took masking tape and labeled “FRONT” beside the front dials. I still check them to this day. I think it’s been 2 years now.

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