November 03, 2000

Pulchoshim hashipshio (Puul-choh-sheem hah-sheep-shee-oh) Beware of fires.

I have no idea how this entry is going to turn out, as I'm typing while on pure panic adrenaline. So be patient and try to keep up.

Since we've moved in here to this apartment, there's a part of me that has what is probably an irrational fear of fires. Mainly because we are too far up to jump out a window if something happened. Now before anyone thinks that we're living in a complete fire trap, know that there are sprinklers in the ceiling all over the place, as well as an emergency fire extinguisher over the stove, just pull and viola, fire out.

So now that everyone is sitting on the edge of your chairs...

I almost set the kitchen on fire. Yes, there were actual flames involved, twice as a matter of fact. Here is what happened...

Since John was working late, I thought it would be nice to make dinner and have it ready when he got home. I went the simple route, some fish sticks, since that's what WildChild wanted, and since she asked for french fries, I cut up some potatoes. Everything was fine, cooked everything, fed her, put the extras in the oven to keep warm while waiting for John who was going to be even later. He called and asked me to read the electric meter since it had been 24 hours. I stood up, pen and paper in hand, and smelled something acrid. I walked towards the kitchen and saw the pan smoking on the stove, and realized that I had forgotten to turn the burner off under the oil after the last batch of fries. Now, I remembered enough from those elementary school lessons to know that I shouldn't throw water on a pan of smoking oil. I turned the burner off, found the lid to the pan and placed it on the pan. BAD BAD BAD idea! About 3 seconds after doing that, there was a loud "POOF" noise, the lid went up about 6" and I saw flames. I think my heart just bypassed my throat and ended up on the ceiling somewhere. The lid is now upside down on the pan, but I don't see flames or more smoke. I opened the little window all the way, turned the fan facing out the window and turned it on high to draw out some smoke. I positioned some other fans, while also opening all the windows in the apartment. I kept walking back in the kitchen to look at the stove. No flames, so I'm starting to calm down a bit. So I've got the fans going, windows open, the works. My kitchen smells awful. I get the potholder and a knife and pry the lid off the pan. More smoke. So I turn the lid right side up and put it back on the pan. Of course, I didn't learn my lesson the first time, so it flared up AGAIN! Yeah, that's why I'm still sitting here shaking and disconcerted over an hour later. I took the lid off completely, now holding a box of baking soda. I figured that I should try and cool the oil/pan down so that at least it would stop smoking. I got out a much larger pan and put cold water in it. I slowly lowered the hot pan into the water. It helped a bit, so I took the pan out, dumped out the now warm water and replaced it with cold again. The second time did the trick, and the pan finally stopped smoking.

Amazingly, WildChild never asked what was going on, or what the horrible smell was. She was busy playing The Sims on the other computer. I waited until John came home before I had my mini-breakdown. He was nice enough to hug me, tell me I wasn't a horrible person who should never be allowed in the kitchen, and then he made me a nice strong drink. Have I mentioned lately how much I love and adore him?

So there you have it. I almost started a fire. Anyone want me to come to your house and cook you dinner?

Posted by rowEn at 01:33 PM | Comments (2357)