Tags: Cooking, Danger, Fire, Lesson
So, in the nature of Odds and Sods, today I will tell you about what happened in the kitchen today.
Should you speak to my family they will tell you that I’m not exactly the best chef. I have a very good pallet, I even startled a Maitre D’ in a New York Italian restaurant by listing off every spice in a bruschetta that my friend and I were eating. This is thanks to my brother only being allowed to cook eggs in the microwave and testing out different spices in them to make them more interesting (of course he never ate the eggs, I was the test subject), but I digress. This isn’t to say that I can’t cook anything.
I have the normal college student meals of Kraft Dinner, rice, udon or ramen, and chicken noodle soup. But I have some home made recipes as well. My first college roommate actually declared my Tuna Fish Casserole as the only edible version she’d tried. My Spaghetti sauce is a favourite among the boys who are friends with my fiance (so long as I don’t dump half of a bag of rosemary in it).
The best complimen tho came indirectly from my brother. I had made my version of Shepherd’s Pie for dinner (my fiance claims it’s not Shepherd’s Pie due to the inclusion of Tomato Sauce and Carrots rather than gravy and corn), and while eating it, I mentioned that there were 3 more dishes of it in the freezer should my brother want to cook them up when his friends came over. My brother looked me straight in the eyes and stated “why would I want to waste it on them!”
However, up until today, the biggest mishap I had had was causing the microwave to pop when I’d forgotten to take the bottom off of a frozen orange juice container, which all things considered, wasn’t really that bad.
Today tho, I decided to make a most fantastic dinner of Freezer Isle Shepherd’s Pie (it’s so hard pulling it out of the freezer and putting it in the oven for the specified time). So I set the oven to preheat and went in the back room to finish weaving the ends in on an FO I will show you all soon. Suddenly, my brain picks up that something doesn’t smell right.
I head out towards the kitchen and OH SHIT! Realize that the living room is full of smoke. Dashing into the kitchen, I see that the oven is in flames! I stress for a second, then turn around and grab the fire extinguisher. I read the label and get the extinguisher ready and reach out to open the oven door.
This is when numerous scenes from the movie Backdraft entered my mind. I panicked for a moment. To open the door and chance flames doubling in size yet having access with the extinguisher, or to leave the door closed and hope it burns itself out. I waited for 3 more minutes and when the flames did not diminish, I tested the fire extinguisher, then slammed the door open.
The flames increased slightly with the influx of air, but then I doused it with the extinguisher.
The entire apartment was filled from ceiling to about counter level with smoke, I had to crawl to the patio door to get it open and step out. I worried that the neighbours might call the fire department with the amount of smoke billowing out of the windows. After about 5 minutes of catching my breath, I heard a sound that made me realize that had this been a real threat, we would be in deep trouble.
Only at this point had the smoke detector in our apartment gone off. All told from the time I discovered the fire (and had the living room filled with smoke) to the time that the detector went off was a good 10-12 minutes. Had this not been a contained fire, that was sufficient time for the fire to spread and cause serious damage.
After I got most of the smoke out of the apartment I finally went to check on the oven. The cause of this fire was actually the fact that we’d hidden some dishes in there the last time we’d had company over. Included in these dishes was at least one plastic container. The container had melted and then lit on fire. After seeing this, I was very glad that I grabbed the fire extinguisher and not a jug of water.
My lesson from this is to always ALWAYS check the oven prior to turning it on. This time I was lucky, but it could have been a lot worse.
Till next time (with an FO!!!)