Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is That Crepes Suzette?

I've been through two of the little, white kitchen fire extinguishers, but I only use them if the fire is pretty big. One time I pushed a couple plastic cups and a dirty broiling pan into the oven when unexpected guests arrived. Did I remember them later?

Oh please. Of course I remembered them...when I saw the flames. Plastic really burns well. Nice big flames that defy my ordinary means of extinguishing. PHFFFFFT.

New fire extinguisher.

At a later time, something I was broiling caught fire, or more likely the grease did. Hmmm, did I want a big grease fire? PHFFFFFFT.

New fire extinguisher.

A year later the buzzer kept going off. I'd turn it off and sometimes it stayed off for days. Other times it would wait until I sat down. Beep beep beep beep. This went on for months. Middle of the night, middle of a climatic scene in a movie, middle of cooking. I finally couldn't stand it. I took a screw driver and pried the buzzer/clock unit out of the front of the stove. Several wires fell out with the unit. I looked them over and decided if I cut the black ones, I might be able to remove the entire thing from the front of the stove.

Because I'm not entirely without brains, I decided it might be best to turn off the power first. I set the unit up on the top of the stove, similar to setting a baby on the mom's stomach with the umbilical cord still attached. They do that if the baby comes in a taxi and let the hospital deal with it later, right? Well, turns out babies don't touch an aluminum beauty strip and blow a hole the size of a dime in the stove. Admittedly, I may not have acted in a wise, rational manner, but the buzzer had driven me over the edge.

So a new stove was delivered a year ago and it was such a pleasure to have an oven with no fire extinguisher residue. A few months later, as I turned on a burner, there was a PFFTTSSSH and smoke billowed up from the stove and the little red plastic lens cover over the "on" light flew across the room. Extended warranties are a good thing.

So, my friend Paul, gave me a toaster oven a couple months ago. Last night I set it on fire. Oh, not enough flame for me to use the fire extinguisher, but enough for the white outsides of the little oven to be gray and the little tray inside to be black and a trail of ash to the front door where I threw out the fiery remnants of dinner.

I'm just the teeniest bit afraid to plug it back in. Should I just toss the whole thing and buy another just like it so Paul doesn't know? And if anyone could suggest dinner ideas that require no cooking, I'd be willing to try them.


  1. No, no. Don't throw it out. Take it to the credit union and wait for that errant woman trying to pass her kids off to strangers and say, "Here, I saved this for your boys to play with." Oh, and you might also want to get a subscription to The Columbian (or whatever your local newspaper is) so you know when their house burns down. At that point you can send them all those dollars you've been earning blogging.

  2. Well, I've heard good things about independent living facilities. : )
    Actually, there is a whole raw-food movement that may be a lifesaver for you. I've looked into it for myself and decided that one would have to live in Hawaii or Florida. Someplace warm. But you like the cold so maybe you don't need the "comfort" of a cooked meal (especially when they involve fire extinguishers) and it would work for you. I'm sure you could find some recipes online. Or if you have a gas grill set away from the house (maybe on a helicopter pad), you could grill up a week's worth of food at a time.

  3. Carol, I think if I just set the oven in the sink and wash it with soapy water, it will clean right up.

    Dale, independent living? I believe you still owe me a dollar.

  4. (Editor's note: Melanie Sherman is only joking about washing the electrical appliance in the sink, in case you are the fire marshal, the sheriff's department, or Child Protective Services.)

  5. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Love the story! Love it love it! And I dined at St. Augustine's raw food restaurant - Present Moment - a couple years ago. It was OK but jeez! Raw food people are so worried about hurting veggie by cooking them. So they just BEAT them and PUREE them. OUCH. We have excellent tacos in Florida and lots of restaurants. Although we do have a lot of restaurant fires.

  6. You see? If the restaurants didn't cook their food, there would probably be no fires. Cooking is a dangerous, dangerous sport.


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