My mom came over today to hang out with Adeline. I have no illusions about who it is she comes to see when she visits-she likes me well enough, but the baby is the interesting one in this household these days.
Since dinner was take-out Chinese, my mom opted to stay to eat. Since I really feel like take-out Chinese is not a good choice for a one-year-old, I decided I’d cook Adeline something while Jake was picking up our dinner. I put some water on to boil for pasta-simple enough, right?
The next thing I know, there are flames coming out from under the pot. Flames. So, I very calmly turn off the heat, take the pot off the burner and flip a skillet that was sitting there upside down over the fire, thinking that would put it out. Which it, of course, did not. Fortunately we had a big container of salt in the cabinet right next to the stove, and dumping the majority of that on the fire put it out. The smoke alarms were going off, and my poor mother was standing at the edge of the kitchen holding the baby looking like she was ready to evacuate. She had one hand covering one of Adeline’s ears and she was trying to hold her so that her other ear was pressed against my mom. Adeline just looked annoyed that she was being held when she wanted to be playing.
After the smoke alarms were turned off and the water was set to boil on a different burner, it occurred to my mom that Adeline hadn’t really reacted to the alarms. And that I had been remarkably calm during the entire episode. Which forced me to admit that the smoke alarms go off nearly every time I cook because there’s something burnt onto the bottom of my oven that creates a nice cloud of smoke, and if the oven is open for more than ten seconds or so, it ends up setting off the alarm. And I’m clumsy and I spill, a lot. And things on or under the burners tend to catch fire kind of often. Not like what happened tonight, but I’ve dealt with my share of little kitchen fires.
So when my mom left tonight, it was with strict instructions that tomorrow I am to run the self-clean cycle on the oven and clean out those trays under the burners (which are soaking as we speak).