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I blame Ashley, or maybe Nathan (but probably Ashley)

I almost burned down my apartment tonight, and I’m convinced it’s not my fault. There I was, frying up some chicken tenderloin in my trusty skillet, when I noticed black smoke trickling from underneath the red-hot coil. This has happened before, as food drops down under the burner and then gets extra crispy when the next person uses the stove. I turned to open the patio door, and heard an ominous whoosh; sure enough, the stove had burst into flames. “Huh. Stove’s on fire,” I thought, as said flames licked around the edges of the pan and up to the cabinets. All my years of fire-safety indoctrination in elementary school kicked in at once, instructions tumbling into my placid mind. I knew I must take one or more of the following actions: stop, drop, and roll; feel a doorknob before proceeding; drop to the linoleum and crawl under the smoke; dangle a white sheet out the window to alert fire fighters to my presence; shove a towel under the door; call 911; make my peace with Jesus; cover the pan with a – that’s it! I surprised myself with how calmly and deliberately I removed the skillet from the burner, turned it off, and placed the largest lid I own over top of it. All the while the range burned merrily, threatening to reach the cabinets above. The fire went out pretty quickly; everything got a little black, but otherwise there was no damage. The chicken turned out fine, in case you were worried.

Cleaning up the mess revealed the cause: a thick, tarry resin coated both the metal guard under the coil and the area underneath. God only knows what the gunk was before it caught fire, but it was at least a quarter inch thick, and obviously highly flammable. I can’t remember the last time I spilled a large quantity of food into the range, but I remember the last time someone did. I won’t name names here, but I already did in the title, so there you go.

News item: I’m hosting a party at my house on Tuesday the 18th from around 6pm until my neighbors call the cops, and you’re invited (unless you know for a fact I don’t like you, but in that case, why are you reading this site?). We’ll be barbequing chicken and other succulent meats, as well as preparing a number of cruelty-free dishes and sides. If you plan to drink very much it would probably be a good idea to supply yourself, as my alcohol stores will be quite limited. Give me a call if you plan on attending, to make sure that it’s still happening and so that I know roughly how many to expect. And if you want to bring some food for the cause, I wouldn’t stop you.

Posted in Musings.

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