Friday, October 17, 2008

Death by Chicken Nugget

If you've paid attention here, you'll realize that althought I love to cook, I hate to cook for my
family. I actually get out of doing it as much as possible, by working evenings and by going out to eat a lot. Not good for the waistline, but sometimes, it's sanity vs waistline, and the sanity part wins.

Fridays have been an exception lately, because Jill's been hanging out at work late. On Fridays, the staff usually go out on rides themselves, once the place is closed, and take the horses out to places that are literally off the beaten path. Today, The Brat had an appointment to have the bleeding ear of doom checked out. Dropped her off at work afterward, and she mentioned that she probably wouldn't be home for dinner, because she'd be going on the "fun ride."

Yippee. With the veggie girl gone, I can feel free to cook whatever the heck I want.

I decided to make a cheeseburger ring, because Seth loves it, it's quick, and Jill hates it, and she's not going to be home. Figured I'd throw some onion rings in the mix, too, so I turned on the oven and put them in, whilst I was concocting the cheeseburger ring.

I figured I was being efficient and all, till I smelled something burning, and saw flames in the oven.

I was perplexed, because the flames were coming out from under the bottom of the stove, and above the drawer underneath. Let me give you a hint: there should not be any fire coming out from where it was coming from, so I was a little concerned. Concerned because the flames, though not huge, were not going away. I looked in there, and it looked like a puddle of grease aflame, which started me worrying.

I went looking for the baking soda, and couldn't find it, so I settled for tossing cornstarch on it, hoping for the best. No dice -- I was still seeing flames coming up from underneath, and can't see just how MANY flames are under there that I can't see. I had visions f the gas line blowing the house up, so I found the fire extinguisher, pulled the pin and let 'er rip. This, of course, caused a rather sizeable mushroom cloud of cornstarch to fly up in the air, and set me straight out of the room, in a huge coughin fit. By the time I stopped coughing, I realized that I still didn't know if the fire was out, so I went back into the haze to see what was up. Still flames, so I gave it a blast again, which about required a full blown resuscitation, but at least got rid of the fire.

Now I was nervous, because what do you do with your stove, after you've blasted the insides with a fire extinguisher, and what the heck was causing it to begin with? Heck if I know, so I did what any intelligent woman would do. Called 911, and calmly told the operator that I did NOT have a true emergency, but I needed them to come and look at my stove, to make sure it was safe to use, now that I've tried to blow us up.

Mind you, we had a housefire several years ago, so I'm not really fond of open flames in our house. I hardly ever even light candles anymore, so yeah, I'm nervous. Standing on the back porch, talking to 911, when Dan pulls in and sees me there, phone in one hand, fire extinguisher in the other, and a cloud of white smoke coming out of the kitchen windows. All he could say was "What the hell have you done NOW?"

Thanks, dear, I love you too.

I explained to him what had happened, and he asks, a little sheepishly, if it was a chicken nugget. Why, says I, and he says "oh, I dropped one down in the bottom of the oven the other night, and couldn't get it out." I didn't think that was it, and went out front to wait for the firemen to get there. The phone, still in my hand, promptly started ringing. I answered it, still short of breath from the cloud of god knows what in the kitchen, and the remainder of the asthma symptoms I already had for the past week. It was Jill, who said that she's not going on the fun ride after all, is on her way home, and wants to know what's for dinner.

The irony doesn't escape me.

I stutter and stammer, and tell her I have no idea what is going on. She gets exasperated because she can't hear me (bad signal), and hangs up right as I hear the sirens. I was leaning against the front porch wall, trying to get my breath, when the fire truck pulled up. Two firemen get out, and I tell them that I think it's out, but want them to check on the oven. Their only question is whether or not I've put the dogs up, because they are barking now like they are going to eat someone.

See? I DO live in Utter Chaos.

I go into the kitchen, in which the oven door is thrown open, the cheeseburger ring is still on the counter, and the oven's interior is all white, but at least there's no fire. Dan has disappeared. The firemen inspect things, say it's fine, but take the bottom of the oven out, so that we can see what happened.

The pull out a charred chicken nugget.

They tell me to clean the oven out really well, that it should be fine to use, once it's clean, hand me the screwdriver back, and take off. I went out to the garage, where Dan's only question is what we're doing about dinner, of course. I go in the kitchen to figure things out, and the phone rings again. It's The Brat again, asking, yet again, what's for dinner. I tell her that I haven't sorted it out, because the firemen just left. "WHAT," she said, to which I said, "wait till you get home, and I'll explain it then." Jill's response: "There were firemen in our house?" "Yes, Jill." "Were they hot?" "Yes, Jill, you would've said that one of them was." "Did you take pictures?"

Oh. My. God.

Dan wanders in and says "well, the onion rings should be ok, right," and starts foraging around for these half baked onion rings that have been through the fire and back. I go to work cleaning up the mess, which, I might add, was no small feat. Dan sends Dan to get the fan, so we can air the place out a little bit. Jill wanders through, asking yet again what's for dinner. I told Dan that he had tried to kill me, since he didn't tell me about the mislaid poultry piece, and he assures me that he's really sorry and that no, he's really not in the market for a trophy wife.

I was just rinsing out the last of the rags, and the cheeseburger ring was safely in the oven, when Seth wandered in and asked why the heck it was so cloudy in the kitchen. I looked at him with that blank look that comes with post-traumatic-cooking disorder, and ask him what the heck he's talking about. "Didn't you see the firemen here?" "WHAT," he says. "Why do I always miss the good stuff?" I don't know, baby. I don't know. "What the heck happened," he asked, and when I told him that the oven had started on fire, his response?

"Was it that chicken nugget that Dad dropped?"

So now Seth is an accessory to attempted murder, his buddy, who is visiting for the weekend, enjoyed Seth firing the fire extinguisher his way, out in the alley, Dan has gone back to sanding Purdue Pete out in the garage, and Jill is still wandering around, wondering what's for dinner.

I give up. There are truly some days where I'm afraid to live my own life, here in Utter Chaos, but you take what you get, and you dive right in, lest you miss the good stuff. And speaking of good stuff, check out this cute vintage

50s novelty print skirt, of chickens and eggs, from Spitfire Vintage Clothing, on ebay. Spitfire Vintage. How appropriate. Alas, it will not answer that eternal question -- which came first? The chicken or the fire?


Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Ha! I woke up last night at 1AM to the smell of something burning. My husband had started a batch of chicken stock yesterday afternoon and left it to simmer all day. He forgot to turn off the burner before going to bed. It's going to take days for the smell to go away.....

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness. That is an insane story.

girlymomma said...

your writing style is very vivid! as for Dan, i would have made his forgetful *ss clean the oven! The same thing almost always invariably happens to me, hubby will get all creative on a cooking whim, and then I will be stuck paying the consequences. Gotta love them!