July 28, 2005

Fire in the Hole!

Over at blog daughter Sissy’s, she was talking about cleaning her oven. And the fact it was a rarity. And the problems she had.

There are a couple things I don’t do. One is iron. The other is… clean my oven. And this is not a good thing, this not cleaning my oven, as I cook a lot, and when one cooks as much as I do, there is always spillage. Spillage smolders. Or catches fire.

My oven catches fire a couple times a year. Its not a big raging roaring ‘burn down your house’ type fire, it’s contained, but a small little fire. I hate it when that happens. It typically happens when something combustible has dropped at the bottom of my oven, I didn’t see it, and then the next time I cook, “Poof!” instant fire in the hole.

It happened last week when I made chocolate chip cookies for the kids and I crammed too many cookies on my cooking stone and 3 of them puffed up and out and over the edge… dropping to the bottom of my oven. I thought I got it all after they were finished baking, but evidently not as when I went to cook dinner that night, I had a small fire as cookie burned turned into a burning coal.

I think the worst that ever happened were cheese butter potatoes. I was baking a big casserole full of mashed potatoes, sour cream, butter, and four cheeses. It’s not for those on a low fat/low carb diet. (I need to find that recipe for the Carnival of the Recipes.) Some how some spilled on the bottom of my oven and that fire was a pretty nice size… in comparison to past oven fires. That one really got my attention. I got a nice adrenalin rush off of that fire.

The only real issue I have with the small oven fires is it can change the flavor of what I’m baking. Burning stuff gives off an aroma that seeps into the food. I hate it when that happens.

I don’t know why I don’t clean my oven. I.just.don’t. I have a self cleaning oven, unlike ironing which I MUST do and requires effort, standing on my feet, and some amount of coordination for I very rarely iron without getting some sort of burn... on me... not my clothes.

But this is somewhat of a joke in my house. My folks and sister were visiting last year when my Mom looked in my oven and evidently came to the proper conclusion by the depth of the dirtiness that it had never been cleaned… in the 7 years I’d had it. And she was right. She opened the directions to my oven (I keep all the directions to all my appliances in my kitchen… all accessible) and decided that that evening was relegated to oven cleaning.

I was talking to The Great Omnipotent One when I was beckoned to the kitchen with my sister, by my Mom. Mom had this real serious look on her face. It was right after Ya Ya Sisterhood came out in the movie theater. She said this was some sort of secret ritual that we were to start and she had us put our hands in the center of the circle. Puzzled, we did so. Then she said something and made some proclamation of, “And let the oven be clean!” I nearly peed I laughed so hard.

My oven was clean. And has not been cleaned since. It’s been 2 years. I think the oven fire last week was a good indicator that it’s time…

Posted by Boudicca at July 28, 2005 09:53 PM | TrackBack

First of all...do these fires require a fire extinguisher? How are they put out?

Secondly...at least you have a self-cleaning oven! Not me! Easy Off, scrub brush and getting high off fumes!

Posted by: Sissy at July 28, 2005 09:58 PM

Amen Sissy

I wish to God I had a self cleaning oven

My Wife doesn't cook, so such duties as cooking fall to me. Which is fine, except I have to clean the damn thing.

Self cleaner is easy. Turn it on, hit the button set the temp and walk away.

Now I just need $500 to go buy one.....

Posted by: BloodSpite at July 29, 2005 04:16 AM

With the self-cleaning oven, isn't all that's involved turning it on to the uber-hot self cleaning setting? Then it starts all of the fires for the next several months and gets them out of the way while there's no food in there.

Posted by: Jim at July 29, 2005 06:08 AM

Oven fires are nature's Easy-Off.

Don't interfere with the natural order of things :-)

Posted by: Harvey at July 29, 2005 12:40 PM

Self cleaning ovens are great, except they stink up the house even worse than that chemical smell from Easy-Off.

Try multi-tasking: Next time you run the self-cleaning cycle, stick the cooking grates from your grill in the oven. The cleaning cycle will vaporize the 6 inches thick layer of grease and burned chicken you've left on there over the summer.

Posted by: George at July 29, 2005 01:51 PM

I haven't cleaned my bathtub in four or five years, and it occasionally catches fire. I pretend I'm bathing in the Cuyahoga River.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at July 29, 2005 03:22 PM