01 August 2008

Dinner will be served at the sound of the smoke alarm

Yes, it happened. Or it would have if it hadn't happened so many times before. I was making a new recipe, Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce, from Nourishing Traditions and I set the oven on fire. Yes, literally, the oven itself was on fire. The recipe called for broiling the chicken, which I did. I apparently need to clean my oven though, because I noticed smoke pouring out of the burner that is over the vent. I opened up the door and saw flames licking the ceiling of the oven. I pulled out the chicken and turned off the oven, but the oven continued to burn. I couldn't really throw anything like baking soda or flour onto it because it was on the ceiling not the floor, and gravity would have asserted itself. So I waited for it to burn itself out, then stuck the chicken in again to finish broiling. It couldn't reignite since its fuel was all gone, so I figured it was safe. However, the smoke alarm did not actually go off. The house was thick with smoke, but I had unhooked the smoke alarm some time back. I decided to do that when it went off the day after I cleaned the oven. The oven was sparkling clean and still it smoked up and sent off the smoke alarm. Maintenance laughed at me and said I should keep a better eye on my food. But my food was fine and the oven was clean, so I just disconnected the downstairs smoke alarm. The upstairs one is still on. Later in the evening when I was taking the laundry off the line, I heard another smoke alarm going off. I was glad I wasn't the only one. I think I need to clean the oven now. The dish came out well in the end and was quite good.

In other news, we have expanded the garden. We reclaimed 10 square feet from the weeds (which were tall enough to obscure the children when they lay down) and planted more food and some flowers. We each planted 2 square feet. Cait and Lauren each planted nothing but marigolds, I planted beans, Moira planted cilantro and radishes, and Rowan planted beans and lettuce. Half of my lettuce has bolted, so now I get to figure out how to save those seeds. My peas, cucumbers and tomatoes are all fruiting. I have two each broccoli and cauliflower starting. My potatoes flowered and were lovely, I'm not sure what is going on with my onion, though. The strawberries are spreading like crazy, and I think it might have been a bad idea to plant them in the middle of my plot where I did. My watermelon plant finally has 3-4 true leaves, but isn't exactly thriving.

Oh, and a tree decided to land a mere foot from my garden, a big tree, no less. It took several days before maintenance came and cleared the fallen tree away, and they took down a half-dead tree as well. They let me have a bunch of the smaller diameter wood when I asked for it. I asked for the whole tree actually, saying I would have my mom bring over my dad's old maul so we could split it, but the chainsaw guy took it himself to burn in his own woodstove this winter. Fair enough, since I have electric heat anyway. But at least I know have "just in case" firewood to burn in our "just in case" woodstove. You know, just in case. Can't you just picture it? In the middle of some blizzard when the power has been out for a few hours, all we need do is pull the tarp off of the stove, tip it upright (it is currently on its side for some unknown reason), make sure the empty stovepipe outlet is not pointed toward the wooden patio fence, and fire it up. We can sit around the stove outside on the patio, drinking cocoa, cooking our dinner and keeping warm as the blizzard rages around us and we get all wet because instead of snowing on us, it is now raining on us since the snowflakes melt as they get near the stove. Everyone else will be shivering inside while we stay toasty outside in the blizzard. C'mon, it'll be fun! No? Well, it does conjure up a funny image.

1 comment:

Enthymeme said...

I often wish that I had a barbeque because I think meat+fire=good. I hate smoking up my house.

Like, I got these awesome lamb chops, right? Cook them in the oven?! Haha, very funny.