Sunday, November 25, 2007

How I almost ruined Thanksgiving

My parents have two kitchens in their house. One is upstairs in the main living area and another is in the basement. This makes cooking for an army, or Thanksgiving, especially easy. The disadvantage to the two kitchen house is running up and down the steps repeatedly to check on things. This was my job on Thanksgiving. Up the steps, down the steps I went checking, stirring, and rearranging.

On one of my trips downstairs, L and K decided to see what I was doing. We were almost finished with everything, but I was waiting for the marshmallows to brown and turn into their lovely goo before taking them upstairs. They had puffed up so nicely, kind of like a marshmallow atomic bomb cloud right there in the oven. The timing was perfect and now I needed to get them out; however, there weren't any oven mitts downstairs. Part of me thought to ask L to run upstairs and get some, but then I spotted a dish towel and decided to improvise.

Carefully, I opened the oven and pulled out the rack trying hard not to deflate my marshmallow cloud. So focused on the beauty of the marshmallows was I that I failed to realize what was happening to the dish towel until I heard L say...

"Uh, Mommy? There's a fire."

Looking back now, I know that I heard him because I remember him saying it, but instead of asking where the fire was, I was salivating over marshmallows.

"Mommy!" he exclaimed. "There's a FIRE!!!"

My hand was feeling warm. In fact, it was very hot. The dish towel I had so carefully placed around the sweet potatoes was now on fire. The oven being an electric one, had coils on the bottom which had ignited the towel's edge when I inadvertently touched it to the coils. The fire was quickly moving towards my arm and my sleeve. All I could say was, "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh." Poor little K started to scream. I stood there frozen like an idiot trying to figure out what to do.

So, I did what any person who obviously has forgotten all fire safety lessons from grade school would do. I ran around the kitchen waving the now rapidly fire consumed towel above my head. That is until my very wise five year old son should, "Mommy! The sink. Put the towel in the sink and turn the water on."

And so, I did just that.

My heart was beating hard and smoke was coming up from the sink as I heard the loud sssssssssss of the fire being put out. I decided to go upstairs, get the oven mitts and do it the right way. As we went upstairs, L announced, "Mommy started a fire in the basement!"

And the sweet potatoes? The loveliness of the marshmallows didn't survive the turmoil and they ended up all over the sides of the dish, but they still tasted good.

This Thanksgiving I learned two things: never use a towel as an oven mitt and that five year old boys are smarter than 34 year old women.


Karla said...

Yep, I've also set a kitchen towel on fire like that. Very treacherous. Stop, drop and roll next time...

nickparkemjamom said...


I LOVE the picture in my head, of you running around waving the towel around your head!! I can see the flames getting bigger, and the kids screaming, cuz you are an idiot!! kidding of course. ;)

I have a voice of reason at my house too, actually two of them, that on a daily basis, make me feel like an idiot! At least we can admit it right!!


Colleen said...

I would have been useless to you. You know... rolling on the floor laughing so hard and all... glad it wasn't me. :)