Smoke-out September

I should have just stopped today with the ham and beans.

I’ve got this plan to make Sundays slow-cooker, comfort food days. Today’s meal was ham and beans. (I love beans! Woo Woo Woo!) Aaaaanyway, I woke up reasonably early for a Sunday and after the prerequisite coffee/wake up, I started throwing everything into the crock pot. Miss G drifted in and asked for Doritos for breakfast. Of course she does! And I thought about it, but I said no. Of course I did. I recommended cinnamon rolls instead… just as soon as I was done getting everything going.

So, having all the ingredients in, I put the lid on, set the dial on “low,” and then took a few minutes to skim a magazine and have more coffee before starting on the cinnamon rolls. Twenty minutes later I thought it was odd that there was no condensation or fog on the crock pot lid. YoursGenius-Truly here, rinsed and chopped, and seasoned and chopped some more, and set the dial and pushed it back from the edge of the counter so no little hands would get burned, and even rinsed and put away the knives, but forgot to plug the darn crock pot in. Luckily I only lost about 25 minutes. That was my first mishap of the day.

I turned on the oven to preheat it so I could make my beautiful children my fresh, homemade, straight-out-of-the cardboard roll cinnamon rolls. Immediately I smell that smell that can best be described as “oven.” You know, that smell of burnt pizza crust and cheese that no longer smells like food…just the chemical reaction of something being turned to nitrogen as it fries on the bottom of your oven. Of course you do. Don’t even act like you don’t know that smell.

This slight burnt smell is completely normal when I bake because I’m not all Martha Stewart up in here. So I didn’t think anything of it. Until the smell got really strong and all of a sudden I’m coughing. I turn around and my oven is churning out gray smoke like it’s on fire (it wasn’t) and smoke already filled the kitchen and my eyes are burning. Then I remember the meatloaf debacle on Thursday. The meatloaf was very tasty. It’s just that I overfilled the dish and lot of juices ended up on the oven bottom when I tried to get the dish out of the oven. I had forgotten to clean it up. Now, all that juice was converting into acidic smoke and it was billowing out into my house.

We have a pretty little house, so it didn’t take long for it to fill up the living room, too. The amount of liquid that was spilled on the bottom could not have been more than a quarter to half a cup, but the smoke was so thick and so bad that the girls felt in necessary to crawl around from room to room on their hands and knees and call out, “There’s good air down here, Mom!” Thaaaaanks, kids.

Meanwhile I’m running around opening up every single window, and desperately trying to get the batteries out of all the smoke detectors because John was still sleeping. (Sidenote here to say that he was miserable with sinus problems all day yesterday. Every time he sneezed, which was about eleventy-hundred, he had to brace his neck to keep it from jarring too much.) Since I am a wonderful and thoughtful wife, I didn’t want him to wake up to choking smoke, which, by the way, had made it downstairs to where he was sleeping. So I quickly started bringing up all the fans I can find and strategically positioned them in various places so as to circulate the smoke out and fresh air in.

Meanwhile my children were running in and out of the house and made sure that our neighbors knew all about it. Which was probably wise because I could smell the smoke several feet from the house, so they probably knew something was up.

So, all’s well that ends well. The smoke was pretty well cleared out within 30 minutes or so. And by the time John got up an hour later, he said he could smell something, but that it didn’t seem smoky.

And my kids totally ate those cinnamon rolls. They didn’t taste bad at all! I’m not sure how that’s even possible. I should have stopped with the ham and beans, though. Come to think of it, I should have stopped with the meatloaf.

Here’s hoping that Monday is better. Take care everybody!


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