Friday, October 20, 2006

Look, I don't cook...

Okay, this is the story I’m telling sweetie.

My friend Jane’s birthday is today and she is a chocoholic, so I decided I was going to make her a special treat, chocolate chip muffins. I love Jiffy cornbread because of its sweetness and I though putting some chocolate chips in them would be excellent. (Jane thinks this alone is funny!)

Now, I’ve never done this, but mixing corn mix, one egg, and some milk isn’t hard. I can also handle throwing in chips and pouring the mixture into a sprayed muffin pan. Pretty easy peasey, right?

Here comes one of the difficult parts…what do I do with the oven? We have an old, state-of-the-art, 1940s double oven built into the cabinetry. The last time I tried to heat a pizza, let’s say the year was 2004, the bottom element actually blew-up. We got that fixed and then the upper element did the same thing to Pete last year.

The second difficulty lies in the correct oven. Do I use the bottom or top? I’m thinking the upper oven is correct, and I turn the preheat on. It is heating no problem, and then I think no, it is the bottom one. I turn it off, turn the bottom on, and call my sweetie, who does all the cooking in our home. He tells me that the bottom is correct, and not to use the upper one.

As we are chatting, I notice that the bottom oven isn’t warming at all. I clarify the bottom is right, and then I tell him it isn’t getting hot. This is when he spouts out his infamous line, “Do not use the upper oven.”

He knows nothing. He is confused. I’m standing here and he is 600 miles away. I can tell which one is working. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure top hot, bottom not. “Okay, Pete I’ll just throw the muffin mixture in the trash.”

If you know me at all, you will realize the most difficult part of this story just happened.

I hang up the phone and flip the upper oven back on, setting preheat to 400 degrees. I then skip down the bowling alley hall and plop down in my rocker for some quality TV time.

Time elapses...

Ah, the smells of burnt cheese being reborn as I stroll down the hall. You know the smell. It is universal and just means spilt food from the last usage is currently burning off the elements. I reach the kitchen, the oven is slightly smoking, and my detector begins to buzz.

No problem, I constantly use the smoke detector as a timer for my frozen pizzas. I even have an efficient way to stop the buzzing. Pull the fan cord, which blows the smoke down, and give a couple of waves with my dishtowel until it hushes.

Man, the elements are red hot. It has to be more than 500 degrees. I’ll just turn the bake on and it will cool down with one less element burning.

Hop on one foot. Pet the cat. Feed the cat. Pet the cat again. Okay, it should be cool now. Open oven and place muffins on top rack. Turn around to replace mitten, look back at my soon to be delicious dessert, and see the pan on fire. Um, I must have used too much spraying oil. It will burn off.

Next thing the oven interior is on fire!

“What the Hell!” Billowing smoke and my mind is thinking “how” as I dial 911 after turning off the oven. Must move paper products out of the upper cabinets...Burning eyes…Must move liqueur, too…Getting dizzy from all the up-down chaos of moving stuff…Starting to cough…

Two trucks and five firefighters later, the joke is on me…Pete must have put your Christmas present in there. The one place you would never think to look!” Ha-ha.