Smoking in the kitchen/the undomestic goddess strikes again

No, I haven’t taken up cigarettes. I put a pot of ten-bean soup on the stove to boil, promptly forgot about it, and left the house for three hours. When I pulled back into the garage, my middle daughter said, “What’s that smell?”

Oh no.

I ran into the house which was now billowing with smoke and learned a couple of very important things.

1) Where there’s smoke, there isn’t necessarily fire, there may just be a hardened mass of charcoal-like beans.

2) My smoke detector doesn’t work, and yeah, I know there are easier ways to check that.

I turned off the stove, grabbed the smoldering pan, and ran it outside so it wouldn’t contribute to the cloud of smoke billowing around my house. Then I yelled to my daughters to open all the windows and turn on the fans. We spent the next few minutes doing this. The cloud of smoke dispersed, the inside temperature of the house immediately rose to nearly match the outside temperature of 108 degrees, but the smell didn’t go away.

My youngest daughter went outside to stare at the pan. “Look at the black mark on the grass!” she said.

Some of the grass in our yard is dead–probably due to the fact that we have a giant trampoline blocking a few of the sprinklers. I’d put the pan down on the dry part of the lawn and charred a patch of grass. So yeah, while I was unsuccessfully trying to air out my house, I nearly ignited my back yard.

I would have noticed that eventually, I suppose. You know, like when the smoke started billowing back in through the open windows.

I don’t think I should be trusted to cook anymore. I should eat out from now on. It’s safer.

I’ve opened all the windows again and now the chocolate kisses I stashed in my closet are melting into chocolate and tinfoil blobs. I know. I’ve just eaten half a dozen of them.


  1. Angela
    June 5, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Gee…sounds like something Charlotte would do?
    I just finished IT’S A MALL WORLD AFTER ALL. Wonderful! Funny! Brilliant!

  2. Marsha Ward
    June 5, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Janette, that’s so scary! I’m glad you still have a home to come home to.

  3. Janette Rallison
    June 5, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Yeah, it’s funny how even when I don’t write about my life, I do. I think I should write about someone who becomes really wealthy and see if that happens . . .

  4. Kari Diane Pike
    June 5, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    LOL…Janette, there is actually somehting to what you just posted…writing about something you want to see happen. I say go for it…write about something you want to see happpen and then sit back and let it happen! I am so sorry you filled your house with that awful burned bean smell…I am happy you have a home you can live in. My sister-in-law completely destroyed her kitchen by forgetting some oil on the stove. It took six months for them to be able to get back inot their home.

  5. Janette Rallison
    June 5, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Yikes! I may be an idiot, but luckily I’m an idiot with a guardian angel–I bet by this point she’s haggard and shakes her head a lot.

  6. Julie Wright
    June 6, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    oh Yikes! Well, this might be a good time to ask your husband for a cook πŸ™‚
    Glad it wasn’t worse!

  7. Anonymous
    June 6, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Oh poor Janette! I feel your pain. I burn things daily. Thank goodness it’s not as bad as yours though! My mom burned a pan of rice and our house smelled disgusting for SUCH a long time. (NOTE TO SELF: Air Freshners don’t cover up the burnt smell)

  8. Kimberley Griffiths Little
    June 6, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    You’ve been tagged Janette for 8 facts about yourself. Check out my blog for my 8. Have fun!

  9. Celise
    June 7, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Hah. I KNEW there was a reason I hate to cook. LOL.

    Apparently, we’re going to be sharing a table with Tina Ferraro in August and I wanted to drop by and say hello to a fellow YA writer…and Phoenician. Welcome to my cast of Characters. (er, that would be the blogroll). Look forward to meeting you. Hopefully, we’ll all get a chance to sit down before the actual event.

  10. kaykay
    June 9, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Janette, may u send me the title of ur books and how much they cost please e-mail me

  11. Josi
    June 10, 2007 at 9:00 am

    I’ve heard that onions cut in half and left out overnight absorb odors. Then again, they might just make it all smell like burnt onions πŸ™‚ Too funny and too easy to relate to

  12. violetlady
    June 12, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    I have done that, but without leaving the house. It is truly scary when you think of the possible ramifications.

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