Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don't Try This At Home

I wrote last week about how I knew I needed more sleep because I was doing stupid things. While I've been making a concerted effort to get to sleep earlier, I apparently have not yet caught up on my sleep. Today? Definitely one of the stupider things I've ever done, and I'm beyond lucky that there were no lasting repercussions.

I'm on a productivity roll today. I dropped off my husband's lunch. I picked up my driver's license that I forgot at speech therapy yesterday. I returned the book on CD that was due. I got a load of darks in the laundry. I put away the dirty dishes. I updated my expenses spreadsheet. I even finished a few more solicitations for Mister Man's gala.

My mind is sort of running a million miles an hour, as there's a lot more I need to do today before I leave at 1:30. I won't be home again until almost 6:30 when I walk in the door with two very tired and hungry wee ones. Dinner needs to be ready, and I'm not quite ready to stoop to fast food. This is where the crock pot comes in handy. I have nothing thawed, but the awesome part about a crock pot is that you can put meat in still frozen. Yay, I have a roast left from the last time I made pot roast (yay Costco for selling meat in large quantities). And I have carrots and celery and onion and all the other ingredients on hand. Phew. I'm making my easy pot roast.

I placed my large cast iron pan onto the stove and began heating it while I got out the rest of the ingredients. After all, I want the pores of my pan to open before I put in the oil to sear my meat. As I tried to get the meat out of its glass container, I realized I had a little problem. It was frozen to the glass and was not coming out. The oil was now heating in the pan, and I didn't want it to burn. Warm water to the rescue - after a minute or so of warm water flowing over the container and meat, the container released the meat. Phew. Utterly paranoid now about my soon to be smoking oil, I immediately placed the meat into the pan.

My wet meat.

My frozen wet meat.

Into a very hot pan.

Into a very hot pan that contains oil.

Annnnnd I watched the flames flare. Can you say grease fire? Yep, that's what those ingredients get you. I pushed the pan to the center of my stove after turning off the stove (always step one!), as the flames showed no signs of dying down anytime soon, but the pan was too heavy and my sink too full to place it there - plus grease fires should never ever have water added to them.

I held my breath, and the flames died down with no damage to anything, aside from grease spattered everywhere. Oh, and the smoke alarms blaring throughout my house. Even with the vent fan running on high - because I of course forgot to turn it on until after the fire had died out - the smoke wasn't dissipating quickly.

I was lucky. I was very very lucky. This is why you always dry your meat before putting it into oil to sear. And probably why searing frozen meat isn't a good idea, for that matter. Learn from my stupidity - please! It's my public service announcement for the week.


Cris Goode February 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM  

So glad you didn't get hurt!

We've all been there in some form or fashion at some time or another...

I think you should take next week off and let someone else cook for you at least for part of the week ;)

Pat February 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM  

Oh, yikes! That's scary.

One time I had popcorn heating up in a large covered pot on the stove that I'd forgotten about when I went outside to do something. I heard the smoke detector going off when I was outside....thank goodness for smoke detectors!! When I came in, thick black smoke AND FLAMES were pouring out of the covered pot. I took it outside and set it on the concrete to cool off. Then I spent a very long time cleaning the charred popcorn off the stainless steel pot. I opened all the windows in the house and started several fans going to help rid the house of the smoke.

It took multiple uses of that large pot before every little bit of black charred popcorn finally came off the pot. I learned my lesson well.

Melisa Wells February 17, 2012 at 7:58 AM  

I'm glad you didn't get hurt AND I'm glad that you didn't go running for your camera while the flame was going in full-force. :)

Joanna Jenkins February 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM  

Yikes! Glad you didn't get hurt. And if it makes for feel better it's something I'd have done in a rush even though I know better.
xo jj

Heather E February 19, 2012 at 4:19 AM  

HOLY CRAP. I didn't even know that! Thanks for telling me! I usually just drop my meat in the crock pot and don't sear it but GOOD TO KNOW. I'm glad that you're okay and nothing major happened!

Tara R. February 19, 2012 at 9:18 AM  

I'm glad I'm not the only one who would take a photo of one of my potential cooking disasters. Glad you weren't hurt!

anymommy February 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM  

Thank god I don't cook. The end.

Kim/reluctant renovator February 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM  

Ugh. Glad you are okay! Also, I didn't realize I'm supposed to heat my pan before the oil goes in.
And... see you at Blissdom!

Michelle February 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM  

Cris - I like the way you think. I'll make dinner tomorrow, then I'm taking the rest of the week off ;)

Pat - Oh no! We make popcorn regularly in a large stainless steel bowl, and I have to admit that there is some permanent black in there from so many uses. It's all good though, right?

Melisa - I know. Aren't you proud of me?

Joanne - That's exactly it. When we rush we SO often do things that we wouldn't otherwise do and then regret it.

Heather - Ummm yeah. I know I was recommending searing the meat to you, but be careful when you do it, eh? ;)

Tara - Nope, you aren't the only one. It's a blogger thing.

Stacey - You can use this post with Matt if he ever questions you.

Kim - Me, too! You only heat the cast iron/aluminum pans. Don't EVER heat nonstick pans with nothing in them because it will ruin the finish and release toxic fumes (so umm guess who pretty much never uses nonstick pans) ;)

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