A little reward, you’ve earned it…

29 11 2007

This is my 100th post. I always knew I was this long-winded, but I didn’t know you had it in you to stick around this long. Thank you. For your diligence I reward you with a story that is now legend in our household lore.

The Burgers

It was October 2006 and raining and really too cold outside for grilling, but we’d made burgers for the grill. Karen’s mom was visiting so I wanted to “treat” her to my hamburgers. Well, we have an indoor grill, and let’s face it, cooking with a gas grill isn’t real BBQ anyway.

For those of you unfamiliar with our kitchen we had a Jenn-Air range that was about as old as I am. And Jenn-Air ranges come with an indoor grill insert and, well, let me show you what it looks like:

is this really that illustrative?

So your food sits on the grill grates (on the right), under that is the heating element, and under that is where those knobbly looking things go. They’re heavy and they have wire supports for the heating element. Apparently they do a good job of collecting grease too, but we’ll get to that. We’ve cooked steaks on the grill before with moderate success. It’s actually not a bad idea for when it’s raining. But we’d never cooked burgers on the grill before, and I figured it would be just like steaks. Oh, and another thing, this time I left the heat turned all the way up to high. And why not? Charcoal grills have no real heat control anyway, right? I’m not really sure what the instructions say to do in this instance, but real men don’t need instructions, right?

So I’m cooking burgers. I’m the man, I cook the burgers. They’re about three quarters done and I see this tiny flame peek out from underneath the heating element. Hmm. A little bit of grease, it should burn itself out soon, I think. It doesn’t. It starts growing. Apparently burgers have a lot of fat in them, but then I already knew that. I turn the heat off. The flame (at this point I should say flames) keep getting bigger, until they are reaching up and licking the bottom of the microwave.

“help” I say very sheepishly. From the dining room I hear Karen say “What now?”

“f- f- fire” I say sheepishly. Everyone comes in. Karen, Karen’s mom, Karen’s sister. At this point I’m thinking two things: Where are the boys? Ben is asleep in his swing, Isaac is asleep in bed, Jonny is in the bathtub. The other thing I’m thinking is Who the f— puts wallpaper behind a stove? Seriously, shouldn’t there be tile back there? The previous owners of this house did nothing right.

Wait, the stove is still on fire. I’m wishing at this point that we had a fire extinguisher. Karen put a pot lid on the grill, but the fire is under the grill so that doesn’t work. We don’t have enough baking soda. So we all wonder what to do. How much time until the wallpaper catches fire? I make an executive decision. Everything has to go. I grab my kitchen tongs and, starting from the top down, I take each piece individually outside to the back porch.

“WAIT!” says Karen, “Save the burgers!” I can see the headline now: Woman Rescues Burgers, Serves Them To Firemen While Her House Burns Down. Once the burgers are safe I take everything else outside in the cold and rain.

The burgers weren’t very good, but now we have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Later that week the same exact thing happened to Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. That’s why I like him so much. He’s so much like me. He put the fire out by emptying a box of kosher salt on it. Good to know.

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7 responses

29 11 2007
chennette

Salt, huh? Good to know. And good to know about Bobby Flay too. I like knowing that the big guys can get carried away and mixed up too. Like I am sure some big-wig chef has smoked out a kitchen browning sugar for Trini stew chicken somewhere. And ruined the pot…It cannot be just me!
Congrats on the milestone!

29 11 2007
Daddy Forever

We have a fire extinguisher somewhere, but I have no idea how to use it.

So, are the Steelers taking a couple weeks off? First they lose to the bad Jets and then barely beat winless Miami in the mud bowl.

30 11 2007
mark - in my own defense

Don’t get me started. The Browns will probably beat them in the playoffs. You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?

30 11 2007
Nicole

Congratulations on your 100th post! Your stories always make me laugh!

5 03 2009
Todd

whow!! loved you’re story. My wife and I laughed like crazy. WRITE A BOOK!!
We are looking for a indoor grill. We have a Jenn-air range and were concidering getting an insert. NOT anymore. We’re still looking.

Thanks again for your story. It proves the reason I cruse the web.

4 10 2010
TJ

This was a state of the art cooktop in the 70’s. You can change out the burner cartidges to radiant heat, halogen, gas, and it also has the grill and griddle insert. Very versatile.

But the grill, although well made, was a horrible idea.
There is no way to control the flames and with all the wallpaper and cheesy paneling back then you are basically telling your cooktop to go ahead and burn the house down. And the mess, even if it doesn’t, not worth the trouble.

I just purchased the radiant cartrides for easy cleaning but am missing the ceramic tiles for the griddle. I may get them down the road because it would make pancakes, omlets, and bacon very easy.

20 05 2012
Haven’t we been here before? « Mark Ruins Dinner

[…] away from the microwave above the range and the flammable wallpaper behind the stove (remember the burgers?).  I then added the […]

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