Where there’s smoke there isn’t always fire

The week brings with it the usual onslaught of information about fires, and, of course, their causes...

Fire prevention week Oct. 9 to 15—is here again!

The week brings with it the usual onslaught of information about fires, and, of course, their causes and preventions.

As a print media type person, I have skimmed through the information, looking for the best little nuggets of wisdom to share with my readers.

According to stats, two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen more than any other place in the home, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

I read with interest the tips provided to prevent fires in the kitchen. Tips like stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, use back burners when possible, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves and keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags away from the stovetop.

All good; very good tips!

I, however, due to first hand experience during which my ego got severely singed, could add another one.

Do not, and I repeat, do not set your oven dial on self-clean when you have put a pot roast in it for supper and then leave the premises.

If you do, I’m here to tell you, awful things will happen.

First and foremost your roast will be burned beyond recognition. Second and equally important, you may come home to find a fire truck in your driveway and your stove sitting out in your back yard, smoke pouring out of the locked oven door.

Though it was long ago and it was far away, I remember it well.

It was a beautiful fall day, a crisp, clean good to be alive day. It was a day that I felt very much in control; organized, efficient and really quite clever!

My to do list was in order and had not yet been lost and I even knew where my car keys and glasses were. My list read as follows:

1. Put roast in oven, set oven on a slow timed bake so the roast will be tender and lovely for supper even though it is only a cheap pot roast.

2. Take all three children for eye appointments in the city.

3. Come home, finish making lovely supper with delicious roast.

4. Think about what you will wear when you win the ‘homemaker of the year’ award.

Well, it turns out John Steinbeck knew what he was talking about when he said ‘the best laid plans of mice and men don’t always happen.’ And whoever said ‘pride goes before a fall’ wasn’t that far out either.

In defense of myself, the oven was new to me and my kitchen. And why did they use symbols and not words? How was I to know what the self-clean symbol was?

Anyway, when the paperboy saw the smoke pouring out of the living room window he called the local fire department. And like the good firemen they were, they came and quickly hauled the offending stove out to the back yard, thereby displaying for all to see the hidden dirt behind the stove.

I was mortified. When I walked into my kitchen after the nasty deed had been done I immediately stepped over all the laundry on the floor of the laundry room (another hidden sin) to fetch the broom.

The men were kind. They didn’t laugh too much. And they didn’t joke about how I had taken burning a roast to a new level. Well, they didn’t do belly laughs, anyway.

But to this day, if ever I happen to run across one of those guys, they get this little smile on their lips and their eyes twinkle, when they figure out who I am.

“You’re the one who put your oven on self clean with that roast in it, aren’t you? And then they chuckle and I don’t.

And then I go home and pull out my stove and sweep the dirt up, just in case.

You never know!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.

 

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Bonus RCMP officer for Breton region courtesy County of Wetaskiwin

Councilors examine details of enhanced RCMP officer for far-west side of county

County residents want to stop curve removal projects

Public meeting in Division 4 hears opposition to removal of gravel road speed curves

Soup and steak in Dora’s Kitchen this week

Get out your mallet for this Swiss Steak recipe

County council moves ahead on ‘speed curves’

Safety concerns, build standards basis for removing certain curves in county

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

Bradley Williams takes over as Westerner Park Interim CEO

CFR expected to go on as scheduled with no disruption

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Most Read