You know it’s going to be a good day when you start it by setting something on fire. There’s something about accidental flames that makes you feel all alive inside.
If by ‘alive’ I mean panicky and stressed. (hint: I do mean that.)
I was grilling bacon on a tray with a sheet of baking paper on it, because I was already running late, and I didn’t want to have to spend the next half hour washing dishes.
Unfortunately, as the bacon was done, the top corner of the baking paper rested for a moment against the grill element, and burst into flames.
‘Not again!’ I thought.
I kind of do this regularly. My current flatmates act a little like I’m some kind of genius food messiah. I have no idea what I did to give them that opinion, because in reality I’m more of a disaster-prone experimenter. My old – rather better informed – flatties used to be uncomfortable with me using the kitchen without adult supervision.
This particular fire was a bit confusing. I mean, I know how to deal with an oil fire, because: Hello, oil fire is my middle name.
But this wasn’t technically an oil fire. It was more of a paper fire… And just while we’re on that? I thought baking paper wasn’t flammable. – I thought that was the whole point of baking paper. Who the hell decided to make it flammable? Because it seems like a really dumb idea.
At the first sign of flame, I’d turned off the oven, and grabbed the box of baking soda… But on second thought, I was planning on baking cookies this evening, and I won’t have a chance to replace any of the stuff I use until I get back in January, and that’s not fair on Becks to have to replace all the baking soda that I used up on fires and cookies.
I mean, sure, Becks wouldn’t mind – considering the whole ‘not burning down the flat’ thing. It’s a pretty good trade-off, but still. I have a pretty awesome flatting arrangement, so I try to be considerate about it.
I contemplated the fire. It was pretty small and well-behaved. Much like when you set a photo of an ex-boyfriend on fire in an old cooking pot.
(Don’t look at me like that. I know you’ve done that too.)
Usually when I’m cooking I can just slam the lid on the pot and remove from heat at the first sign of flame. In fact? I pretty much always cook with the pot lid sitting RIGHT THERE next to me because if I’m cooking, sooner or later, there will be flames. Unfortunately the baking tray was too big for that.
I briefly wondered if this was a situation that water could help in – because usually paper fires are fine to use water on, but there WAS hot bacon grease, and you pretty much never want hot oil/grease to meet water. Bad things happen.
After a little more considering I decided to try blowing it out like a birthday candle… Thankfully it worked.
I sat there looking at the charred paper, and my fabulous cooked breakfast (despite the small fire issue, my poached eggs, toast, and bacon were perfectly cooked) and I thought: “I really don’t think I can deal with leaving the house today. Maybe I should work from home.”
So the moral of this story is: Did any one else think that baking paper wasn’t flammable? Me too.