Great Balls of Fire!

24 Jan

Oy Vey! I always thought it would be the mixer. My expensive, once in a lifetime, too good to be true, I’m not worthy, Kitchen Aid mixer. Especially since hubby bought it an attachment for Christmas and I’m weird enough to think that it doesn’t matter if it’s okay with the manufacturer, asking a mixer to do anything other than mix is asking for a meltdown. But it wasn’t. Sure, she gave off a bit of that lovely electrical burning smell earlier in the day for no good reason, but all I was asking her to do is to mix the same dang frosting recipe she’s been mixing for 6 months, so I blotted that smell out of my mind. Maybe the smell wasn’t the Kitchen Aid? Naw, doesn’t matter, moving on. I’ve got cakin’ to do!

Later that afternoon, there was a noise. Kind of a popping sound. I was in the dining room, tuna breath was in the kitchen. He looked alarmed and kind of twitched a bit. Huh, better check it out if tuna breath is skeered. It sounded like it came from the sitting room or beyond. I took a quick look, smelled something odd again, thought it smelled electrical in nature; but again, no evidence of anything awry so I dismissed it as, “Man, I really gotta get out of the house soon.” After all, the farthest I’d ventured beyond the walls of the casa aside from the one minute run ‘cause it’s cold foray to check the mailbox was Monday and today was Thursday. Definitely time to get back into real life and do some shopping or something. Yeah, I know. I still get snail mail. Not good stuff anymore, but nonetheless, I get snail mail. I need to get on better propaganda lists or something since I get nothing interesting in the mail, but I digress.

Electrical smell, popping noise, can’t find anything, may be losing my mind.  Just another day in the manse so back to caking I go.  Half an hour later, the oven timer gives that annoying beep. You know, the one that sounds like a major piece of equipment in the hospital is signaling someone is dying kind of sound. Time to check the cake. Nope, nowhere near done. It’s still all jiggly. Set the timer for another 20 minutes. Better, but the center still looks like my thighs when I run. Tuna breath has settled down (meaning he’s in my way) so all is well in my world. Or so I thought. The timer sounds once more, it’s still not quite done. I think, “This is taking a long time. I guess I should have used baking strips, a flower nail, or something in that bad boy” and go back to caking. Okay, caking and emailing the Frosting Chick. Someone has to keep her sane and let her know there’s still caking in the world while she’s stuck in the pod. I’m good like that. Nothing like a good day of torturing corporate flunkies with tales of cake and housework and annoying life mates. 

Ten minutes later and the cake smells like it’s burning. It must be done. After all, everyone’s chocolate cake smells like that when it’s done, right? No? It’s just me? *Sigh* I guess the “Perfect Chocolate Cake“ recipe search continues. Until then, let’s check the cake once more, k? Huh. What’s that sizzling sound? Suddenly the oven sounds like I’m makin’ bacon. Now either I really have lost my mind or something’s up. I’ve really isolated myself from the cruel world too long because now I’m associating a brief mention of how chocolate and bacon is the “in” thing from earlier in the week chat conversations with the cake in the oven or something is seriously awry. Yeah, it must be me going bonkers. Open the oven, crazy lady, and check the cake. I open the door aaannnnd there’s fire down below. Whaaat?

It wasn’t a big fire. No need to run for the extinguisher (yeah, right. Like I have one.) No need to dial 911 and get the beefy boys. No need to even call beefy boy’s woman and ask if she thinks I should have a meet up with them. It was actually fascinating. A small flame on the front left of the element. Sizzling away and throwing sparks like, like, well, like a sparkler. This is God getting me back for buying sparklers for the chicklet last July. Sure, she’s way old enough to handle them now and she did miss out on all that fun because I’m overprotective, so what’s the harm now? Evidently, I hadn’t built up enough karma or something because this is the harm. Fire in the oven and cake due. Holy schmoly. Look at her go. Oh, crap! I better get the cake out of there, huh? Yeah, I’m quick on the uptake. Shiny objects and all that.

I’m dumb enough to stand there and look at it burn for a couple more minutes while tuna breath has headed for the hills. I finally realized that perhaps it might stop burning if, I don’t know, I turned off the oven or something. You think? I considered getting the camera and taking blog pictures but quickly dismissed that thought as another reason I really need to get out of the house more often. I switch off the oven, pick up the phone, and call my Mr. Fix It at the office. Big fat help he was. He needs the model number. And that would be where? I dunno. Probably in the oven somewhere. Yeah, I’m not sticking my big head in there, the thing is still sizzling like I used to do on a Friday night at the skating rink. At least the fire is gone. The smoke aroma isn’t too bad, so I put the cake back in and hope for the best. *Shrug* At this point, if the residual heat in the oven doesn’t finish baking it I haven’t lost any more than if I left it on the counter.

Mamma needs two things at this point: a model number and the use of someone’s oven. I still have cupcake batter sitting on the counter and I dunno how long that stuff can sit before it’s no longer fit to use. First, the model number. Mr. Fix It will be home in a couple of hours, which means if I find that blessed number in the next hour maybe he’ll take pity on me and pick up an element on the way home.

You should know I’m an organized person, generally. I’m not real pack-ratty, but I do tend to keep stuff that might be useful. Like warranties and guarantees. I’m smart like that. Small problem. It’s not an area of the file cabinet I venture into very often. I long ago moved that kind of stuff to its own drawer in the cabinet. Every January I clean the files to prepare for the new year and the dreaded tax/FAFSA season. I’m so good that this yearly cleaning has already been done, just not the particular drawer I need. There is no kidding 6 file folders and a shoe box stuffed with stuff. It’s not pretty. Answering machines, curling irons, bikes from 10 years ago- it’s all in there. What are the odds the stove papers are lurking in a dark corner of that drawer? 20 minutes later, I know the odds are very low. Just when you think you save way the heck too much stuff, you realize you didn’t save the one thing you need right now.  No dice on the paperwork so no hope of getting it fixed tonight.

Being the techno-savvy cake making mamma that I am, I put out a call for help on Facebook. The place where I can ask a favor without having to actually talk to a human being. Problem though. The person for whom I am creating this week is also on Facebook. I can’t freak her out. Therefore, I change my status to, “Who’s home? I’ve got a problem and I need an easy favor.” After that, I decide to pretend I live in the ‘50’s and call a neighbor to see if a little borrowing of an appliance is possible. She’s not home, of course. No one is. Everyone is snug in their pods except for those who I swear spend 24/7 driving around so as to try to annihilate me or, failing that, aggravate the heck out of me by driving slowly/erratically/while on the phone in the front of me. Either way, no oven for me.  Buddy Boy Blast from the Past catches me on chat and asks if he can be of assistance. Could it be? A hero in a hero-less land? He’s one state over. He suggests I get out my Easy Bake Oven. Yeah, no.  Big help. I don’t know why we keep him around. Pity, I guess.

I brave the oven and look for the model number. On the oven door? On the front of the body when you open the oven door? Inside the drawer? On the instrument panel? On the one side I can see without moving the stove? In the oven? Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. Maybe Mr. Fix It is right and it’s on the back of the stove. I’m not moving that thing- there’s a cake in the kitchen and I’m still not sure it’s done! I don’t care if you can now bounce around like your favorite kitchen activity is trampoline sky diving, don’t be messing around in my kitchen with a cake in the house!

Finally, Corporate America disperses its human contents back into the world, and a free oven is found. Huzzah! Cupcakes are baked, cake is done, if all a little extra crusty from the drama, and life can continue. Mr. Fix It locates the model number. Heaven forbid, but should you ever need to know where the model number is located on a 20 some years old GE electric stove, try pulling out the drawer and looking on the body of the stove, on the right. Shut up. The important thing is that it was located.

Before:

 

Thankfully, I keep a clean oven or these pictures would not be possible, if you know what I mean.

Where the fire was located when I finally discovered the problem:

See the ashy looking stuff that wraps around the element? Sparkler juice.

That’s supposed to be all in one piece, y’all. He said I did a darned good job of breaking it. What can I say? It’s all or nothing here, baby!

Check out Woodstock in the background looking dismayed and amazed.

 Mr. Fix It to the delayed, but still much needed rescue:

No, they don’t just pull out and plug back in like burners. ‘Cause that would be too easy.

But will it heat up? You know, my cake karma has really taken a hit lately, so I wouldn’t be surprised…

Whoo hoo! We’ve achieved red hot! Is it too hot? Too cold? Uneven heat? Mr. Fix It says it’s just perfect, but I’m going to test it with an oven thermometer next week when Corporate America steals my buds once again. In other words, secretly. No need to hurt Mr. Fix It’s feelings. Gotta keep him happy ‘cause you never know what’s going to blow up next around here. He was even kind enough to make fish sticks and reheat pizza in the oven today to get rid of any “new electrical appliance part” smells that might be lurking in the oven. Now that’s love, ain’t it?

Yes, he does still have to do something for me for Valentine’s Day. I have to keep him on his toes, after all.

By the way: Frosting Chick asked me if I took pictures while it was aflame. Either we’re both crazy in this together, or that’s a normal reaction? I’m shooting for both crazy. It’s the only thing that makes sense right now.

I’m back in action, y’all! Yee haw!

P.S.- I told you I wouldn’t get a new stove out of this. You know who you are. 😉

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3 Responses to “Great Balls of Fire!”

  1. chick2 February 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    If Mr. Fix-It were less handy, you’d have a new stove….

  2. Southerngirl5 August 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    First off – love the blog! I’ve been laughing so much (seeing myself in your posts) that my husband thinks I’m crazy.

    And the exact same thing happened to me in my 20-year-old GE oven a couple of years ago. Sizzle, sparkle, sizzle! MY OVEN IS ON FIRE! My element broke in not one, but TWO places. We had just moved in and had one of those home warranties. The guy came out same day and $30 later, I was baking again.

    Nice to know karma happens to other people too!

    • chick2 August 19, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

      Same day? I’m jealous! LOL It felt like forever before mine was fixed and in the meantime I’m asking everyone local I can find on Facebook if I can use their oven. Cake Karma: bites you right in the sweet tooth.

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