Friday, November 14, 2008

Broiler Phobia


The other night, the neighbors were here and we were cooking and eating and Kian from Red Cook handed me a tray of garlic bread and said, "Pop this in the oven, will you?" and I said, "Great!" and set the oven temp and Kian said, "Do it in the broiler. It's better."

And I, like, shit myself.

Because I don't use the broiler. Ever. I avoid the broiler like it is a mutant strain of super-herpes. See, I am a clutz - prone to singing my eyebrows just turning over a steak, or burning my hand right through the heat-proof mitt, able to start a blazing grease fire just by forgetting I had bacon on the stove. I can set my sleeve on fire making soup.

I cannot be trusted with a broiler and all that congealing, highly-flammable meat fat that wells up into pools (even in the drip pan) and sits stupidly close to all those dancing flames, which mock me and hiss "I can have this kitchen ablaze in under 2 minutes, chica..."(Yes, the flames call me "chica")"...just move that filet mignon a tad closer...Wa ha ha ha..."

This is what broiler flames would say if they could talk.

I believe that my children's life is perilously at stake every time I even think about using the broiler. And this was evident the other night as Kian showed me how to turn on my broiler and where the flames were exactly and I ordered people to take my children to a nearby safe house and in my head, I up-dated my will and testament.

Guests streamed into the kitchen to support me as I bit my nails and gulped several glasses of wine to calm the nerves. I might be exaggerating a little but really, I was convinced we might have to evacuate. I memorized the exits.

Then, I whispered to the girls as they were shuttled away, "Remember...Stop. Drop. And roll...Mommy loves you...no matter what happens."

And then, I grabbed their little cheeks and gave them one last kiss and, like Bella said to Renesmee in Breaking Dawn when she thought she would never see her daughter again, I whispered, "More than my life..." all dramatic-like and choked up, with tear-filled eyes. At this point, I contemplate buying them lockets with the phrase engraved inside and then realize what a completely stupid thing that would be. Then, I push them out the door to safety.

But then, like, nothing happened. The broiler just crisped the garlic bread until it was all crusty and browned and perfect and it took like two whole seconds and no invisible, combustible gasses in the air were ignited and no one was set ablaze like some stunt man in a bad Clint Eastwood movie and all my hair seemed to avoid being singed off.

It was effortless. Not one flame leaped at me from the oven.

I have finally conquered my broiler-phobia. Bring on the French Onion Soup. I am an inspiration...

xo YM

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9 comments:

Jenna said...

hilarious! i use the broiler almost every day i love melting cheese on sandwiches, making oven toast, getting a nice crust on cheesy toast to serve with soup. oh, and there's usually a preschooler or two on a stool sheilding their eyes from the heat as i open to see if i have bubbly butter of cheese. jenna @ foodwithkidappeal.com

lacrema said...

Oh, lord. I was already rolling before you brought up the Renesmee comparison. Then I lost it. The baby actually looked at me like I was too weird for him, and he eats tape.

Yeah, I'm not the best with the broiler, either-- I think it's because everything happens so fast under the broiler, and I'm usually multi-multi-tasking in the kitchen and don't watch it closely enough. Congratulations on not toasting the neighborhood. You might want to go get those lockets to have on hand for next time, though, just in case.
PS I kinda hated Bella by Book 4 and ended up loving Jacob the most.

SaintTigerlily said...

No way. Broilers are scary.

Krysta said...

love my broiler... the flames whisper to me too but i like playing with fire... hahhahahahaha... get it? i'm leaving now.

Izzy's Mama said...

I'm a broilerphobic myself. Especially with my ancient oven. I think I have used it once in 4 years!

Smashley said...

I love the broiler and I am really sad I have a lame ass electric stove/oven in my condo and the broiler doesn't work at all. It's like trying to broil in a toaster oven. Lame.

ntsc said...

One of our stoves doesn't even have a broiler, it expected to have a salamander next to it. Right now my wife is trying to clean the grates for the burners. There are four of them, at a weight of about 100 pounds each are built to hold a 200 quart stock pot or two.

The other one, which is a pretty good 5 burner LG, has a flame source below the oven for bake/roast and a second in the roof of the oven for broiling. A wonderful idea.

If you do get a broiler fire:

0): TURN OFF THE BROILER!!!

1): with a pair of tongs get the burning whatever into the sink - you might even be able to rescue it ( a half sheet will also work until you finish step 1).

2): Smother whatever flames remain with a lot of salt.

3): Deal with whatever started to burn, if it is still burning.

While doing step 1, tell the kids to put their underpants back on or take them off - i.e. reverse the state of commando - this keeps them from distracting you.

melissa said...

So... you're going to see the movie, right? ;)

Broilers are good. :)

...OK, your word verification says "winesper." Which makes me think "wine whisperer."

I just totally embarrassed myself.

...aaaand I'm done.

Robin Aronson said...

This is just how I felt about the broiler, like how the F*&^%^ amd I supposed to use the broiler and not light my hair on fire! But we recover. Hope it was a happy holiday!