So, I've been baking a lot lately. Experimenting with new mixtures and enjoying old standbys. Tonight's supper was no different. I peeled, chopped up and spiced 2 sweet potatoes to make fries.
Ok, ok, hold up. Before I go on, you need some back story. The boys had me up a lot last night and super early this morning. I'm exhausted and loopy from too little sleep and too much caffeine. I've been having dizzy spells and lots of forgetfulness, which had only been getting worse as the day progressed.
So, I'd put the fries in the oven at 5pm and told myself not to forget. At 5:09, I saw the time and thought about flipping them, but figured I'd give them another 5 minutes. At 5:20, I suddenly remembered and urged Jay, who was closer to the oven, to check them. He did and reported that they were fine, but they seemed undercooked, especially for the length of time they'd been in. I did have them in at a lower heat than usual, so we turned it up a bit. Not 5 minutes later, Jay turned around to see an orange glow in the oven. I started to panic.
Have I mentioned my irrational fear of fire? Or that alarms, like the fire alarm, give me a panic attack? And it took me YEARS to get used to the idea of a slow cooker. The first few times I used the crockpot we got for our wedding, I made sure I was home ALL DAY LONG. Just in case. And I only ever turn it on when it's on top of the stove with nothing else around it. Just in case.
Anyway, Jay opened the oven for a closer look and the orange glow took on a white look and then there were pretty (in hindsight) fireworks. In my oven. By this point, I was by our front door, ready to wave a mat at the smoke detector if it started beeping. And I was yelling to Jay to turn off the oven. He did, and the fireworks display stopped immediately.
I stood there, waving my mat, shaking and in tears for a few minutes, trying to compose myself. Jay took another look and said that it was a fried element, not a grease fire like I initially thought. (I've been meaning to clean the bottom of the oven for a few weeks now. It's pretty grimy.)
In a high, shaky voice, I matter-of-factly asked if he thought all we'd need would be a new elephant. Once we stopped laughing, I tried again. Would we need a whole new stove? Then I started crying again.
What a nervous wreck I am! Jeesh! And you know what? The smoke detector never did go off. Of course, we had windows open and I was fanning it like my life depended on it. Which it did.
So later, after supper (which was yummy - the fries were just done enough) I called Sears, where the oven was purchased more than 8 years ago by the previous owners of our house. End result: A technician will be out this Tuesday, sometime between 8am and 7:30pm, to assess and hopefully replace the element on the spot. (Thankfully, they should call on Monday to significantly narrow down that time frame!)
I am very, very glad Jay was home when it happened. My god, what if he hadn't been? Not sure I would have known what to do... probably run for the door? Maybe I'd have remembered to scoop up the boys first?? I like to think I can keep my cool in an emergency (and usually I can, I swear!) but I guess when it deals with my very real (and stupid and often irrational) fears, common sense takes a vacation. Like, if I opened the oven and it was shooting fireworks like that and spilling out a whole bunch of slithering snakes... well, then I'd just die. On the spot.