In Jill's Words

I dedicate this site to my mother. She was a columnist and an author with the uncanny ability to find humor in the daily ins and outs of life. She faced every challenge with a witty optimism, including the cancer that ended her life too soon.

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Location: Boise, Idaho, United States

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quesadillas On Fire!

I have decided I shouldn't be allowed to do domestic things anymore. To illustrate this point, here is a recent post from my Facebook page:
"So . . . the fan in the bathroom quit working, the spin cycle on the washer sounds like a machine gun, and I set the oven on fire yesterday. I am totally killing it at being an adult this week."
(I wrote this while waiting for the windshield guy who was supposed to repair a crack made by a stray rock kicked up by an SUV driver in one of the thousands of road work zones in Boise right now.)  

A friend of mine responded, "If by 'it' you mean the appliances in your house . . ."

I should probably add ovens to the growing list of things I'm not supposed to touch, along with power tools, serrated knives, and open tuna cans.

I had made the stupid dish a lot, but the broiler decided this was the perfect time to set everything on fire. By everything, I mostly mean the quesadillas I was trying to quickly get on the table since I had rehearsal that night. My husband, Dan, thinks I have a tendency to exaggerate.

I noticed a slight burning smell coming from the oven, so I opened the door and unleashed a billowing cloud of smoke into the kitchen that also proceeded to drift into the living room.

Funny thing. The smoke detector didn't go off. Maybe I should get that checked.

Then I realized the quesadillas were on fire, Quesadillas-En-Flambé. I blew on the quesadillas even though I knew it was pointless and, not to mention, ridiculous. It was a reflex. Don't judge me.

I shut the oven door, turned off the heat, turned on the fan above the stove, and assessed the situation. I have a fire extinguisher under the sink, but I wanted to salvage the quesadillas if possible. Like I said, I had to go to a rehearsal and didn't have time to pick up anything new or fix something else.

I peeked in the oven and noticed the flames were not as large. Hmm . . . could keeping the oven door shut be the best way to put out the fire?

I shut the door again and Googled, "what to do if food on fire in oven." It popped right up. Apparently, I was not the only one . . .

Google said to shut the oven door (check), turn off the broiler (check), and wait for the fire to go out. If it didn't go out, I was supposed to call 911. I felt pretty good about the fact that I had already followed Google's advice without even realizing it, aside from the couple of seconds I spent blowing on the food at the beginning of the ordeal.

Dan came home to find me staring at four quesadillas, smoldering on the stove top.

"I kind of set dinner on fire," I told him. "What should we eat?"

"The filling still looks alright, and so does the bottom of the tortilla."

My engineer husband figured out that we could tear off the charred top and fold the bottom over, leaving each of us two half-quesadillas. (Thank you, recipes, for always making four servings.)

"Google says we should clean out the oven after it catches fire," I said after dinner.

We leaned over and checked out the inside of the oven. Then we glanced at each other.

"Yeah, you're right. Too much work," I said.

We're awesome at being adults.

No harm, no foul. The oven is back to normal.

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