that was until last night. I was in the kitchen, doing the usual 'mum' thing - a hundred things at once when a pot of oil caught alight and did quite a bit of damage!
The funny thing is that I thought I was super organised yesterday but I still found myself busy as a bee in the kitchen last evening. I had butter chicken all ready to go in the slow cooker (really yummy recipe by the way, have to post that some time) rice cooking in the microwave, and golden syrup dumplings almost ready to pop in the saucepan for desert - I had promised the kids earlier I'd make desert on Friday night. I decided to turn on a pot of oil to make the pappadams we always have with butter chicken and while the oil was heating turned to finish mixing the dumplings. A short time later I noticed a flicker of light on a packet sitting beside me on the bench and turned to see where it came from. I was confronted with large flames leaping from the pot of oil and lapping at the range hood. Immediately I grabbed the lid to suffocate the flames - didn't work, the flames just squeezed out from under the lid! and were getting taller by the second. Isaac, by this stage had heard me utter a 'swear word' (yeah I know I'm the RS President but there's no perfection prerequisite for that or I wouldn't be there!!) and was going mental (he's not that good with emergencies). I yelled for Matt who was reading in another room and had heard a bit of a commotion but didn't think much of it until he too heard the 'swear word'. He came running in like a super-hero and totally saved the day. He did accidentally burn himself though so obviously he's not a real super-hero!
So the damage is: totally stuffed range hood, gas cook top, cupboard doors, floor damage where hot oil spilled over and blistered the timber finish, the pot and two lids are cactus, the whole house has smoke damage, the laminex above the oven is all melted.
The insurance company sent two guys around last night to clean up a bit and assess what else would need to be done. So now we have this dirty great 'air filter' machine in our kitchen which has to run continuously until they come back on Tuesday. It is LOUD but everything is starting to smell cleaner. On Tuesday they will come and do something called a smoke sponge (or something like that) they have special sponges they wipe over walls and ceilings and they can tell just how far the tiny particles of soot have traveled. On just looking last night they are certain the kitchen, lounge room, family room and hall way will all have to be washed.
I can't believe how much damage occurred in what was about 30-40 seconds. Anyway here are a few photos taken by my neighbour ('coz I still don't have a camera!!)
P.S We still got to eat the butter chicken - 'twas delicious and I even managed to finish the dumplings. I'm glad we decided to get the BBQ with the hot plate, I think it will come in very handy over the next week.
P.P.S I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person and I like to think that something good comes from everything, saying that I figure there are a few 'goods' from this; I'll never turn my back on cooking oil ever again, I'll get some new kitchen items, there's no excess and insurance covers everything, I'll get my ceilings and walls washed and best of all I wont have to cook for a while :)