I love the Fall – cooler weather means it’s more comfortable to cook and enjoy the fruits of the harvest. Roasted chicken, squash, potatoes and pies all seem to fit better into the scheme of things in the Fall. But, as more people return to their kitchens at this time of the year, there’s an increased risk of kitchen fires. That’s why this year’s NFPA theme is “Prevent Kitchen Fires”. And their site is replete with common sense tips to avoid tragedy.
But, as I read through the tips, I realized that as much as I like cooking, I think I’ve been busted on almost all the tips.
- Have you ever used the timer function on your oven to start cooking the meal before you got home from work so the meal would be hot and ready when you got there? . . . busted!
- Have you ever put water on to boil for a cup of tea, then walked out of the room to quickly perform some other task and gotten distracted so the water boiled away leaving a yucky mess in the bottom of the kettle? . . . busted!
- Have you ever had a greasy meal boil over on the stove that started a grease fire when you weren’t looking? . . .busted!
- Have you ever put eggs on to boil and forgotten them – only to be reminded minutes later with an awful smell of burnt sulfur that they’re more than done? . . . busted!
- Have you ever had your clothes catch on fire because you leaned over the gas stove with a loose fitting shirt? . . . busted!
I think the only one I haven’t been busted on is the one about kids and turning the handles of pots and pans to the back of the stove.
I guess that’s why we all need the NFPA reminders spelled out in detail in my previous post. . . all common sense, but reading through them reminds me that I’m an idiot sometimes . . .
I know these rules – I’ve been cooking since I was 8.
And, thankfully none of my idiot moves ended up in fire damage to my person, my kitchen or my home. And thank goodness my multitasking in the kitchen never caused my kids to get burned. The smoke damage and the smell from these mini fires, now that’s a different matter. Good thing I know what to do about that too. One could say it’s given me good practice in successful smoke damage remediation . . .
But, the point is, even when we like to cook, even when we’re good at it, the temptation is so strong to put something on the stove and walk away while we wait. There are distractions everywhere, but the biggest one is in our heads.
And, what’s really interesting is a search on “multitasking” and “fire” brings up all sorts of links discussing the Kindle Fire and the multitasking feature on that device. So, we’re being conditioned to be idiots by our technology! And, there are multiple research articles available that discuss how multitasking is bad for our brains and bodies. But, we still do it . . .
So the biggest message from this year’s NFPA campaign is slow down! When you’re cooking, it takes time. So accept it, stay with it, enjoy it . . . and avoid being a sometime idiot like me!