Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Monday, 12 December 2011

My boys took the heat

So I had a busy very tightly scheduled week-end. On Saturday morning Quinn decided he wanted to start on our Christmas cookies. He has enough experience with these, and cooking in general, now that I decided he was able to make them unsupervised thus giving me the chance to sneak in a  quick run before having to drop Griff off at a party/sleep-over.

So off I dashed. When I got back it was clear the biscuits had been burned... There were remnants of burned biscuits in the driveway! WTF? I did a bit of general yelling about having left them unattended in the oven and both boys insisted they'd only been in for 10 mins... I had no time to investigate or argue, so off Griff and I went to drop him off. While Quinn was at home cleaning up.

When I got back I noticed 2 important clues...
1. There was a distinct blackening of the cupboards above the oven and
2. The few remaining biscuits in the kitchen were charred on top, but still pale on the bottom... Hrm.
A quick check of the oven confirmed my suspicion... and yes they'd cooked them on GRILL and not BAKE. (I think we have all made that mistake at least once before..?)

I debriefed Quinn about exactly what had happened, and it turns out that...Yes, they did indeed pop the biscuits in the oven and then go to watch something on TV. But they did not leave them for very long though. On arriving back in the kitchen they noticed the burning smell and also smoke coming out of the oven. Quinn says there was flickering inside too. So he opened the oven and says the little flames then leaped into much BIGGER flames. (OH MY GOD!?). I asked him what he did, and he said he closed the door again straight away and turned the oven off immediately. Clever boy. Correct move on both counts.

He says Griffin then suggested they throw water into the oven. Quinn says he said 'No, because of the electricity'. Again, clever boy and brownie points for thinking, staying calm and using common sense. He says he got Griffin to go outside and get the hose pipe. He then opened the oven again and got the tray out with an oven glove and took it outside, placed it on the ground and Griffin then hosed them down. Hence the burned remnants in the driveway.

I was not thrilled that they'd almost burned our house down - while I wasn't even there! But I am actually very impressed with how they handled the situation. I think many adults would have panicked more and handled it less well. I did talk to them about being careful, not leaving things unattended in the oven AND always checking that the grill is not on when baking. I also reiterated that they could/should have phoned the fire brigade, or me or a neighbour, or ADT had they needed help and not been able to sort it out quickly or easily themselves.

I was initially horrified that it had happened, but now having had time to think about it, I actually think it was a great learning experience and I am once again impressed by my boys' level of common-sense, responsibility and accountability. Quinn cleaned everything up himself and packed the remaining dough away so that they can try again... Once the oven is properly cleaned up and we have checked if it actually still works. I have not had the time (or inclination) to check that yet. Please let it still work!!

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