Tips For First Time Friers
What Not To Do
It was the spring of 2002 and a beautiful day outside. The kids were napping, the house was clean and it was time to start working on dinner. On the menu that night was fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, and green beans. It is very important to mention here that I had been married for a year and a half and was still learning how to cook.
As per recipe instructions, I filled the pan with oil and turned the heat on. Turning my back to the stove I began to prepare the freshly peeled potatoes for boiling. Once that was out of the way I opened the cans of green beans and got them in their pot. Returning my attention to the chicken, I saw foot high flames shooting from my pan just as the fire alarm alerted me to my predicament.
Panicking I scrambled to recall whether it was baking powder or baking soda that put out stove fires. I tried both and neither worked. Of course I found out that I did not use enough but that is no longer relevant. My next thought was to put a lid on it. Right. The only lid I had that would fit over that pan snugly enough to smother the air out of the fire was glass and I was afraid that would shatter. So I did the only thing left to do, the one thing I knew I should not do. I threw water on it. A lot of water. The fire swooshed up higher then did actually go out.
The whole time the alarm is going off which woke the children. Thankful that it was a beautiful day I grabbed the kids and set them outside. I went back in just long enough to open the windows, turn on the fans, and grab the phone. The house I was in I was renting from my now ex-husband's parents.
I let the in-laws know that I nearly burned their house down and we sat outside on the front porch enjoying the beautiful day as though nothing had happened. The in-laws were kind enough to bring us McDonald's for dinner. After going inside to inspect the damage and determining that nobody was injured, they had a good laugh at my expense. It was determined that I let the oil get too hot and that was what caused the fire itself. As for the water, my case turned out good but it very well could have, and should have, not turned out so well. This is the reason you should have an approved fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Shy of that, use of either powder or soda will do the trick but you must use a lot of it.
As for the house, there is still a smoke stain behind the stove all the way up to the ceiling!