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Saturday, June 21, 2008

And the ‘Cook of the Year’ Award Goes To…

…well, NOT ME.

We decided to take Cate to a movie since it was going to be a hot day. Because I’m cheap, I decided to pop some microwave popcorn and sneak it into the theater. Popcorn only takes about 2 1/2 minutes in our microwave, but I always set the time for 4 minutes so that it doesn’t end early and I can take it out at the RIGHT moment. And I’m good at microwave popcorn. When I’m paying attention, that is.

For whatever reason, today I put the popcorn in the microwave, hit “Start” and then LEFT THE KITCHEN. Then my phone rang and it was my wonderful sister-in-law, so I chatted a bit with her. Then I went in the kitchen for some water. Yeah, not the popcorn that had, at this point, been cooking for 3 1/2 minutes. But the smell reminded me why I should be in the kitchen (see below for picture).

Instead of thinking through what was happening, I open the door as fast as I can to stop it cooking. Which let out the biggest cloud of smoke I’ve seen. EVER. It honestly FILLED the entire kitchen. And I’m not exaggerating. I wish I was. I got the kitchen door closed, but not before smoke snuck into the rest of the apartment, of course. Oh and not before I almost died from smoke inhalation. (Okay, THAT’S a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!)

So, now we don’t get to go the movies because I need to keep all the doors and windows open for the next two years or so. And it’s so HOT today.

My microwave STINKS. My kitchen STINKS. My house kinda stinks. Not like popcorn. More like I just burned the house down. Any tips or pointers? I’m scared to use the stinky microwave, which is now stained yellow inside. Fun. Seriously, besides airing out the apartment with hot air, is there anything else I can do?

I like to think this experience has no reflection on me as a person (i.e. distracted, forgetful, DUMB) or a cook (I mean, who screws up microwave popcorn THIS bad?) but rather vindication from the Movie Theater Gods who were angry with me for planning to sneak food into the theater. Yup, I’m pretty sure that’s why this happened.

CAUTION: Contents are ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. 1
    The Bouldins

    After you clean the microwave, stick a dish of plain vinegar in overnight. If it still stinks, repeat with fresh vinegar. I do this every time I set my toaster oven on fire (about three times a year). I don’t know if it would work in the rest of the apartment. You’d need some pretty big dishes of vinegar …

  2. 2
    Jane Maynard

    awesome…I’m going to put vinegar in the microwave NOW.

    anyone have vats of vinegar lying around they don’t need? that would work in the rest of the apartment, right? 🙂

  3. 3

    Actually, the vinegar will work in the rest of the apartment. Just place a bowl out over night and it should help to absorb the odor.

    Right after my daughter was born I had gone to the supermarket and bought ground beef. I thought I had put it away. WEEKS later when the stench finally overtook me and I went to reach for some chips on top of our fridge I found the meat. Yeah, it was gross! Apparently, I had placed the meat on top of the fridge thinking I’d make room and then put it away. I made room, I just never put it away!

    We all have these moments! 🙂

  4. 4
    Jane Maynard

    oh man, that sounds AWFUL!!!!!!! I can’t imagine how fun that was to clean up…

    I WILL put bowls of vinegar everywhere, then…I love vinegar.

  5. 5

    My son did this a few years ago and my microwave is still a little yellowed inside. The smell did finally go away and yes, I did the vinegar trick. I actually ran the microwave with the vinegar water several times. Eventually the smell goes away, but it just takes time.


  6. 6

    Try microwaving lemon slices in water. I also heard leaving coffee beans in bowls around the hose helps absorb smells. Good luck!

  7. 7

    You need a new microwave with the nifty little “popcorn” button! Cooks the different sizes perfectly at the touch of a button!

    Hope the vinegar works for you!!

  8. 8
    Jane Maynard

    well…I DO have one of those microwaves with a popcorn button. that just goes to show how ridiculous this whole thing is!

    our house just smells like we’re camping now, so it’s getting better. definitely a step up from smelling like it’s burned down. 😉

  9. 9

    I don’t think the management wants you sneaking food into the theatre. That’s prolly why it burned up. I hope you were kidding.

  10. 10

    In addition to the vinegar and coffee bean tricks…I’ve also used baking soda and charcoal. Just be a little more careful with the charcoal–ms. cate may like to do some paintings on your walls for you 🙂

  11. 11
    Flug USA

    lol, sorry. that´s just funny, although I´m very glad that nothing serious happend. Once I had a similar “accident” in my kitchen was on fire: burning fat!!!and i was the luckiest to remember not to kill the fire ith water!

  12. 12

    I don’t have any good tricks for you to use (sounds like vinegar might just be the ticket), but I have a similar story that might make you feel better. . .

    Just last week while I was making dinner, I put the oil in the frying pan and turned on the burner. While I was waiting for the burner to heat up I decided I’d go and read a few blogs (I don’t know what I was thinking). It was probably about 10 minutes before I headed back for the kitchen, and when I did, I thought to myself; Wow, did I finish making dinner? It smells like something is cooking.

    Pretty sure the kitchen was smokey, and the rubber spatula that I absent-mindedly left in the pan was completely melted. Seriously, I’m sure it was within seconds of busting into flames, and the pan was filled with an oily/plastic blue liquid.

    I’m so grateful I didn’t burn our house down. I blame it all on mom-brain.

  13. 13
    Jane Maynard

    thank you for all your stories (I’m in good company!) and advice!!! 🙂

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