Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Move That Oil!

I've been spending a lot of time turning pages in kitchen remodeling magazines lately. By a lot, I mean that I look at them every free moment I have. You know, while I'm on my throne. The throne is the only place a woman with five children, a job, and a whole house remodeling project can possibly sit uninterrupted long enough to look at a magazine. I've pretty much picked out our kitchen cabinets and counter tops, but I'm still searching. I'm waiting for a tile pattern to speak to me. Occasionally, I see a tile pattern that says "meh, could do" but I have yet to find one that says "oh yeah, you know you want me."

Fortunately, there are no slow cookers taking up precious counter top space in the photos of kitchen remodels, so I am not reminded in that way of our disaster. I suppose the clunky slow cooker is not sleek enough to feature in a picture perfect kitchen. What I do see, over and over again, in nearly every single photo in every single kitchen magazine I take to the throne, is oil. The classic bottle of oil, be it flavored, herb-infused, or plain old olive, is standing in a place of honor...right next to...the stove.

That's right. A bottle of accelerant right next to the primary heat source. It makes me INSANE.

Public Service Announcement: DO NOT place accelerants near a heat source in your home! Don't do it people! Putting your olive oil next to your cook top is like placing a can of gasoline next to a campfire. Don't do it.

Confession: I did it.

Don't we all? Who even thinks about it? To be honest, I had a lot of accelerants. There was a bottle of olive oil on the counter right next to the stove which is where the stupid crock was plugged in. When the cord to the crock shorted and began to spark and flame, it didn't take long I'm sure to reach the olive oil. No need to stop there though. Just a foot away there was also shortening, vegetable oil, sugar, and lighters. Yep, lighters. A whole little crock of them. Those big, long lighters you would use for a grill or fireplace. Probably a half dozen of them, right on top of the cabinet out of reach of little fingers.

So, a small spark led to a little flame, reached the bottle of oil, and we had an inferno.  

Kitchen cabinet nest to stove
Repeat after me folks- I will NEVER, ever place an accelerant near a heat source. No matter how amazing the photos in all of the remodeling magazines look with their trendy bottles tied with raffia, or how convenient it may be to actually have the oil within reach.

I, personally, will now store my oil, and lighters, on the other side of the kitchen for the rest of my life. If I visit your kitchen, I will move your oil to the other side of the kitchen. I might unplug your slow cooker too. 

Now, don't get me wrong. the oil did not cause the fire. The fire was happening because of a bad cord on the crock. The oil just pushed the whole thing over the top. The oil took what might have been a slow, smoldering fire, and turned it into a rapid, intense, very hot fire. It is perhaps the difference in a kitchen remodel as opposed to an eight-month-stay-in-a-rental-while-we-rebuild-the-whole-house remodel.   

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