Thursday, November 6, 2008

Getting prepared in more ways than one

When my husband carved the pumpkins, I was not at home to salvage the seeds, so roasting them will have to come when we cut open our next pumpkin. However, I saw this great story entitled, "How to Start a House Fire" , over at Ramblings and Randomness about a little adventure that LJ had when cooking their pumpkin seeds. She has very kindly allowed me to reprint it here:

1. Carve a pumpkin.
2. Wash and drain the pumpkin seeds.
3. Spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet.
4. Salt/pepper the seeds.
5. Stick the cookie sheet in the oven, set the timer for 15 minutes, set the heat on Broil, and walk away.
6. Return after 15 minutes. Smell smoke.
7. Open the oven. Briefly admire the flames licking the stove top. Close the oven.
8. Look for baking powder. (You won't find any handy.)
9. Try to sound nonchalant as you yell, "Honey?" into the other room. "I accidentally started a fire in the oven."
10. Admire how fast your husband runs from the bedroom into the kitchen. When he appears confused as to where the fire is, exactly, remind him that you shut it up in the oven (so it wouldn't get out).
11. Scurry to find your husband some baking powder, but come back 45 seconds later to see that he put another cookie sheet on top of the burning inferno and smothered it.
12. Suddenly recall all your kitchen fire training, at your husband's reminding. Feel sheepish.
13. Watch your husband guffaw until he's wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.
14. Join in the laugh. At least the house got a good airing.

I love this story for a multitude of reasons:

1. It's well-written.
2. These people are making good use of their produce.
3. It reminds everyone about kitchen safety. Personally, I have a fire extinguisher, but a) I don't know how old it is, and b)having never used it, I should really look at it and figure it out before I need to. Panic mode is not my best time for learning new concepts.
4. I think that the ultimate solution to put out the fire was brilliant--wouldn't have thought about it myself, but I would now, if necessary.
5. Finding humor in a situation sure beats crying about it.

So, in terms of being prepared in more ways than one, I guess my conclusion is that you need to prepare to use what you have in the best ways possible, but also be prepared for emergencies that arise when something goes wrong. Do you know how to take care of emergency situations in the kitchen? Just something to think about.

Special thanks to LJ and her husband, Jimmy, for sharing their story. You will notice that they had different options for dealing with an emergency situation, and when one didn't work out, the other did. The more you plan and prepare ahead, the more options you have, and I, for one, love having choices.... :)


Anonymous said...

Great story and may I suggest that with wood heat you get that Extinguisher checked and make sure you know how to use it. I would give some safety hints but for fear of setting you up for a million comments I won't. Let me just say that cast iron and water do not mix well.

Carl In wisconsin

Ron said...

That is a great story, Marie. We've had quite a few of those around here (like when I had to go to town a couple of days ago to wiggle a loose battery cable when Mel found herself stranded at the local feed store :)). Having a pocket full of ways to deal with things when they go wrong sure is valuable. I love having choices too!

Hope you get to enjoy some pumpkin seeds! You reminded me that I have a couple pumpkins on a shelf... and I sure would like some roasted seeds... hmmm... :)


Marie said...

Carl--Thanks for the reminder that I need another fire extinguisher--the one I have is a small kitchen one, and with the wood stove, I do think it would be wise to have a larger one closer to our new heat source. I have seen a video in an e-mail about water being thrown on a fire, and the results were not good. I'd like to find that one again, but it's always good to be reminded, because water could be the first thing to come to mind in an emergency--thanks for your comment!

Ron--I agree that it's great to always have a "plan b" when possible, and I have found quite a few ideas on blogs, including on yours. Knowledge can be a very valuable thing.... :)
I'm planning to have some pumpkin seeds the next time we cut up a pumpkin. It's been a while, but as I recall, they're quite tasty--thanks for your comment!

The Scavenger said...

Marie, good story. I think the best part of having a plan for anything is to get everyone involved. Share all ideas no matter how crazy they may sound at the time. Then you can take time to discuss them and how well the plan can be carried out and by whom. Some in the household my be better at one thing than another, which is fine. Brain storming is a wonderful way to get new ideas for any plan.


Marie said...

Chris--When you apply it more generally like that, you make me think of other plans that we need to make in our family, in addition to fire emergencies. Thanks for the insight! It gives me more to do (in a good way...:).

LJ said...

Thanks for the compliment! And Jimmy and I are a little more savvy now than usual.

Marie said...

LJ--Thank you again for the use of the story---it taught me something and made me think, and I wasn't the only one who enjoyed it. A lesson and entertainment? Gotta love that... :) Thanks for your comment!