"I thu-think we're about to have a guh-grease fire!"
And indeed there was, but it was a small one, a little dancing flame in the center of the gas burner that persisted, sputtering, after I turned gas off.
There had been a lone potato left over from early in the week. About medium-sized. I had eggs but no breakfast meat, so I thought I'd make home-made potato chips, pour off the grease, and scramble a couple of eggs in the same pan.
Slice a tater thin enough and you can't fit all the chips-to-be in even a 12" skillet with an eighth of an inch of olive oil sputtering in it. The potato really wanted rinsing in cold water, and I left half the chips soaking in a small bowl while I fried the first group, sizzling merrily away.
The second group was too damp -- I had tiny grease geysers! There's a price to be paid for that, in time spent scrubbing with household ammonia, but it's worth it for homemade potato chips. Got the second batch done and on paper towel in a Pyrex pie dish, and went to pour out the oil into a custard cup--
Hot olive oil has remarkable laminar flow properties, at least I think that's the term. The Coandă Effect: try to pour it and instead, it follows the surface in an unexpected manner. (This is why those old cast-iron frying pans have a pouring spout; alas, my lovely modern non-stick pans don't.) I got most of the olive oil into the cup and then noticed the spreading pool of olive oil on the top of the stove, flowing inexorably toward the recesses of the gas burners, one of which was lit. I had a 12" skillet in one hand, the pie dish was atop the other front burner grate, a teakettle lives on the back burner and the skillet's large enough that if I set it on the free back burner, it would block getting at the one that was on--
All of that went through my thoughts as quickly as a drop of hot grease melting through stryofoam. I shut off the burner and saw the sputtering, ghostly oil flame at the center, turned and grabbed several sheets of paper toweling while stuttering, "T- T- T-" and then managed to get out the sentence I opened with while frantically mopping up the oil. Got the grate fished out without burning myself or setting the paper toweling on fire, smothered the little flame and was working on the oil that had pooled around the burner when Tam showed up, looking alarmed.
The chips were good. I didn't scramble any eggs.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
1 year ago