Friday, February 05, 2010

With The Taste Of A Poison Paradise

As we'd say down South, "Well shit fire to save matches." It's been an extremely busy week for me and as it turns out, it's seemingly the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes when the task list hits a feverish pitch, I find myself needing to do something I can complete and feel good about. This week, that has been oven cleaning.

I would like to state, for the record, that this week was the first time in my 38.5 years that I have ever cleaned an oven. Although I love to cook, and have baked all sorts of stuff over the years, apparently I've either a.) been really clean about it b.) had someone to clean it for me or c.) had a self-cleaning oven. But a few weeks ago when I was baking Amish Friendship Bread, the loaf runneth over and made friends with the electric element at the bottom of the stove. I will be really honest when I say I had hoped eventually it would just bake off. Which, for the most part, it did, but I suppose it's the reason you have ashes of loved ones after cremation - some of that stuff just doesn't burn. And so it goes that my stove was a crematorium for this densely-baked confection and just as fate would have it, my mom saw it over Christmas.

"Ooooh," she squeaked in her alarm voice, "Boy you need to clean this oven."

One of the great things I'm experiencing in my evolution is the ability to call a spade a spade without feeling like it needs a supporting backstory. So I just said, "Yeah, you're right."

Last night was The Night, and though I knew it was a job for Easy-Off, I won't go that route again because I did awaken super congested and a little headache-y. I baked more bread first, then did the spray down, and this morning it all wiped clean as a cucumber. (I think that's supposed to be "cool as a cucumber" but I'm utilizing my poetic license because, think about it, cucumbers are often really clean.)

In fact, now that it's clean, and before I bake again, I think I'll do something non-toxic to remove any remaining chemical residue. In this scenario I'm fairly sure it will just be a rinse with lightly diluted white vinegar. And now that I'm no longer an oven cleaning virgin, I think I might perform this little task more often. In just 20 minutes I felt like I'd achieved something significant.

I'm gonna go call mama.

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