Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cooking with fire (on accident)

So week two of our sixth year homeschooling has been, shall we say, challenging. Our new curriculum is very intense and my two big kids are still unhappy we made the change. Rebecca, however, loves everything about school and cannot wait to start all her subjects and she’s really been ticking off her siblings with her school enthusiasm. To be fair, Michael’s trying to have a good attitude. Amy, well... As we say in the South, bless her heart!

Since I knew the week was a bit rough for the kids and for Sean I thought I’d make a cheesecake. All four were gone Wednesday evening so I planned to have it ready when they returned.

My cheesecake recipe calls for an oven temp of 325◦. You bake it for an hour then turn off the oven and let it sit in the hot oven for another hour. There were no problems as I baked the cake. I pulled it out of the oven and set it on a cooling rack to, well, cool. I then set the oven to 400◦ to cook my dinner.

Apparently 400◦ is just the right temperature to catch oven drippings on fire.

When the oven dinged to tell me it had reached 400◦ I pulled open the door and smoke billowed out. I don’t mean just a little. I mean a lot. A whole lot.

I turned on the exhaust fan, opened the windows and doors and waited for the smoke alarm to go off. As I fanned frantically, practically willing the smoke to go out the kitchen door I began to wonder why the alarms weren’t sounding. Honey, there was a lot of smoke in my kitchen. I could see it floating in the air around our kitchen table and on into the family room, so why wasn’t the smoke detector detecting anything?

So in addition to worrying I was burning the house down (again) I was now concerned that if this happened when I wasn’t around I’d never know we had a fire because the four smoke detectors we have on our first level apparently only alarm if flames the size of California’s wild fires take hold.

Needless to say I did not get my dinner so I had two handfuls of Milk Duds. Okay, three. Fine, four. And a diet Coke. But at least my cheesecake, baked with so much love for my hard-working family turned out well.

Until I dropped it.

It didn’t fall on the floor and I managed to catch most of it. Michael and Amy both said it was still good, if a little discombobulated.

Even though it’s only day nine of our school year I told everyone to sleep in because Mrs. Teacher here intends to. And she most certainly does not intend to use the oven for a while.

I was taking it out of the springform pan and it springed a little more quickly than I anticipated. Half the cake got shaved off by the handle on the oven.

Here's the cake with half of it on top of the other half.

And here's the masterpiece after I tried to smush the broken half back into place. Appetizing, don't you think?