Monday, September 29, 2008

Turkey Trot

About a week ago, while rummaging around in my basement freezer, I counted three turkeys.

I guess every year at Thanksgiving when turkeys are $5 each, I buy an extra one. So with a couple of new turkeys for this year looming on the horizon, I decided that an old turkey would have to be used this week.
The 24 pound beast sat in my fridge until Friday, when I decided that it could wait no longer, and must be cooked.

So I slid it into an oven bag, and pushed it into my oven to cook for the required 3 hours the box had specified. I got the table set - fancier than usual because, well, it's a turkey. I started a pie, peeled potatoes, and laid out some better-than-usual green salads on little salad plates, because I refer you again to the fact that it's a turkey. Also apparently I'm an overachiever. But if you were cooking a turkey tonight, what would you have with it?

See what I mean?



The timer finally rang, so I pulled that baby out of the oven, which isn't really as easy as it sounds. I have one of those double ovens that's the same size as a regular oven, but instead of the storage drawer on the bottom it's the second oven. (does that make any sense?) Anyway, my big oven is on the bottom, so the turkey pan is literally about 3 inches off the floor when it's in there baking. Anyway, I practically had to kneel down to get enough leverage on the thing to bring it out of the oven, but I wrestled it out of there and set it on the stove.

The thermometer actually laughed at me, that turkey was so not done, so back into the oven it went.

Apparently, when they tell you to tuck the bag in around the turkey, they really know what they're talking about.

I forgot to do that part.

So about 10 minutes later, I started smelling this kind of burning smell, which I attributed to something on the pan or burner that was now boiling the potatoes.

Five minutes later, I noticed some smoke coming from the oven. It occurred to me that that was not a good sign, but before I opened the oven, I ran upstairs to turn on the attic fan, so that the smoke would be sucked out before it hit our ubersensitive smoke alarm.

Naturally during the 20 seconds that took, the smoke alarms started going off.

Can I just pause here to tell you about our smoke alarms? All the alarms in the house are wired together, so if one goes off, they all go off. They are the loudest things I have ever... and then they don't go off for a good minute after the smoke is cleared.

Anyway, The Brain made it to the kitchen about the same time I did. I yelled above the din
Get the turkey out of the oven!

He grabbed the hot pads, I opened the oven, and as we were staring in amazement at the sheer amount of smoke pouring out of there, the bottom of the oven burst into flames.

Big flames!

So he went to grab the turkey, and I ran (about 3 feet) for the fire extinguisher.

And then apparently, as The Brain pulled the turkey from the inferno, the pan tipped slightly, dumping more grease out of the hole in the turkey bag and into the oven, and then the flames started coming out of the oven and licking the stove top.

For the love of all that is holy, I could NOT get the fire extinguisher out of it's holder.

I'm screaming
I can't get it! I can't do it!
And The Brain was frantically looking for a place to put the turkey down. Every single surface was covered. But it didn't stop him from running all the way around the island in the kitchen, looking desperately for a place to put that thing down, grease pouring out of the hole in the bag with every step he took.

In the meantime, the flames coming out of the oven were -and I swear by heaven and swiss cheese - they were 4 feet tall.

I finally managed to get the fire extinguisher off the wall. I aimed. I fired. Nothing happened.
At this point I'm screaming
"It won't work! It won't work! Put that thing in the sink and HELP ME!"
Remember the world's loudest smoke alarms are still screeching at full volume.

To his credit, The Brain did not just DUMP that whole pan of turkey into the sink like I would have, but quickly balanced it on the side of the sink and came to rescue me from the flames and the stupid fire extinguisher. WHICH WAS EMPTY.

The flames were still huge and getting bigger, so I went to at least close the door to the oven, but once my forward momentum was started, found myself sliding through the grease and couldn't stop.
You know how things sort of go into slow motion at critical times in your life? I was in perfect slow motion, flailing toward the fire pit as if I were on roller skates, clutching at anything that might stop me, when I felt The Brain grab the back of my my pants and in one wedgiefying movement saved me from a fiery death.

I slammed the door closed as long as I was over there, and also managed to turn off the gas to the oven.

We stood there watching the fire smother to death, and turned to survey the kitchen. There was layer of smoke at the ceiling, the floor was covered - and I mean covered - in turkey grease, but we sighed in relief as we couldn't see any signs of serious damage. Well, I sighed. I'm assuming the Brain sighed, too, but since the smoke alarms were still broadcasting the news to our neighbors, I didn't actually hear it.

That was about the time Mimi and Lizzie came moseying into the kitchen saying
Hey! Can you turn off that stupid noise?
Oh yeah. Yeah, sure girls. Is that bothering you? I'll get right on it. AS SOON AS I PUT OUT THE HOUSE FIRE AND CLEAN THE SINGED HAIR OFF MY ARMS AND SEE IF DAD STILL HAS EYEBROWS. I'll get right on that for ya.



Anyway... How was YOUR weekend?



*edited to add that we're all fine, and we're all still laughing about it!

57 comments:

Sarah said...

HAHA! That was seriously hilarious...I felt free to laugh since you were posting and obviously alive.
So...what'd you have for dinner?

Earl and Vickie said...

Yeah, since there wasn't any mention of the trip to the emergency room that was my next thought too.

Millie said...

"Singed a bit, were you?"

My heavens, what exciting dinner-making times at your house! Wow!

Now I want some turkey. :)

JustRandi said...

I'm not sure if I want to admit what we really did.

After we cleaned everything up - (and can I just tell you how shiny my wood floor is?)

We ate the outsides of the turkey. The part I was sure was really cooked. AND I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT as a general practice.

Later we carved up the whole thing and I boiled the meat in chicken broth so we could still use it.

Not what I was hoping for... but nobody died, so I guess it all worked out.

Melissa said...

Yikes!! You've just inspired me to go get a new fire extinguisher... although, as you were talking about it, I had a flash from the movie "The Santa Clause" :)

JustRandi said...

Seriously!
When we were cutting pieces off the turkey, the girls were yelling "But Denny's is an American institution!"

Too bad for them, they had to stay home cleaning turkey grease and eating questionable food.

taturner said...

That's awesome! I'm glad your house didn't burn down. Loved reading your recap of the story- it was hilarious. You've got some great writing skills!

Em-Cat said...

You should see if you could get a made-for-TV-movie made out of that story. I bet you could get rich off of it! Seriously - that was hilarious and if I didn't have a sleeping husband in the next room I would've belly-laughed. I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but I hope you're laughing now!

the MomBabe said...

So, did you eat it?

Becky said...

Let's pretend that the obligatory gosh-I'm-glad-everyone's-alright comment has already been made, so that I can tell you I laughed so hard I snorted.

And that "one wedgiefying movement" by your husband? Awesome.

Stacey said...

Wow,never a dull moment at your place!

I can't believe you were thinking about the fire and impending doom when the smoke alarms were bothering the girls! *tsk,tsk* ;)

Kimberly said...

Oh Randi! I can't even laugh because I can so picture that happening to me! I'm sorry!

Becky said...

Oh my goodness, what a story!!!! Maybe it shouldn't have been hilariously funny, seeing as how it was a fire and all, which is really quite serious... but I was dying with laughter!! Way to put such great visuals into my head. I feel like I was watching it all happen. From an "everything is funnier in hindsight" perspective.

And yeah... $5 turkeys? Awesome. Loved that, when I was living in Colorado. We managed to buy a couple one year when I was laid off, and they surely saved us from starvation during the months that we had no income. I couldn't stomach turkey for a few years after that, though.

Turkey grease was the kicker. Evil stuff was trying to slide you to a 4-foot fire, after all!!

McEwens said...

HOLY COW!! Scary! Glad it all came out ok! Maybe youll get a new oven>>???? Well, I will always make sure i tuck the bags in!

Dave said...

um, i went to a scout fundraiser while nat shopped for toddler clothes.

you win

Christy Matthews said...

THANKS for making me laugh so hard I cried! I needed that! That is so funny/terrifying!

Vern said...

So...how ARE the eyebrows? A friend of mine in high school shaved off his eyebrows one day 'cuz he was bored. I'm pretty sure he regretted it.

happy mommy said...

See, nothing cool like that ever happens to me.

Heather of the EO said...

This was the most comical thing I've read in a very long time. Thank you for making my day. Sorry that you had such a scare and a mess, but it does make for good blogging. :)

Lena said...

I was feeling guilty giggling and I read this but at least I'm not the only one right? We had homemade pizza last night. That's what we have every Sunday night. Then I don't have to work or think a ton, no one whines about dinner, and there aren't many dishes! I'm glad your house didn't burn down. Thanks for reminding me I need to get an extinguisher- can you believe I don't have one????

Catherine said...

I'm elevating myself from stalker to friend in order to say--That was hilarious! I love the "wedgiefying moment." What a great story!

The Dillon 6 said...

it's a good thing I used the facilities before I read this! I am still crying I'm laughing so hard!!! You paint a very vivid, singed picture.

And yes, if you are serving turkey, you are obligated to COMMIT to the turkey and go full-on Thanksgiving menu.

The Dillon 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mormonhermitmom said...

Holy Freakin Cow! Glad you're alright. And you boiled the rest of the turkey so as not to waste it...now that's frugality. Glad the pants held up under the wedgifying too. YIPE. So how does one figure out if the fire extinguisher works without making a big mess?

The Pollocks! said...

Oh wow! If you still need a story to contribute to that fund-raising book, you've got one now! And, hey, you could compare singed hair amounts with Jasen - he just eliminated all of his nose hairs, some eyebrows, and gave himself a nice curly (semi-signed) hair line while trying to light the grill! (yeah, it's a good idea to turn the gas on AFTER you've found the little hole in the side for the lighter.) Glad you're all okay! I think I'll go pull out one of our turkeys from the freezer now. . .

Mimi said...

you can also add to this post that the smoke alarms go off about every other day, and we stopped running to the kitchen as fast as humanly possible to see what we could do about the fire after probably week one of living in this house, so we weren't exactly aware that there was REALLY a fire. We thought maybe someone was making toast.

Amy Peterson said...

I soooo needed a GREAT laugh today! I totally love that your Hubby saved you by the back of your pants! HE HE HE- I think I might just laugh all day long!

Jessica G. said...

Oh wow, did I need that laugh today!

It's my birthday...the gallery has "misplaced" my present, my son has diarrhea, I have terrible allergies and my husband leaves on business tomorrow...so not a good day! But hey! The kitchen isn't on fire so that's something!

Jen said...

It's interesting how the best stories are the ones that were the most unpleasant to be right in the middle of!! Did you ever get to eat the turkey? I think you've inspired me to relate one of my own....:)

Heather said...

Seriously, I'm laughing and it hurts after my weekend. But thanks for the story anyway.

"Q" said...

The "turkey incident" was brutal, but very fun to read about!

Jenny said...

I am laughing so hard!!

Jill said...

I agree that you should submit this to Sue's book.
Your telling of this incident is too funny!
"wedgiefying?"
Love it!! I will need to find a way to work that word into my everyday conversation.

The eyebrows will probably grow back.

Mom said...

What a great story for your Christmas letter!! I just love it when I have something like that to put in there, like the time my son drove the car through the family room wall - not as amazing as your turkey, but still great fodder for the annual letter :) Thanks for sharing and giving us a great belly laugh!

JustRandi said...

Well, I think driving a car through the family room wall probably beats kitchen fire with no damage.

If you write that one up, let us know! I'd love to read it!

Heffalump said...

I love cheap turkeys. Only even though I get at least two and sometimes three turkeys a year they NEVER last all the way until the next year. We usually eat them over the winter and the last one in spring.
Yuo have successfully made me vow to never use the oven bags. I never have before...but now I don't think I ever will!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness. That was the most exciting thing that I have ever heard. And I thought that making bread crumbs in the oven on broil turned out bad, but this, wow, this sure beats all!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness. That was the most exciting thing that I have ever heard. And I thought that making bread crumbs in the oven on broil turned out bad, but this, wow, this sure beats all!

emily said...

oops! Sorry I am so great at posting! I have obviously got so much practice!

Help I need a user name! said...

Wow. What a great friend you are! I was frustrated from finance homework (anyone out there know how to do finance problems?), I had given up and asked the teacher for help, and I came across your story. I really needed the laugh. I'm still giggling! Because that is TOTALLY something that would happen in my house!

cornnut32 said...

holy cow...
i think i peed my pants i was laughing so freaking hard.
try leaving lemon wedges out to help with the smoke smell. been there, done that... :)

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I know it probably was a scary thing while it was happening and I should show a little more sympathy and not laugh, BUT I can't help it!!!!!!! Bwa-hahaha-ha! This is the funniest thing I've read today! Holy smokes! Never mind asking me about my weekend. Absolutely boring compared to yours!

Janell said...

Thanks for the laughter :) This definitely is one for Sue's book.

I had no idea that a turkey could actually catch on fire like that! I thought it was Hollywood fabrication.

diana said...

yikes! how scary. i'm glad it didn't leap out into your kitchen or that there was any serious damage. that's one you're not going to forget for a while =)

Yvonne said...

Oh my goodness--I'm glad you added the "we're all fine", because I can add I'M LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY!!!

(Of course, I would LOVE to pay $5 for a turkey--try about $75 ; )

kristen said...

Holy crap. That was quick thinking of the Brain to grab your pants....even if it gave you a wedgy. (Wedgifying--new word?)

Awesome story. Sorry about your house though....

Carrie said...

Oh man! I'm really glad you guys and your house are ok. We had a little kitchen fire one time when we were making fried ice cream on a gas stovetop (bad plan!). Justin was about 5 and ran back and forth screaming for my sister to come save us. It was hilarious but I think your teenagers' reaction tops it. :)

And, thanks for writing about it - it was a good laugh!

Two Princess Girls said...

You should win a Perfect Post award for this. Either that or settle for a consolation prize of a new fire extinguisher. Thanks for sharing your hilarious story!
BTW - we also have uber sensitive smoke alarms that typically send the signal that dinner is done. Funny I never, ever relate it to a potential fire. It's more of a dinner bell...

Summer said...

ROFLMBO!!!!!! I'm worried about what Thanksgiving will be like for you. Make sure you get that fire extinguisher refilled or replaced. ;)

Chell said...

Oh my goodness! I am laughing so super hard right now!!! I could see it all in my head as I was reading it and could just imagine! :)

Still laughing....

Nancy Face said...

I'm laughing my head off at your expense...literally. ;)

HAHAHA! :D

buck4055 said...

This was a hilarious story, but I just wanted to comment here because it seems to be the "in" thing to do. Our blogs get 1 or 2 comments, but this blog gets more traffic than Starbucks! Keep up the great blog. Signed, BlogResponse#52

Anonymous said...

I rest my case. This blog is the hilarious, the bomb. You really are the funny one. Gramzer

Rogers said...

Hi. My sister Becky (from NewsonNarrative blog) sent me. You have an amazing talent for story writing. I'm sure that in the moment of pure fear, you were not thinking of all the possible laughs you would get from posting this dramatic event, but can I just say: pure hysterics were had. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful, funny, and scary story.

Note to self: check fullness of fire extinguisher.

mindyluwho said...

I have tears rolling down my cheeks!..."one wedgiefying movement"--great line! Oh my goodness Randi, scary, but HILARIOUS!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I set our kitchen on fire once. Nearly burned our house down but it didn't get funny for a lot of years. You are quicker than I and tell a gloriously great story. Glad all you had was singed arm hair.

Baby J said...

haha that sounds like our house! We know dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off.