Monday, October 22, 2012


The other day, my husband had to go out of town. Things always happen when a husband goes out of town. It used to be that all four kids would get sick,  or someone would break a bone, etc. But they’re older now. So it’s different.

Friday night, I discovered that what I thought I had in the freezer isn’t what I had in the freezer. So I decided to grill hamburgers, and I sent oldest son Luke to the store for buns and chips (we never have chips—too expensive for empty calories), so this was a treat. My thought was I’ll grill while he goes to the store and everything will be ready at the same time.

It was working fine, until I got a phone call. My husband called, he was on his way to NC and his directions weren’t good. He wanted me to pull up Google maps and get him back on track. No big deal.

So I asked Ariel to grill the burgers. She said, “Uh, I’ve never grilled anything before.” I was amazed—I guess I make the boys BBQ. At any rate, I said, “No big deal, just watch it and flip the burgers when they get brown.” She gave me a suspicious look. Which I ignored.

Google provided the proper maps, eventually. Then Ariel came in the house.

Ar: I need you!

Me: Dad needs me more.

Ar: The BBQ is on fire.

Me to husband: Go north and you’ll run into the highway you need, though there might not be an entrance.

Ar: The BBQ is on FIRE!

Me: sighing, “Close the lid and turn off the gas.”

Me to husband: When you find the highway, there’s road that runs parallel, so if there no on-ramp—

Ar: I already closed the lid, and flames are leaping out the sides.

Me to husband: Apparently, we have a disaster in progress. You’re on your own.

Husband: Bye.

I follow Ariel to the BBQ. The lid is closed, but the BBQ is surrounded by an orange haze. The thermometer on the lid reads 8,000 degrees (okay, more like over 800+—our BBQ doesn’t measure anything over 800). So, I get the hose and turn it on.

Ar: ACK! You can’t put water on a grease fire.

Me: (The following thought process occurred in about one half of a second.) Hmm. I know you can’t put water on a chemical fire. But I think water’s dangerous with grease, but the fire is sort of contained so it might be safe. And I don’t want to open the lid to douse it with flour because the flames might burn my arm. The deciding factor…I absolutely do not want to clean five pounds of flour out of my BBQ.

I squirt water into the side of the BBQ, and the orange haze disappears. Then, I turn off the hose, open the BBQ, and removed the “fully cooked” burgers. They are charred, but edible. When Luke returns, I serve dinner. I just don’t explain manner of grilling—inferno cooking. And no, they didn’t taste wet—“8,000 degrees” vaporizes water pretty quickly. 


  1. "Inferno cooking" LOL! You might have a new cookbook waiting to be written. Grilling for pyromaniacs. :-D

  2. Hey, she was just making the burgers well done, is all. No E.Coli in those hockey pucks!

  3. Sounds like they cooked quickly though. Great story.

  4. I have no luck cooking meat--indoors or out. Mine comes out overcooked every time.

  5. That must have been a dramatic meal!

  6. Note from the chemist: there's nothing wrong with putting water on a grease fire. It just might not be as effective as water would normally be. However, putting water on, say, a magnesium fire. . . RUN LIKE THE DICKENS!!!