Monday, December 16, 2013

No cookies for Christmas


An oven, it turns out, is a bad place to hide a plastic container full of cookies from big counter-surfing dogs.

Maria and a neighbor boy made a huge batch of Christmas cookies last week while schools were closed for ice and snow. It was clear that they could not be left out on waxed paper on the kitchen counters pending icing because Liese and Jack are tall enough to reach stuff on the counters.

So, as an interim measure, Maria put them into a plastic Ziploc container and a Pyrex baking dish and stashed them in the oven.

Fast-forward a few days when Maria was preparing to cook something in the over and set it to 350 degrees to pre-heat. The next thing I knew, she was shouting about a fire in the oven and the house was filling up with nasty smelling smoke from the burning plastic.

oven02The melted plastic fused to the oven rack and dribbled down onto the oven floor. We left it in place for a few days while we busied ourselves with other chores.

I tackled the problem yesterday morning. We dumped the contaminated cookies into the trash and pulled both racks from the oven.

I got out the owner’s manual and determined there are three self-cleaning cycles – 2, 3, and 4 hours. I set it for four hours and minutes later the residual plastic on the oven bottom burst into flames. The oven was blowing pungent smoke, so I turned on the exhaust fan above the range and opened a couple of windows before turning to the task of chipping the melted plastic from the bottom oven rack.

I got almost all of it, except for a little residue, so we put the racks back into the oven this morning and ran a 2-hour self-cleaning cycle to get rid of whatever plastic remained.

Now, I can get to work on replacing the screen on Maria’s iPhone that Jack chewed and broke the other night.

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