Monday, November 22, 2010
What would Delia do?
Tonight, I thought I would attempt (and I use the word in the loosest of terms) to make some Yorkshire Pudding. Auntie Bessie has, to my knowledge, not ventured as far as the American border, but partakers of my efforts are not familiar with the battered delight and, therefore, assume that what is put on their plate is, indeed, traditional, despite my (weak) protests to the contrary.
The beef was in the oven as were the potatoes, the batter was mixed and the oil was heating. I opened the oven and the liquid was bubbling, ready to take the thick white paste and hopefully transform into fluffy little souffle like puffs. Gently, the mixture was ladled into the tins and the oven door was closed. I had made my dough and was in the process of 'punching down' and adding the japenos, when I noticed an inordinate amount of steam emitting from my oven. I turned on the internal light and saw that smoke was filling the oven as the fat had spilled over into the bottom tray.
Having lived for half a century there are certain things that one learns to avoid accidents in the home. Never pour water on a burning chip pan, but cover it with a damp cloth or lid. Always keep handles away from the heat. Never open an oven when smoke is pouring out of the vents as oxygen feeds a fire. It was the latter that seemed to slip my mind when I reached for the oven door. As soon as the door opened, the flames started to lick around the inside of the oven. Of course, the sensible thing to do would be to close the door, but all my training kicked in and intermingled as I looked for a damp cloth to place over the flames, as if all my cloths are damp for this very occasion. As I screamed to Samantha to 'get Dana', logic kicked in and I shut the door and turned off the oven. Smoke filled the downstairs and we opened all the doors to try and disperse the fog. Dana plugged in a fan and was wafting a towel to help clear the mist, stopping only to look at me with utter dismay when I suggested he was 'creating dust', and I had only just washed all my knick knacks on my bakers stand. Ever the paranoid housewife! It was at this point that I thought, 'what would Delia do?'