What's burning?

Every time I hear that I get super paranoid. I may or may not have started a trio of small kitchen fires in my day. I almost started a fourth today.

I was having my usual breakfast for dinner meal of a cheese omelette and hash browns. I turned on the big left burner for the hash and the little right one on for the eggs.

Right after I hovered my hand over the egg pan to check if it was hot, and discovered it was not, I wondered "what's burning?" It smelled a little bit like the venison I cooked last night but just a little. I then knew it wasn't that when I looked down and saw smoke rising from under the wood framed ceramic tile hot pad.

I had turned on the back-right burner instead of the front-right burner. It's something I do.

I swatted it off of the burner with a nearby fork and leaned it up against the back panel of the stove. The grain of the wood was starting recede as it smoldered. It was probably a minute or two away from igniting.

Considering that my wife often gives me a hard time, deservedly so, for leaving the egg burner on, this could have been bad. From now on I'm cooking it all in one pan.

Andy Erickson

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