The year 1882 was in the midst of the Gilded Age, an era of prosperity from 1870 – to 1900. …
The Night Daddy Burnt the Stove
January 18, 2023
Once upon a time, daddy burnt the stove but don’t be scared because the story has a happy ending. The night daddy burnt the stove, mommy stayed with Nana Sue, her grandmother. Nana Sue had fallen and broken her hip, so family members took turns staying with her. That’s when daddy told us he had decided to cook. Me (Hi, I’m Bobby) and my little sister Becky, she’s 5, looked at him like he’d lost his mind. Daddy doesn’t cook. He never does. The only thing I’d ever seen him do that was close to cooking was setting the microwave timer.
The Night Daddy Burnt the Stove
So, daddy asked Becky and me what we wanted for dinner, and at the same time, we both said, “McDonald’s!” Dad looked at us and said, “Okie Dokie, I’m gonna fry some hamburgers!” We just stared at him as he opened the freezer, took out a package of hamburger, and googled how long it took to thaw frozen hamburger in the microwave. It’s 7 to 8 minutes a pound. Daddy set the timer to 8 minutes.
Then Daddy asked us what we wanted on our burgers. I told him lettuce, tomato, and mayo, and Becky said pickle and mustard. He asked if we wanted cheese, and we both said sure.
So, daddy grabbed a tomato from the crisper and sliced it. He only cut himself once. He piled up some lettuce and opened a jar of dill pickle slices. He also found a bag of buns and set 3 out.
At 8 minutes, the hamburger was thawed, so daddy made it into three patties. They looked pretty big to me.
After that, he sat the big iron skillet on the stove, set the burner on high, and almost filled it with vegetable oil. He winked at us and said, “I’m gonna fry these burgers up good!”
He went to the pantry and put on the apron hanging there, the one he used when he grilled outdoors that said “Daddio to the Patio.” He opened a drawer and put on his gloves.
After about five minutes, Daddy took a small piece of hamburger and dropped it in the grease. He made a show of it, acting like his gloved hand was an airplane and he was dropping a bomb into the oil. “Gotta see if this is hot enough before we drop the burgers.”
Should we Call 911?
The next thing that happened was pretty scary. When dad dropped the piece of burger into the pan, it splashed a small amount of grease out of the pan, and suddenly it was on fire. Not only the pan but the entire stovetop went up in flames. Daddy yelled for us to stand back, grabbed the fire extinguisher, and quickly put out the fire. It was scary, but we were safe.
Daddy told us it was a good safety lesson because you should never try to put out a grease fire with water. He said the water would spread the fire.
The kitchen was a mess. It smelled of burnt grease, the skillet was ruined, the stove top was black, and even the hamburger patties got seared because they were sitting on the stove.
Daddy tried to clean it up with a sponge and dish soap, but he hardly made a dent. Mommy was gonna be mad!
Mommy to the Rescue!
When mommy got home, she smelled the smoke and knew something was wrong. She went to the kitchen, and daddy told her what had happened. She hugged us all and said thank goodness none of you was hurt. That’s what’s important. That’s when Becky asked. “But what about the stove and the pan?
Mommy paused, looked at Becky and me then said, “I want to show you something Nana Sue showed me when I was about your age.”
She opened the door under the sink and pulled out a can of Bar Keepers Friend. Mommy showed us how to make a paste with water and the Bar Keepers Friend powder, coat it on the stove and pan, and then let it sit for one minute. She took the same sponge dad had used and wiped the burned mess from the stove and the pan. It was a miracle!
Mommy kissed daddy on the cheek and said, “I’m going to make you something you can put in the microwave for dinner when I return to Nana Sue’s next Thursday. Daddy smiled and said, “Thank you, my love. You’re the best.” I looked at them both and said, “No, Bar Keepers Friend is the best!”
About the Author
The author Bobby, or Robert as his mother likes to call him, is 8-years-old and in the third grade. He likes to write stories. When he grows up he wants to be a writer or an astronaut or both.