Bake – Not Broil

Bake – Not Broil

Last Mother’s Day I was treated to the nicest thing; with one small minor exception. A teensy mistake that very nearly set the house ablaze.

This. Had I not asked one simple question.what happens when you set the oven to broil and not bake


It all came about because my 18 year-old son has hit upon the world’s greatest cookbook. I’d share the title but I can’t. While he has given me permission to reveal this little ditty he says he’d prefer me to keep the title of the cookbook secret. I gather he wants to impress his housemates and assorted pals with his newly acquired cooking skills come September. Fine. I can say though that while I’ve merely glanced at the pages it has inspired my lad to learn to cook. Hence it’s the world’s best cookbook. Ever.

This cookbook-that-shan’t-be-named has a five ingredient recipe for Osso Buco. It was the perfect thing to make for the best mother in the world me on Mother’s Day. We agreed to shop for the meat and wine (of course he had me at wine) after our splendid Mother’s Day morning of a walk along the scenic ocean seawall and the delicious lunch at my new favourite cafe.

Once we returned home at about 2:00 that afternoon things got interesting. A very important Stanley Cup playoff game was on and he had to leave the house by 4:15 to get to his hour and a half swim club coaching job. I found the situation a bit tricky with regards to dinner prep time. But then again how long would it take to throw just five things together? I gently prodded him into at least thinking about the time frame.

“Mom. No worries. I’ll do it.”

Fine. Of course he would.

By the time 4:00 rolled around and the attention was still on hockey I knew we wouldn’t be eating until quite late that night. The recipe called for a two-hour cooking time. We’d be lucky if it was ready by 8:30. But so what? It was just so kind of him to cook; I resolved to keep my mouth shut.

At 4:05 there was a flurry of activity in the kitchen. The popping of a wine cork, the unwrapping of the meat, and the clanging of pots.

“Can I use the dutch oven instead of our frying pan? I think it’s a better size.”

Of course.

“Come and see if I’ve poured enough wine in here please.”

Yup. And bonus. He’d left me enough for at least two healthy glasses. I was more than thrilled to witness the concoction being slipped into the oven by 4:20. We were now running just a few minutes late.

After quickly setting the alarm I picked up my car keys and reached for the kitchen door handle. But wait. What was that peculiar spitting noise emanating from the oven? Not to mention the unfortunate smell. After flying down the hall to shut off the alarm I zipped back into the kitchen. My chef was standing out in the backyard frowning and waving his phone at me. “We need to go now!” being the obvious inference.

I hate being late. With my mind on the time I opened the oven door. Huh. The black knob of the lid was sparking. Odd. The pot must be sitting too high. I took out the middle rack and placed the pot lower and off to the side. My son was now pounding on the back door. Time. To. Go.

Eight minutes into the drive something was niggling at me. The spitting and the decidedly dreadful smell were really odd. What caused that?

Oh dear god no.

“You set it for 350 degrees right?”

“Yup. Can you focus on your driving please? And go a bit faster? I’m gonna be late.”

I couldn’t let it go.

“On Bake right?”

“No. Broil. Bake is for cookies.”

Time absolutely stopped. Oh sweet Jesus. We had a dutch oven broiling away in a gas oven set at 350 degrees in an empty house. What was that black lid knob made of? Could it melt and somehow cause a fire? It I kept with the game plan I wouldn’t return home for a good thirty minutes. Gripping the wheel even tighter I spat out the problem. Sparing nothing. My lad is no fool. He grasped the situation immediately.

“Just drop me at the skytrain. It doesn’t matter if I’m late.”

After hurling him out the door at the nearest rapid transit station (a good five minute ride from the pool) his last words floated in through the open car window.

“Text me once you’ve made things all safe.”

I did. Once the oven was off and the windows and door were opened as wide as they could go.

As soon as the pot and the oven had recovered I tried again. At bake not broil. We sat down to dinner at 9:00.

Absolutely delicious. Well worth the wait.

Yes. Bake not broil.

Enough about me and my bake not broil. I’m curious about you. Do you take certain things for granted?  Like someone obviously knowing that Bake is for so much more than just cookies? Have you just saved your house from being set ablaze? On a pleasanter note what’s the nicest thing anybody’s ever done for you? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear.

kelly-mckenzieAbout Kelly – Kelly delights in writing about the minutiae of everyday life. She blogs at her humor blog Just TypiKel at Widowed when her two kids were mere tots, this quirk magnet is awash with material. She is beyond excited about her upcoming participation in the Listen To Your Mother Seattle production in May.        

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Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

Ten to Twenty

Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

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