Melt Down

Ane Mulligan was in for quite a surprise when her mum-in-law visited~~~

Many years ago, in 1972 or thereabout, the hubs was injured in an accident at work. He was home and my mother-in-law came over to our tiny apartment to care for him. I was at work.

Now my British mother-in-law is a sweetheart and we’re the best of friends, but she does tend to either rearrange things or put ours where she would at her home. Our apartment had been built in 1913 and was a minuscule 1 bedroom. The kitchen, besides being tiny, was ancient. The stove was so old, if I wanted to bake anything, I had it turn it on for an hour to get it up to temperature prior putting anything in it.

So, Mum was over for the day, caring for her son and helping me out with some cleaning (I LOVED that). She made him a lovely lunch of homemade fish and chips, using my new chip fry-basket, cleaned the kitchen afterwards, and then put things away. She was gone by the time I returned.

As per my usual routine, I arrived home, headed straight for the kitchen and turned on the oven to 450 degrees, then I went to greet the hubs and change my clothes. About 20 minutes later, we smelled this awful odor coming from the kitchen.

“What did you do in there?” the hubs asked.

“Nothing. All I did was turn on the oven.”

Ane plasticmelt1I went to check. As I pulled open the oven door, a cloud of smoke poured out and on the bottom of the oven lay a pool of turquoise plastic. Yep. The handle of my new fry basket. Mum decided to store it in my oven instead of hang it on the wall. I should have noticed the empty hook when I came home.

We’ve laughed about that for years, but even though my own mother never stored anything in her oven, and I never stored anything in my oven, to this day I check the oven before turning it on.


Ane and friendAne Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She’s a three-time Genesis finalist, a humor columnist for the ACFW Journal, and a multi-published playwright. Her debut book, Chapel Springs Revival, is due out in 2014. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband and two very large dogs.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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15 Responses to Melt Down

  1. LOL, Ane has seen my small condo. Not as tiny as what she describes but the kitchen was not designed by a cook. I’ve improvised by my own devices to create more storage space, but it’s still not great. I DO use my oven to store a stack of cookie sheets and pots and pans.

    Ane spent a couple days with me before the ACFW conference last September. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t cook anything while she was there, and ate out instead. If she’d turned on my oven there may have been the smell of several pan handles that can only withstand lower oven temps :-). I used to keep a note on the oven control to clear out oven before turning it on. It fell off a long while ago, but since I’m the only one who lives here I never replaced it. 🙂


  2. I laughed at the description of her apartment. My mom and dad had one like that. My dad described it as being so small you’d get hair in your teeth if you cussed at the cat. He also commented that to turn around he had to go out and come back in. My late husband’s mother (whom I still call my mother-in-law), keeps bread in her oven. I was very glad she mentioned it. 🙂


  3. cuffesisters says:

    I grew up with electric appliances, but my first apartment had a gas stove. My husband put his damp sneakers in the oven to dry them out (I was appalled, but being a newlywed, kept quiet). Of course I didn’t think to check the oven when I went to cook something several days later and the place was filled with the smell of burned rubber and old sneakers. He never did it again. 🙂


  4. Cris (Crystal Ortmann) says:

    Very entertaining, but also annoying thinking of M-I-L rearranging everything.


  5. Linda Yezak says:

    Ane, thanks for joining us. So glad nothing else has melted in your oven!


  6. Paula Mowery says:

    Ane, I know, right! Linda hosted me not too long ago. I admitted to cooking the oven direction manual as I was trying to preheat the oven. How was I to know that as old as the oven was the landlord would even still have the manual? Something like that does make you check the oven before turning it on. LOL


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