Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cornflour to the rescue

You may be thinking that I am about to impart a traditional family recipe, or a stunning new one I have picked up from the Taste section of the Sunday newspaper. Sunday is, of course, the only day I am actually able to read a paper start to finish including Taste, Life and Travel oh my!

However, if you know me well, you know I'm not going to appear on Masterchef any time soon. My cooking abilities range far enough to ensure my family don't go malnourished, taste be damned. So, the cornflour in question is not part of a new dish for your repertoire. It is, however, a very handy item to have in the kitchen. Let me explain.

The Mighty Munch had her birthday party on Saturday, which was a blazing success*. All the girls had their finger and toe nails shaped and buffed and polished in an amazing array of colours, from fire red** to pastel pink, to shimmering blue. They looked fantastic. The girls felt like princesses.

With tween girls wandering around the yard, toes spread in those separator things and fingers waving in the air to dry their polish, the very audible gushes and giggles let me know we were on track for this years party. Ghostly white face masks were next in the package, the girls doing those 'trying not to laugh and crack my mask' snorts.

I suspect my 'Fo may be a burgeoning metrosexual with his keen interest in the proceedings, and were it not for his mountain man facial hair, he may well have been laying on that table for a clay mask of his own.

The singalong karaoke was a hit for the girls after their treatments, allowing the girls to let their voices notch up another couple of decibels for the neighbours the next block down to feel involved as much as our more immediate neighbours had been.

Cake was cut, presents opened, gift baskets presented and the children were sent home for their respective parents to deal with the sugar filled fillies.

Around this time, my white labeled friend showed his face again, just when I needed him most. Spirits hoisted, hehe, catch that double entendre? I began to relax and thought I might show the kids just how to karaoke like a pro.

I was belting out the tunes with gay abandon (no double entendre there, just so few opportunities to use such a kickarse phrase that I pop it in when I can). We were really getting into the swing of it, although I think the scoring may be set to child-proof, whereby only non hormonally affected voices can rate, ie if your ovaries have had a workout or your bollocks have dropped, then don't hold hope for ranking over 900. Built in ageism comes as an added extra in Disney products.

So anyway, time was ticking on, kids were hungry again, I was merrily unwinding.

I was coerced into singing just one more song, wandered back into the house to finish up dinner, when holy moly, the flames the flames. Yep, I had indeed forgotten the chips.

Bright yellow and orange flames were bouncing around so high, they were literally licking the ceiling. I haven't seen anything quite like it before.

Given the height of the flames, quick thinking mama moved the pot to the floor to give some distance from the ceiling. I wasn't ready for a full blown fire fighting experience, half blown was enough for me.

And this, my dear bloggies, is where the cornflour comes into play. The olive green container sitting on my shelf, wondering why the hell I have it if I'm never gonna use it. Mama 'Mo used the sucker last night, for an almighty purpose, so much grander than thickening the dodgey sauces that end up lumpy and not at all gourmet tasting like they promised in the recipe book.
Cornflour saved my home people. Suffocated the shit out of those flames.

Must admit that I did cause a couple of spot fires with some splashback, but the bulk of the four feet flame-age was conquered by the mighty cornflour. I disposed of the pot outdoors, flipping her over again aid in muffling the now minor flame. One small spotfire erupted on one of the directors chairs which was quickly stopped by a terry cotton towel from the laundry (go spa party).

I now have a very blatant ring of fire mark on my kitchen floor, soot covered ceilings which has only served to highlight spideys webs, a half-melted cheese grater, and a burnt smell now permeating the house.

Anyone say spring cleaning time?

* Like how I threw in the 'blazing success' - it all makes sense now doesn't it
** 'Fire red' - I'm a champion at this stuff


  1. Oh, and big props to frozen veges. They ARE good for you. I slept with a packet of frozen corn wrapped around my hand to help with some minor burns I received in my heroic house saving effort. What, so I started the fire to begin with, does that mean I don't get credit for putting it out? Whatever.
    My kids are sleeping in the tent outside tonight. I put this down to being school holidays and not their newfound mistrust in mama's ability to run the household.

  2. geez louise, what a day! never gonna forget that party... and you had the sense to move the pot to the floor, I would have FREAKED OUT and god knows how I would have handled it! all I have running through my head is Johnny Cash's ring of fire... just glad you're OK

  3. It burns, burns, burns...
    Let's just say it was a good chance to give the kids an impromptu lesson on kitchen fires. Every kid needs to know not to throw water on an oil fire at some stage.
    All's well that ends well though. Burn mark on floor does need to be deeply sanded out, but I managed to get most of the black off the ceiling. In true story form I could say if I had been a second later..., but in reality knowing the rate of fire movement and that it had just started burning the green bag I keep the extra paper towels in, I can probably give it a 5-10 second ratio of major house damage.
    The ring of fire (deep timbre voice)