The day the floor melted

23 Mar

When it comes to cooking, I am both terrific and a disaster. The food (usually) comes out quite tasty, I can follow a recipe and occasionally, I even make up my own recipe. However, what it takes to get the food from the fridge/pantry/freezer to the table is nothing short of a James Cameron action movie. There’s fire, floods, messy splatters and sometimes, a fist fight. It’s loud and ugly, and the aftermath takes a 10 person crew to clean. And sometimes, the damage is so severe that only a home renovation can fix it.

A few years ago, I decided to embark on the challenge of pan frying salmon. My husband and I rarely eat fish that doesn’t first live in a shell, and when we do, I typically cook it in the oven or my husband will barbeque it (I am deathly afraid of the propane tank).  One night, however, I decided to be brave and follow a salmon recipe that involved pan frying the fish. Seems simple, right? Not for me.

I carefully laid out all the ingredients and prepared our nonstick pan according to the directions in the recipe. I did whatever it was I needed to do to the salmon and put it in the pan. Being a fish cooking novice, I was not sure how long the fish needed on each side, but I set the timer according the directions and went about preparing the rest of the meal. This was not a good idea.

The next thing I knew, the entire pan was smoking, the fish was turning black and a salmony haze had infiltrated my house. I quickly grabbed the pan to put it outside (the vent on the range hood was not strong enough) and let the smoke dissipate outside rather than in my house. It was in this moment I made the absolute dumbest decision in the history of cooking.

You see, we have a wood deck off of our kitchen. In my sheer panic of wanting to get this pan outside I had an internal dialogue that went like this:

Me #1: The pan needs to go outside. Now.

Me #2: But the deck is wood. The pan is hot. It will catch on fire.

Me#1: Good point. Put it on the floor by the door instead. The floor won’t catch fire.

You see, what Me #1 and Me #2 failed to discuss was the fact that my kitchen floor was linoleum. Linoleum melts when heat is applied. And that is exactly what happened to my kitchen floor. It melted. 

The conversation between my husband and I is probably exactly what you imagine it would be. In case you’re curious though, here’s how it went:

Husband (upon seeing me on my hands and knees, with the frying pan in my hand): What are you doing?

Me: I didn’t want to set fire to the deck.

Husband: The deck is designed to take that kind of heat. We keep the grill on there don’t we?

Me: But not the part that we cook on. I thought this was better.

Husband: Take the pan off the floor!!!!

Me: Oh. Oh, look! The floor melted.

Husband (yelling): What did you think would happen?

Me: I thought this was a better idea. I though the deck would catch fire. I didn’t think it would melt.

Husband leaves conversation, seething with anger and shaking his head in utter amusement, disbelief and horror.

I, too, was amazed when this happened because I honestly and truly did not think the floor would melt. But it did.  And apparently, that incident made me pretty stupid because what I also wasn’t expecting was the dog deciding this particular hole would be a spectacular digging project. Our dog made a tiny, small hole (well, in my head, it was tiny) into a giant gopher hole in the middle of our kitchen. And he was so proud of his project that it was hard to be mad at him (that, and he’s just so darn cute. I wish my husband thought the same after I told him what I had done).

Although the hole is covered up right now with peel and stick tile (note: don’t ever use this junk product. It’s horrible), the melted floor still lurks beneath, calling to us to be fixed. We keep avoiding it, hoping the floor will regenerate.  It hasn’t.

I haven’t pan-fried fish since that day. I can’t say that I ever will. I’ll just stick with what I know: broiling, baking and barbecuing. Everyone is safer that way.


One Response to “The day the floor melted”

  1. Phoenix April 5, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Too funny! That sounds like something I would do. 🙂

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