Reading the smoke signals.


If you popped into my house 
for a little visit today,
you might wonder what the Hinckleys 
were up to over the weekend . . .


It smells EXACTLY like we had a whole troop of cub scouts 
practicing building campfires.

In the living room.

The towel I used for my shower this morning?  

Smelled like I wrapped myself in it and sat around a bonfire on the beach singing songs 
until 10 minutes before I had to use it to dry off from my shower . . .

(and my shower was all the way UPSTAIRS)!

A result of my own stupidity, of course.

When I attempted to make Aunt Lillie's scalloped potatoes for Sunday dinner, I should have paid attention to the part that said "put a cookie sheet under the casserole" before putting it in the oven.  Instead I surveyed the situation and decided it wasn't necessary.  WRONG.

Then I got busy doing a Jillian Michaels workout and couldn't be bothered to stop and figure out why it smelled like the house was on fire. 

Probably not the only advice of Aunt Lillie's 
that I should have heeded but didn't.

Besides that, the potatoes were a gluey, sticky gray mess.  I made the recipe many times as a young bride, but hadn't bothered with them for about 25 years.  Then I got a hankering yesterday when we stuck a good old-fashioned roast in the oven.  I thought I made them the same way I used to, but ICK.

And with the smoke smell on top of it?  DOUBLE ICK.

Now we have TRIPLE ICK, because I went to the store to get some kind of air freshener so I could stand to live here and couldn't find anything that was unscented.  So I chose Febreze "Linen & Sky."  Cooper slunk from room to room giving me a death-glare as I followed him spewing the sickeningly sweet solution.

I don't know what "Linen & Sky" smells like.  It seems like linen would smell like fabric of some kind (which I should like) -- and sky . . . I have no idea whatsoever, but I don't think sky smells like this.

Now the house smells a little like Aunt Lillie got  too close to the campfire while wearing a whole bottle of exceptionally flowery old-lady perfume and unwittingly participated in a burnt-flower chemistry experiment of some sort . . .

Or like someone is smoking surreptitiously in the next stall in a public restroom that uses a REALLY-UNFORTUNATE-SMELLING deodorizer.

I think you should wait a day or two 
before coming to visit.

I'll let you know when it's safe.  And I'll even bake you something.

But not those potatoes.  It may be 25 years before I make those again, and of course in 25 years I will have forgotten that I need to do the cookie sheet thing, and then I'll survey the situation and decide I'm smarter than Aunt Lillie and pop the casserole in the oven . . . . but surely I won't be doing a Jillian Michaels workout in 25 years, so I'll smell the problem immediately and fix it before it becomes critical . . . right?





luanne said...

You have my sympathy. If you're brave, you could try running a self-cleaning cycle if your oven has one... but a few months ago when I did that, the food spillage in the bottom of the oven caught fire (yes, I'm paranoid enough about this process to stay in the kitchen & watch) and then the digital oven controls went wacko from overheating. Luckily I was still able to shut the oven off, but the house stunk for days!

Allie said...

Egads - that smell does linger, doesn't it? Turn off the heat and open all the windows, for an hour if you can stand it. For bad smells, I simmer orange peels, cinnamon, and cloves in water on the stove...but don't let it simmer dry, lol!

Michele said...

You're so funny! I kind of wanted the recipe, but I'm not so sure now. Hope your home gets back to normal smell soon! I burnt the corned beef and cabbage St. Patrick's day, so I can relate to "interesting" odors.

the hinckleys said...

this would never happen in my house as i am sure that my super sensitive fire alarm that goes off every time the door is opened when the oven is over 400 would go beserk until i came running (that and the fact that i don't own a jillian michaels dvd). my kids are already experts at running when they hear the alarm and opening and closing the basement door that is below alarm. i guess i should count my blessings.

Leenie said...

So sorry for the smelly disaster! Been there done that, just in other awful ways. Burned smell just seems to instill itself into everything and live there for days no weeks. At least you won't have to quit smoking to make it go away.

susan m hinckley said...

Maybe I should take up smoking so the smell won't bother me anymore . . .

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