It could have been SO much worse.

I got home first yesterday and immediatly upon stepping inside I knew something had burned or was burning.  I ran to the coal stove, sure that the sap we left on there during the day had boiled down to nothing.  The pot on the stove was nearly 3/4 full. 

Without pause, I convinced myself that a fire had started in the chimney.  I took note that the thermometer on the stove was reading at 700-degrees (normal) and the thermometer on the stove pipe was reading about 350-degrees (again, normal).  Clearly if there had been a fire in the chimney the stovepipe would have been a whole lot higher.

I was confused.  Where was the smell coming from.  It was not the smell of burning wood or brush, so I knew this was not something to blame on the neighbors.  This was the distinct smell of something being cooked to a crisp.  As I pondered and searched, I headed back to the kitchen.  And there it was.

The stove was on.  There was a pot on the stove.  The same pot that Wade had used the night before to boil the entirety of our maple syrup pull for 2009.  Weeks of work – although not strenuous, but definitely time consuming.  Gallons upon gallons of sap have been boiling nearly constantly for six weeks leaving us with about 10 qts of actual syrup.  Syrup that had been in that pot.  Which was now on the stove. On high.  All day. 

I tended to that first – removing the pot and taking it and its contents outside to finishing smoking out the neighborhood. 

this is what the contents looked like.

Windows open, I begin to think through what the remainder of the evening is going to be like.  I can’t possibly hide the fact that ALL the syrup is gone.  And I REALLY can’t hind the horrific smell in the house. 

So naturally, I start baking.  Maybe I can tell Wade that I burned a cake.  And when he asks where the syrup is I will say….  Ok, that plan won’t work.

For the next 90 minutes I looked out my kitchen window every 4 seconds in anticipation of him coming home.  He’d walk in and know immediatly that he had left the syrup boiling all day. 

And then his truck pulled in.  I cringed in anticipation. 

Then he came in the kitchen and I was ready to say I burned the cake.  But instead I said calmly (in response to his wrinkled nose – eww…bad smell face), “you may have left the syrup on all day.”  And he was ok. 

Then he paused and said, “oh, just what was in the pot?  That was just what was left on the coal stove last night.  The rest is in the big pot outside.” 

Crisis averted.  House still standing.  Everything smells terrible, but it was not nearly as dramatic and awful as it could have been. 

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~ by zuzu on March 26, 2009.

3 Responses to “It could have been SO much worse.”

  1. Wow, that’s an O. Henry kind of story, with you trying to cover up Wade’s gaffe by burning a cake, and then finding out you still have most of it. Kind of sweet, really.

  2. That could have been such a disaster! Good your home didn’t burn as well!

  3. Whew! I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t get any homemade syrup on my pancakes at your house!

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