An Abbott and Costello Evening

An Abbott and Costello Evening


“ Cooking Rule: If at first you don’t succeed… order Pizza!”  Unknown

“I came… I saw…I decided to order take out!”  Unknown

“Old cooks never die, they just get deranged!”  Unknown

Overcooked chicken


Friday afternoon the creativity bug bit me!  I decided to make the super delicious Chicken Pot Pie recipe that my daughter gave me.  I pulled out all the ingredients: chicken, potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, peas, celery, chard, onion, and started sautéing away.  Heck, I even rolled out a crust for the top and the bottom of the dish.  It even calls for some cream, thyme, and sherry… YUM!  I spent all afternoon throwing ingredients into the pot pie as it only takes 30 minutes to bake.  I even had leftover dough to make a sugar and cinnamon pastry for dessert.

I threw the potpie and the pastry into the oven, closed the door, and set the timer.  About ten minutes after I closed the oven door, I heard a sharp click.  Lights started to light up on the oven’s control panel and I KNEW that my oven had just automatically popped into the self-clean mode. I yelled at my husband to flip the power breaker as I scrambled to fan the smoke alarm that is now screaming at us as the steam poured out of the stove’s burners.  Since the auto-clean had not been going for long, I thought and hoped that I could easily pull my meal out of the oven before it overcooked.

Burnt food


We waited for a while, until the oven was cool then flipped the power breaker back on.  I didn’t receive any crazy messages on my panel, so I thought all was fixed… UNTIL I went to open the oven door and noticed the red glow shining through the glass door. Hmmm, what is that glow? Next, steam billowed out of the burners on top of the stove.  The smoke detector is NOW screaming at the top of it’s lungs at me.  I’m jumping up and down fanning the detector while I cussed at it.  I screamed at my husband to flip the breaker again.  But even after he finally reached the breaker in the garage, the smoke continued to stream out of the stove.  I’m yelling at my husband to pull out our floor fan as the fan on the oven is insufficient to stop the boisterous smoke detector.  One problem-my husband doesn’t know how my fan works so he can’t figure out how to turn it on. I convince him… OK, I yank my husband over to the ceiling smoke detector to fan it with a hot pad while I set up the floor fan.

burnt food3

I’m screaming orders, the smoke detector is yelling back at us, and smoke fills the house.  The house now looks like a haze-filled haunted house just waiting for a ghoul to jump out at us, and my husband and I are Abbott and Costello reincarnate as we fall over one another!

Now, keep in mind that this is the third time this oven decided on its’ own to move into self-clean when I had dinner in the oven.  Now WHAT is this oven trying to tell me?  I actually thought I was a pretty good cook! The first time the oven flipped into self-clean the power had flicked due to a wind storm, but we were eventually able to open the door and rescue my salmon, albeit a tad bit overcooked.  Then two weeks ago, I had just finished cooking a pizza and the oven went into self-clean.  Fortunately I had pulled the pizza out BEFORE it was cremated.  I did notice the next morning that the oven was much cleaner.

Friday, this time when the excitement took place it was slightly after 5:00.  I called the property manager.  The first number I called I received a recording.  The second number I called connected to a live person… as if that did me any good.  The response I received was… “Well, after all it IS Friday night after 5:00 all the appliance places will be closed.”  (I think it was more that she wanted to go home and didn’t care about my cremated dinner… still locked in the oven.)

Saturday morning, my husband went on-line to find out how to unlock the oven and it worked.  Oh MY!!  My pastry looked like a charcoal briquette.  It immediately vanished into the garbage can.  However, my pot pie is in a 9’ x 13” pan.  How do I throw all this food away?  I scraped at the crust and discovered it could be peeled off.  So the crust visited the pastry in the garbage can while we put the pot pie in the refrigerator.  Then I managed to connect with the property manager as she assured me that she called five appliance companies and that NONE of them were open… Yeah Right!

Burnt food2

Now Monday morning with an oven and stove that don’t work, I heard from an appliance company that they would have someone come out on Tuesday.  The question of the day is… Will they be able to fix the oven OR will the oven have to be replaced?  How much longer will we be without an oven and stove?  Don’t you LOVE caring property managers?  Ok, she did save the owner of the house a few dollars… but WHAT about us???




About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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19 Responses to An Abbott and Costello Evening

  1. Avatar Susan Scott says:

    Going to try again to post comment – fairly lengthy one which when I pressed post went into the atmosphere …

    Lovely and funny post Gwynn, was positively salivating not imagining that something like this could happen! Have they been round to fix? Let us know …

    • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

      Susan, I’m sorry your long post vanished into the great internet void. I hate it when that happens.

      Well, the story continues… yesterday the appliance man showed up and fortunately the oven performed beautifully for the man… the broiler and the automatic self clean automatically flicked on just by turning on the power. So the oven definitely IS a fire hazard. The power breaker is switched off again. Just a few seconds ago the property manager’s handyman came by to measure the oven. They will give the owner an estimate of the cost of a new oven and someday they might actually put in a new oven. The new property manager is rather rude so we are NOT happy campers at the moment.

      So today I will go to Costco and purchase a rotisserie chicken as it will last us a couple of days for our dinner. Then Friday we are headed to Spokane, the other side of the state, to visit my daughter and family. HOPEFULLY, by the time we return there will be a new oven installed… I HOPE, I HOPE!! Not being able to use the oven or the stove definitely IS a nuisance!

      But I’ll tell you, it was rather exciting in here with smoke alarms screaming, smoke streaming, and John and I falling on top of one another while trying make everything STOP!! What we do for fun! 😉

  2. What a day! That’s so bizarre to have an oven behaving that way. Must be some Hallowe’en gremlins!

    • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

      Ohhhhh, that explains the craziness in this house… I’m going to be the ghoul for Ghoulsbo’s Haunted House. The gremlins are practicing on me!

      What a crazy world this is! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Avatar Tina Peterson says:

    Wonderful picture of what the scene in your kitchen was like on Friday! Amazing to imagine what all you went through trying to get everything working. Good luck!

    • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

      This morning the word, “strange” inadequately describes what happened. I receive a call before 8:00 from the property manager’s handyman to say he is coming to look at the oven. So he arrived shortly after 8:30. He looks in the oven and in the drawer underneath the oven, stands up and tells me that the oven is free-standing and white. He will see what he can do after they get a bid to present to the owner.

      Come on… I told the property manager that the oven was free-standing, and if she had asked me the color I could have told her that too. The handyman was here maybe five minutes! The world is becoming STRANGER by the second! Who knows when an oven will appear.

      Thanks for reading my post, Tina! Crazy world!!! 😉

  4. Avatar Gulara says:

    Wow, Gwynn, what a day. The oven misbehaving is never a good thing. Our hob died on us a few weeks back and living on microwavable or baked dishes felt rather limiting. We have a new hob and it feels like I’ve reclaimed an important part of our lives! Love the photos accompanying the post and your sense of humour.

    • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

      Gulara, Thank you so much for stopping by to comment. The oven/stove is STILL broken. Hopefully, tomorrow (Wednesday) the replacement will arrive. Fortunately our Costco sells rotisserie chicken and then I can microwave vegetables and fix a salad. Having the oven/stove act up in such a threatening manner was extremely scary. Fortunately we had previously arranged to visit my daughter and her family, who live on the other side of Washington State from us, for a few days. Once the scare was over, I could see the humor in the situation.

  5. This is a great post, Gwynn! I laughed so hard, you are a master at humor. Thank you – we all need really good humor in our lives. I felt better immediately – so keep the posts coming! I have a great stove story, too – different from yours: my son was trying to put the glass front back on after cleaning behind it and it exploded! That was a year ago and we’re still finding bits of glass in the kitchen – it was spectacular, not to be repeated, though, and no more glass-front stoves for me. Now I just have the metal frame and hinges to stare at, so attractive.

    • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

      Rita, NOW it is funny, but I’ll tell you, it scared the living daylights out of us. If we hadn’t turned off the breaker, the house could have gone up in fire. After two weeks, the owner of the house finally managed to have a new stove put in. It has a glass top and I’m terrified of it! Plus, in order to use the thing, I HAVE to read the directions in the manual. What happened to SIMPLE???

      Thanks for stopping by and laughing with and at me! I appreciate your support!

  6. Avatar Solveig says:

    Oh oh, that does not in the slightest sound like a good thing. Maybe you should put the oven into auto clean mode every once in a while so that it won’t decide to do so on it’s own.
    Does cutting the power help? Here I have a fuse just for the oven and even one just for the washing machine, as they are big appliances.
    I hope that this won’t happen when you are cooking a turkey or something along those lines, after all thanksgiving is nearing.

    • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

      We had to go into the electric box in the garage to turn off the power breaker. A repairman even came out and could not change the situation. The stove was old and needed to be replaced. After two weeks we have a new stove. BUT THEN, MY washing machine died! Groan!

      I wish you and your family a FABULOUS Thanksgiving! Thank you for your kindness and your friendship!

      • Avatar Solveig says:

        Oh broken washing machines, what joy 🙄
        Happy thanksgiving to you too, I’ll be celebrating on Friday, I have to do my thanksgiving post…
        You are welcome! I am glad that I found you!

  7. Avatar Solveig says:

    oh I managed to find the tweet button after all 🙂

  8. Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

    I am busy trying to update my “buttons.” Plus, I need to figure out how to ReBlog my story. Do you know how?

    • Avatar Solveig says:

      you can reschedule your stories if you go into edit and then schedule a date. But reblogging is only reserved for those on the platform… I shared this one on twitter, so I hope you’ll get some more views and readers 🙂

      • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

        Evidently the only way I can “reblog” is if I’m solely built on the WordPress platform. Since I’m not, I simply added the link to Gulara’s Blog.

        I am thankful for meeting you and Gulara. Have a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. My husband and I will celebrate on Thursday and then celebrate on Friday with my husband’s son. Enjoy your day!

        • Avatar Solveig says:

          I think you might be able to use the press this button. I don’t like to reblog myself so I did an entire post to point my readers into the direction of the post on Gulara’s blog 🙂

          • Avatar Gwynn Rogers says:

            My blog is not totally based on WordPress so I inserted the link. I probably should have done as you did and recreated my story on my blog. Hmmm, I might do that!

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