Around the first of the year, on a Sunday morning, my oldest baby asked me for waffles. I said yes if he would plug the waffle iron in for me while I stirred up the batter. He did, and I started stirring, and about 10 minutes later my kitchen was flooded, defiled is actually a better term, with the most horrible smell that I think I have probably ever smelled in my life, and I am not exaggerating. I quickly determined that this smell was coming from the now hot waffle iron. I cannot really describe the smell, but let me tell you what went through my mind as possible scenarios that could have produced this smell:
1)A mouse had somehow gotten in there, given birth, and then been killed while out searching for food, leaving poor baby mice to starve and then be slowly cooked in the waffle iron by an unwitting, unobservant, and unsuspecting innocent child.
This was my first thought. I lacked the courage to open the lid yet, but for some reason I had the brilliant thought that I should try to clean it. I know that was not a winning thought. At least I know it now. This is why hindsight is so important. It's important to rehearse what you may think are "crazy" scenarios in your head, all the time--people---so that you will be better prepared in emergencies such as this. Let's face it, we NEVER see these things coming!
My poor oldest baby was standing right beside me, possibly with the idea that he could help in some way, poor dear, when I, in my panic-induced frenzy, opened that waffle iron and plunged it into running water. This assured that the horrible smell moved more quickly through my entire house, and it was January, and we couldn't open any windows. We were now rocking the "steamy horrible smell". So we opened the doors and started fans because there was no way on earth any human being should be asked to take that ......concoction into their lungs, let alone past their olfactory glands. I mean it was a smell like rotten meat, or death. It was extremely pervasive and we could not breathe without choking and gagging.
When I opened it up, it was not poor starved abandoned baby mice. Which led me to the second scenario:
2) A piece of plastic casing from sausage that somehow got closed into the waffle iron by an unwitting, unobservant and unsuspecting innocent child. Or adult, our clean up routine is above all things FAST, very FAST. Plus it involves males helping. I hope I don't have explain what that means, because it is a blog post all to itself. At any rate, it wasn't just a rotten meat/death smell, it had the added bouquet of burning plastic mixed into it.
After throwing that waffle iron into the trash, opening the doors and running the fan, we were still having little relief from the horrible smell. I went to the Mecca, aka Wal Mart, for some kind of solution.
This is why I will always remember the exact place I was when I discovered them.
This is where I found Paula Deen candles.
They are bit more expensive (not bad), but I was willing to pay a little more for a product I could rely on, you know? I had no idea that she even did candles, but I knew she was a good cook, and I was willing to put my money on Paula for help with this problem. Also, I needed to trust and believe that somehow this problem would go away, and who is better to comfort you in this condition than a Southern lady who cooks? My faith was well placed. Not only do her candles smell like you have food cooking in your house, they have the cutest little recipe's printed on a convenient removable tag so that you can actually make whatever your candle smells like. Is that a great idea or what?
Do you have any idea how many family members will be thrilled to find out that what they are smelling is not just a good front, but an actual dish to be eaten? I think you probably do, if you live with any family members. How many times have I had a male walk into my house and hopefully ask "what smells so good?", only to have their hopes dashed when I tell them it's a candle. Many, many times.
Well, those days are over. Or at least they can be, if I follow through and make the dish. Which, knowing me I probably will unless these recipe's involve a lot of ingredients I do not have on hand, and Paula is not really that kind of girl, so the odds are good.
I should also mention that I bought another waffle iron. My old one was at least 20 years old. I had no idea how advanced the world of waffle irons had gotten over the past couple of decades. Let me just say that they are reasonably priced (compared to the price of say, gas, or milk, you get the picture) and work very well and very quickly.
I guess the moral of this story is mainly to always check before you close the waffle iron, but if you haven't tried the Paula Deen candles you won't be disappointed.
Here's to preventing horrible smells whenever physically possible, and purging them when necessary. And Paula Deen! She has no idea who I am or that she is a hero in my book, but she is, she is. She is a lady you can trust.