My husband, Paul Coderre, Sr., and I would like to thank the Mattapoisett Fire Department for their prompt service on June 15 when I tried to roast a garlic bulb in the microwave oven. Note to self: stop walking away when you are cooking.
Apparently, the garlic was very dry and ignited on the dry paper towel it was resting on. Thankfully my little dog Harry alerted me that something was wrong insisting that I stop dancing to the music in the living room and get back in the kitchen. Dogs are really great.
Rounding the corner into the kitchen the billowing smoke and glow from the microwave oven was unmistakable – I had really messed up this time!
After smothering the flames, opening doors and windows, I knew I had no choice but to call the F.D. What if the fire had gotten into the wall?
It was a call I didn’t want to make because, well, my husband is a retired fire chief and has over several decades warned me repeatedly about leaving the kitchen unattended. There have been other unfortunate kitchen events. But he wasn’t home and I knew “better safe then sorry.”
I was only slightly humiliated by my own actions and the professionalism of the first responders was very generous – “That’s why we are here.”
As I waited for my husband to return home (yes, from golf) I knew I couldn’t blame this episode on burnt toast. I’d have to fess up. Then came a knock on the door after the F.D. had returned to the station. Who could this be? I didn’t recognize the young man standing there.
Nothing to fear as he said, “Hi Mrs. Coderre I’m Michael Michaud of the New Bedford Fire Department. I live down the street. I saw the fire department here, so I called your son.”
My step-son is New Bedford Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Paul Coderre, Jr. Michaud had called him to report a problem at his father’s house, then stopped to check on us. I will suffer quietly next Thanksgiving as the microwave oven incident joins other historical kitchen antics that demonstrate just how close to danger I’ve come over the years, i.e. the exploding eggs, and another microwave oven incident, the flaming cornbread.
I explained to Michaud I had simply set my microwave oven on fire, nothing to see here, move along. But then I decided if he were here when my husband pulled in the driveway things might go more smoothly for me. Bless his heart he stayed. When you have someone in your family who is a member of a fire department, you become part of a different family, the fire department family.
No harm, no foul. As I told my husband, “It was time for a new microwave oven anyway.”
By the way, my husband took it well. After all is said and roasted, I am a pretty good cook, especially if you like smoky flavors.
Again, our deepest gratitude to the Mattapoisett Fire Department. And a shout out to my neighbors Sylvia Ouimet and Barbara Belanger for checking up on me.
As for dinner tonight, we’ll be eating out.
Paul Coderre, Sr.
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