I've never been much of a cook. My efforts in that realm have been known to require the presence of the local fire department. The main problem is that I tend to forget that I'm cooking. I have ruined many pots and pans by leaving them on the stove for hours, while forgotten food cooks to a crisp, until the pots eventually explode. Or worse. I realize that a crock pot would be a reasonable option for someone like me, except that I don't like anything that would come out of a crock pot. Not that my scalded, charred ruins are exactly appetizing......
Considering my history, I should have known better than to conduct an experiment on my cane which involved a pot of boiling water. But I didn't associate reedmaking with cooking. Not until today.
I decided this morning that I wanted to make 2 blanks while watching Sunday morning political analysis on TV, but I hadn't been soaking any cane. (Normally I soak the cane for a few hours.) Remembering that some bassoonists boil their cane to prepare it for reedmaking, I decided to quickly boil a couple of sticks of cane, for just a minute or so. (People who really do know how to cook would call that "parboiling.") So I poured water into a pot with 2 sticks of cane and turned on the burner, full blast, of course.
Then I did what I always do when there's a pot cooking on the stove; I went into another room, became distracted, and forgot all about it.
A couple of hours later I became aware of an acrid odor similar to what I usually smell when I cook. But I was fairly certain that I wasn't cooking, so I began checking all over the house, trying to identify the source of the increasingly noxious fumes.
I reached the kitchen to find the pot in flames. I have become rather adept at extinguishing fires; as I doused today's fire, I realized that it was my now unrecognizable cane which had been ablaze. I watched the cane smolder, recognizing this as a sight I had not beheld before. My main regret is that upon encountering the blaze, I had lacked the presence of mind to grab my camera to memorialize the sight of cane in flames. For the future, I vow to consider consider photo ops prior to extinguishing any fires.
At any rate, there won't be any reedmaking going on here today. Maybe I'll cook something (other than cane, that is).
Sunday Evening Music - Henry Purcell: Rejoice in the Lord Always Sidney Sussex College; David Skinner, Director
7 hours ago