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Exploding Kitchens!

This was put together from a couple of FB entries...

A couple of weeks back, ravenrigan mad some lovely elderflower cordial.  She TOLD me to keep it in the fridge.  Unfortunately, yesterday one of us let it loose on the work surface.  And the last couple of days have been lovely and warm...

Today my kitchen exploded!

Actually, it wasn't THAT bad, but bad enough... The clamp top bottle of elderflower cordial was left out on the work surface in the kitchen, along with a load of glasses awaiting hand cranked washing up. It has exploded. My kitchen was covered in wonderful smelling STICKY shards of glass. Oh, joy.

I put shoes on and collected the dustpan and brush, and sent the blokes out: Himself took t'Strapping Lad(TM) to an airsoft meeting. He expressed guilt at leaving me alone to clean up the mess, but there isn't room in my narrow kitchen for two people to fight broken glass and sticky.   I got started on the mess. By the time I was done, my whole kitchen was the cleanest and tidiest kitchen in the whole history of kitchens!

Several articles of Nesta's clothing were hanging in the doorway. I had to fling some in the wash!  Lukily, only one gown was caught by flying glass splinters and two items got sticky on them.  The rest were shielded by the tea and hand towels and Nesta's rain cape (which just wiped clean!

A number of crystal water glasses no longer exist as whole items...


Some observations...

  • Best part of a pint of sticky syrupy liquid and a pound and a half of glass shards get themselves in some odd places... Bits I have cleaned include:

  • The main kitchen work surface: including UNDER both the food processor and the microwave. I also had to wash the pizza stone.

  • The windowsill behind the microwave...

  • The kitchen cupboard doors: including down the INSIDES as well as the outsides and the top and bottom edges... Same for the drawers.

  • The floor. Including bits of both the living room and dining room floors! Himself discovered glass under the rolly drawers in the archway to the dining room! I found some both on and behind the bins. There was even some down behind the kitchen door, which was opened right back against the glory hole door, but right opposite Work Surface Zero.

  • The bins. All three needed a good wipe down.

  • Walls and doors! The exposed side of the kitchen door and doorframe, the wall behind the bins, skirting board, and door handles. Ikk! Hate sticky doorhandles!

I did all the hand cranked washing up. Because slivers of glass I couldn't see kept getting in it off the stuff, I got through three sinkfuls of washing up water, plus another two of soapy water for washing doors, walls, and surfaces, and a washing up bowl of floor cleaning water...

Casualties include:

  • The nice bottle that exploded.

  • Two crystal beer/water goblets

  • A pen pot that fell to bits when I moved it!

  • 1 bread basket impregnated with sticky slivers of glass!

  • The cheapo dustpan and brush: too sticky and glassy to wash!

  • One cotton mop cloth that wasn't man enough for the sticky floor!

  • One sponge squeegy mop head that did a great job of cleaning up the sticky and attracted a lot of tiny slivers and speckles of glass: a worthy sacrifice!

I also used up two complete rolls of kitchen paper, finished the bottle of sugar soap, and so far have failed miserably to cut myself!

Things that have either gone in the was or are about to go in the wash:

  • Three tea towels

  • One hand towel

  • Three pairs of oven gloves

  • One oven cloth

  • Two cooks aprons

  • Nesta's brown frock

  • The dish cloth!

  • My PJ's! (No point in getting dressed BEFORE cleaning up this mess!

Shopping list to include one replacement mop head, one large bottle of sugar soap, one long-handled dustpan and brush set.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
The head of the family of a school friend of a school friend of mine made homemade root beer for his family. The stuff has to ferment, and it has to age.
I was told that from time to time, the sound of an exploding bottle or carboy, stored in the basement, could be heard from at least the ground story.

Same clean up situation, too: shards and slivers of glass, and plenty of aromatic and sticky liquid...everywhere.
Jun. 30th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
I've known ginger beer to do the same thing. A friend of my dad's made whole lot and bottled it, and left it in the garage when he went away on holiday... Most of it exploded while he was away, and as well as a horrendously sticky garage, he had a car that needed a new windscreen, a really serious valeting of the interior, and a new paint job! I think I got away lightly!
Jun. 30th, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
Agreed: you did get away lightly!
And what a lucky thing it was your dad's friend's lot of ginger beer exploded while he was away, and not while he was entering the garage or his car at just that critical moment! For either him or you, it would have been a lot worse to have been present when the exploding occurred.
Jun. 30th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
I've had something broadly comparable happen, but not anywhere that messy nor difficult to clean up.

I had some dried herbs which I wanted to mix together, and I decided to do this by putting them in the blender and giving it a quick blip. Unfortunately there were a few small pieces of hard stem amongst the dried leaves. The blender shattered after a few seconds, and the spinning blades threw several ounces of dried mixed herbs all over the kitchen. Everything was covered in a grey-green haze of herb powder. Even though it was dry, it took some hours to clean up. There was even some behind the fridge/freezer...
Jun. 30th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
The Kenwood blender didn't explode on my mum. She just forgot to screw the lid down firmly when making mayonnaise... SPLAT! didn't quite cover it.

My dad used to have a good story about a pressure cooker, a blown safety valve, and a redecoration of the kitchen story.
Jun. 30th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
SPLAT! didn't quite cover it.

I'll bet it covered everything else, though :-(

...pressure cooker, a blown safety valve, and a redecoration of the kitchen...

I can just imagine the results of that... thankfully I haven't got a pressure cooker, otherwise such a mishap would probably seek me out too :-(
Jun. 30th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
Glad the clear up has had a silver lining.

DH tells of returning to his uni flat to find his flatmate scrubbing the kitchen ceiling with the bog brush - he had allowed a Heinz tinned jam sponge pudding boil dry.....
Jun. 30th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
Himself had s similar experience with a tinned spotted dick. Let's just say that everyone in the scout camp got a little bit...
Jun. 30th, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
Wow! I'm impressed; I knew that elderflowers were supposed to have magical powers but that beats all I ever imagined. ;-) I made elderflower syrup, too, this year. My recipe is non-alcoholic and I doubt that it would develop such powers even if I left it out of the fridge. However, I never do so, and, after your tale, I never will. No Need for another Kitchen refurbishment. However, I had ordered plain brown milk bottles and twist-off lids. They had arrived in good time for bottling the syrup after its 5 days in the cellar - I thought. When on Sunday I was ready to filter the flowers and lemon slices from the concoction, I had just washed the new bottles and turned to the lids - only to discover that they were too small. Mistake at the supplier, as I quickly found out. However, I was Standing there with 8 or 9 litres of elderflower syrup and nothing to put it in. I decided to put it into freezer bags. It now rests in the freezer and I'm planning to do that Job next week. Then I'll fill the bottles, put the lids on loosely, and put the bottles in the oven at 100°C for a while. Can't be too careful... ;-)
Jun. 30th, 2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
This one was a cold infusion, so not intended for long keeping and prone to fermenting naturally. You make it, keep it refrigerated (where we failed!), and drink it in a week or two.
Jul. 1st, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, exploding drinks. Ginger beer... a garage full, complete with car, workbench, metal door... Father's initial reaction was to shout at me for leaving the side gate open, thus allowing it to bang shut. Even he had to admit that it was one hell of a bang... so he went out to investigate just in time to hear a further series of bangs and the unmistakable sound of flying glass. Also, the smell may have given it away by then!

At school, I was heating something (no idea what) in a test tube over a Bunsen burner. As you do. To this day I maintain that my reaction was the right one, and it was the rest of the class whose experiments went wrong. After all, theirs didn't paint the lab ceiling in spots of orange... Actually, I was secretly quite proud of that one - but don't tell Mrs Whateverhernamewas.
Jul. 3rd, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
We have heat too right now and my Bro-in-law had a bottle explode on him yesterday!
Jul. 3rd, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
I hope no-one was hurt!
Jul. 5th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
My favourite was the bottle of red fizzy wine that exploded in the pantry in the quarter in Germany - I'd come home from Uni, a month earlier than everyone else broke up so I was there with the APs on their own. There was a loud bang from the pantry and the shards of green glass were embedded in the bottom of the shelf above so deeply that dear Papa put the shelf on the bonfire and constructed a new one. He had to sand and repaint the inside of the cupboard door! We had red wine all over everything, and moving the fridge wasn't a lot of fun...bleargh! And there was a lot of broken china - all except two of the eggshell thin demi tasse coffee cups, some random glasses - we had a couple of dozen hock glasses from P&Q up the other end of town, which were also very fragile and everything else had to be washed up...including the Noritake which survived unscathed.

Edited at 2013-07-05 08:53 pm (UTC)
Jul. 5th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
I remember that one vaguely. By the time I got home it had all been dealt with, but I was sad about those elegant coffee cups. Not that they were much USE, mind! So thin and shallow the coffee got cold almost instantly...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )