Roughly 45 seconds. After only about 5 seconds the baking pans you put in the broiler/drawer will start to melt. In 10 seconds they will start on fire. Within 25 seconds black soot will begin escaping the oven. And in under a minute your entire kitchen will be full of black smoke. And then it will take about six hours to fully clean everything, including the smoke the managed to escape your kitchen and cover everything in your newly furnished home in a thin black layer of soot.
And it all started with a pack of frozen mac n'cheese bites from Trader Joes. I simply wanted to cook a few apps in our oven before we headed to a show downtown and the next thing I know I'd practically started the kitchen on fire. I was about two seconds away from calling the fire department when Chris grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the flames out.
Somewhere during the midst of the smoke alarms blasting and black smoke filling our apartment Harlow beelined for the backdoor and I found him cowering outside. Sadly I realized Harlow will never have a career as a fire dog. I've read stories about dogs saving their owners from blazing house fires, they run into burning buildings to pull out a baby or an old man, carrying their human on their back to safety. But not Harlow. At the first sight of danger he got the hell out of the house as fast as possible and didn't look back.
Besides a few melted dishes and some very dirty counters, no one got hurt and everything turned out okay-ish. It could have been a lot worse. I am so thankful I was not alone and that Chris and his family were here to assist in everything. Had I been alone the house would have probably burnt down. Harlow and I would still be hiding in a basement bar somewhere.
But other than the "mishap," it was another great weekend in Chicago spent brunching, dancing in the tulips downtown and taking a trip to Oz via the Cadillac Palace theater.
And in case you were wondering, yes Harlow's very happy to be back.