A few years ago, I started cooking a pot of beans in the pressure cooker one morning and forgot to turn it off before I dropped the kids off at school. It was a mistake, but I was a new mother of twins and my organized mind hadn’t become accustomed yet.
When I got back home, with a baby on each of my hips, the house was filled with thick black smoke. Any smart person who has attended a fireman’s speech on what to do when there’s smoke in the house would no to run to the neighbor’s house and call 911. But not me.
I have the habit of keeping a huge bag of baking soda right next to the stove.
As soon as I walked into the kitchen, the pressure cooker went up in flames. I grabbed the bag of baking soda and dumped it on the fire. The fire went out. I turned off the burner and spent the day airing out the house and trying to get my heartrate down. (This was a rent house in the Seattle area, mind you. It would not have ended well for our tightwaddery).
I had to buy a new pressure cooker, and a new front burner, but nothing else was damaged. This is not the only fire I’ve experienced in my life. I do a lot of cooking and I’ve put out about five or six grease fires that might have ended badly had I not have had baking soda on hand.
Here’s what I don’t get. I’ve been to those fire safety talks they have at the school, and I’ve talked to firemen. You’re supposed to run away if you see a fire. Why not put it out when it’s small? Don’t most fires start in the kitchen?
My husband is an eagle scout and he installed a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and in the laundry room. I’ve never used one of these, but I attended a fire safety talk, and a fireman said that these are hard to use and most people can’t aim the hose at the fire because the pressure in the tank makes the hose go haywire. I would hate to learn the hard way about how these things work. If an adult fireman has trouble with them, how can I teach my kids how to put out an accidental fire. Don’t kids sometimes start fires? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way for a kid to be a hero instead of a pyro?
My sister lived on a military base in Oklahoma a few years ago, and a little kid accidentally started a fire in her bedroom with a candle. She was too afraid of her mother to tell her what she’d done, so she hid in the closet. Meanwhile, the whole bedroom went up in flames and the house burned down to the ground. (This was a duplex, mind you)
Had someone told the little girl about the wonders of baking soda, she could have prevented that whole ordeal.
So, put baking soda on the list when you go to the store. It’s versatile, you can add a little oil to it and make a foot scrub, or a facial scrub, you can use it to scrub your fingernails before a manicure. It’s also good to have if you’re making Irish soda bread, or homemade biscuits or biscotti. Brush your teeth with it when you run out of toothpaste. Use it with a little lemon juice or vinegar to scrub out the coffee pot. Sprinkle it on the weeds in the lawn. Sprinkle a little on your mother in law’s food when she makes you mad(just kidding!)
Happy tightwadding. If you have any thrifty money saving ideas, or some inexpensive Christmas ideas, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Let me know if you want me to use your name or not if I post your idea on my website