feasting with friends

A Domestic Dingbat…ME

When one spends as much time in a kitchen as me, it’s not unusual to have the occasional mishap.I haven’t had a major fire…though Glenn may have wanted to fire me occasionally:-/  I haven’t burned the house down…though I have burned things, many things. Cookies? You bet. Brownies? Yep again, so hard in fact a knife could not even break the surface. Fingers, hands? At least weekly [those pesky oven racks]! One year, right before Thanksgiving I burned all of my fingers on my right hand because I forgot I had just taken the dutch oven out of a 400°F oven. Duh! In my defense though, that little knob on the lid does not get hot on the stove…which is where it happened to be sitting at the time. Live and learn [well the 6 hours of soaking in ice water helped me learn]!

cheater's apple pie

Recently I had another one of those “learning experiences”. I was baking an apple pie which decided to bubble up and over the bottom of the oven. Not always a huge mishap, but in this case I had been tending to the garden while it was baking. So quite a bit of appley gook made its way to the oven floor. As soon as I realized the problem, I quickly threw a baking sheet on the rack beneath the pie to “collect” the drippings and allowed the pie to cook it’s remaining time. Pie finishes baking – removed from oven – set to cool – oven off – on to other things. Five hours later…preheat oven to 450°F to bake bread. It heats, then oops… Yep, I never removed the baking sheet or cleaned up the spillover in the oven. Talk about a stinky, burned up mess! To top it off, company was coming. First thing, soak the baking sheet. It happened to be my “bread baking” one, highly seasoned [in other words…discolored] from high oven temps. But a favorite for it’s size. Next up the smell in the house. I found this delightful recipe for a “deodorizer” on Pinterest, and it worked!

kitchen/house deodorizer

Directions: Slice one lemon in rounds. Place lemon in a medium saucepan of water, add a few sprigs of rosemary and about 1 Tablespoon of vanilla. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Add water as necessary as it evaporates. I let mine go at least 4 hours, and the smell was fresh and delicious at the same time.

So – one problem solved. However, the soaking of the baking sheet did not help very much. I tried scrubbing it with dish scrubber, one of those flat little nylon scrapers, even a Brillo pad with not much luck. Bits of charred remains hung on. So…back to Pinterest. I found what was billed as “miracle cleaning for baking sheets and no scrubbing needed”. Off I went on my miracle cure. It worked, sort of. I did have to scrub. The charred appley goop is gone..yeah! But the discolorations from baking bread remain… at least it’s usable again!

baking sheet/pan remedy

The charred baking sheet prior to the “miracle cure”.

Step 1: sprinkle baking soda over surface of the pan.

Step 1: sprinkle baking soda over surface of the pan.

Step 2: Pour hydrogen peroxide over entire surface. I used about 1 cup.

Step 2: Pour hydrogen peroxide over entire surface. I used about 1 cup.

Step 3: Apply another "hearty helping" of baking soda, completely covering the hydrogen peroxide. Let sit...and sit...and sit.

Step 3: Apply another “hearty helping” of baking soda, completely covering the hydrogen peroxide. Let sit…and sit…and sit.

Step 4: After it has sat for several hours [I let mine go overnight, about 10 hours] begin to wipe away the baking soda paste, and see the miracle! Okay, no miracle here, but like I said the charred stuff is gone. I can still see where the bread has baked. But that’s okay…at least I can still identify by bread pan by sight!

baking sheet/pan remedy

The finished product.

As for the dirty oven…it doesn’t have a “Clean” setting for nothing!

The Pins I resourced.

Room deodorizer: http://morganmoore.typepad.com/one_more_moore/2010/03/spring-is-here.html#comment-6a00d8341c51ba53ef0120a9772f44970b

Miracle cleaner: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/05/new-life-for-old-cookie-sheets-again.html


  1. I have used lemons to clean my Vitamix, but never thought to employ the same logic to clean my sheet pans. We have even thrown 2 away because of similar numerous mishaps you describe. Very useful. Also, I thought putting turkey in oven and sliding lever all the way over when closing oven door (so as to “clean” oven and not BAKE what was inside the oven and then wondering 4 hours later why the house didn’t smell like turkey) was pretty bad . . . one just has to laugh!

    • Lol…that is a great “mishap” story! Love it… hope there was a back-up plan! [My new favorite use of lemons: you can use a 1/2 lemon, which you’ve “de-juiced”, and coarse sea salt to scrub your cutting boards. The board will be fresh, clean & like new.]

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