How To Teach Your Kids About Grease Fires

Cinco de Mayo is normally an official holiday for the English family. We love it. This past weekend, it sort of snuck up on us but it was a fun day.

The plan was to fry some fish, make some homemade salsa and guacamole. I normally fry fish in corn meal and a “not-so-secret” mix of spices that include Creole seasoning, salt and pepper. My grandmother fried fish this way. It’s awesome. Even people that don’t like fish, like my fish.

And I wanted to try something different. Mistake 1.

We found a batter that was flour based. I put the grease on the grill, getting it hot and ready to fry.

Normally, I stand there and watch it. Yes, it’s slow and boring but it’s safe. My dad’s a fireman, some things just sort of stay with you.

Whatever made me run inside and try to finish up the batter for the fish, I don’t really know. I do know that it was taking forever. Batter was working, was too thick, wasn’t sticking — just not working – when Coop says – “Man – the grill is really going good.”

There is nothing but smoke coming out of the grill. I know what’s happened. The grease in the iron skillet on the grill is so hot that it is burning, more than likely when I open the lid there is going to be a fire ball….on my brand new back porch.

I run outside and kill the gas burner. (Good.)

I can feel the heat from the grill and see the flames. (Not good.)

Amy grabs a bowl to smother the fire. (Good.)

I open lid of grill to put lid on skillet. (Not good.)

Fire shoots up into the sky. (Cool looking, but overall – not good.)

I get the bowl over the skillet and smoke goes everywhere. (Good.)

I tell my son that no matter what happens, he is NOT to put water on a grease fire OR call Topeka Fire Department. I would never hear the end of this if the Chaplain had to call the FD to put out a fire.

Meanwhile, new batter recipe has hardened a bit. (Not good.)

We move iron skillet off to the side so that we can get Fry Daddy out to continue making dinner. In process of moving iron skillet, bowl is knocked off pan and grease is still so hot, it catches on fire again. (Not good.)

Amy comes out with a big iron lid. That snuffs out fire. (Good.)

We finally get to frying fish. (Good.)

Batter will not fry right for some reason. Fish is dried out, crispy mess if we fry batter right. Batter is dripping goo if we keep fish moist and white like it’s supposed to be. (Not good.)

We dump new batter recipe, go back to old way. (Good.)

Cooking fish has now taken us 3 times as long as normal. (Not good).

Good news — the fish was awesome…finally. And I’m not changing my fish recipe ever again.


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