January 11, 2013

I'm Sure I Can Blame My Parents For This

When I go to my parents' house I fall asleep on the couch. Every. Single. Time. I can't help it. It's a reflex reaction, a Pavlovian response honed over years of walking in the door and handing over my children to their grandparents. I feel unencumbered and unburdened, youthful and vibrant  (or at least, the kind of youthful and vibrant that likes nothing more than a quick cup of tea and a nice lie down).

The system has worked well for me over the years. There is just one tiny flaw. On occasion, I end up at my parents' place with my children when my parents aren't there, and on these occasions, I find it almost impossible not to fall asleep. Which is a problem considering that my children are very much awake, and are quite capable of causing considerable havoc even with the briefest window of opportunity.
Cake Shown Not Blogger's Own
(it doesn't come out of the oven fully iced)

Take yesterday, for example. I had workmen at my house so went to hang out at my parents' house with two of the kids. My parents were out, so I took out some toys for the kids and sat on the living room floor to play.

But the soporific effect of my childhood home was too much for me. Within moments, my eyes got heavy and I could feel myself drifting off.

"Mum!" I woke up with my 11 year old was poking me in the ribs. "Can you turn on the oven for me? I'm baking a cake for Nana and Papa!"

"Sure," I mumbled, and stumbled half conscious to the kitchen. I turned on the oven, stumbled to the couch, and was immediately fast asleep.

About half an hour later, I woke to the sound of alarms and the smell of smoke.

"MUM!" my daughter was shouting. "THE CAKE IS ON FIRE!"

I jolted alert and ran to the kitchen. And yes, the cake was, in fact, on fire. It was fascinating. I mean, I knew cakes could burn, but I didn't realise they could actually burst into flames like a sweet,  flour-based bonfire.

I turned off the oven and tried not to panic. How, I thought, does one extinguish a cake-based fire? More importantly, I wondered, would said cake still be edible?

"THROW WATER ON IT MUM!" my daughter screamed. But the cake smelled delicious so I decided just to blow the flames out, much as you would with candles. And it proved effective, though did take considerably more energy than blowing out candles on an actual birthday cake. And about fifteen minutes longer.

So then we sliced the top off the cake and sampled it, and it was, in fact, delicious. My parents came home and didn't notice anything at all, apart from the acrid smell of smoke throughout the whole house, and little piles of charcoal all over the kitchen floor.

And later when we returned home, my daughter offered slices of her cake to the workmen.

"It caught on fire," she told them, "but it still tastes good."

I do love my parents' couch.


  1. As long as it tasted good, that's the main thing :-)

  2. Lol! I love that your first reaction is we must save the cake so we can eat it! The wisest thing to do as it turned out.

  3. I love that they actually managed to set fire to a cake!

  4. Lisa @ Blithe MomentsJanuary 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I once wrote a recipe down wrong and added 3 1/4 cups of sugar rather than 3/4 cup of sugar - god knows why I didn't question it. Anyway it exploded all over the inside of the oven. And it didn't even taste good. Plus it was full of bloody expensive macadamia nuts. So all in all I can totally top your story.

  5. Hey, Kerri. Aren't you in a no burn zone ?......

  6. Sounds like you guys invented Cake Snoozette.

  7. I have never heard of a cake catching on fire. Yes blame your parents. They bought that couch.

  8. How can a cake actually catch fire?! Never heard of that before. Was it a gas oven? Lucky you, it was still edible. Blame your parents; they bought the oven. :)

  9. I think because it was, um, UNDER THE GRILLER!


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