I'm On Fire. No, Really.

What? It's not Delurk Week? Well, I'll be horn swaggled.

My bad.

Actually, I'm pretty excited about what's been occupying my time, but I cannot speak of it just yet. No, I'm not pregnant. No, I'm not writing a book. So, in other words, probably boring to you. But, very exciting to me!

Speaking of exciting, something bad happened to me last night while cooking dinner. (Aside from the usual kind of bad where I have to repeatedly smell the chicken breasts and hold them up to the light because did I take these out to defrost yesterday? ...Or was it over the weekend?)

I was in a tense mood - mostly because I didn't fulfill my writing commitments yesterday and that tends to cloak the evening with failure - and was attempting to cook Mediterranean Chicken with Herbed White Beans (link to my recipe site -- which I should probably start using for more than my rebellious playdate cocktail recipes) in our new tiny kitchen.

Remember the old kitchen? I could lay across the counter and take a nap while waiting for the pasta to boil.

New kitchen not so much.

It's so itsy bitsy in its original 80's counter space that I'm starting to seriously eye the unused portion of the backyard that the kitchen window opens onto. Would it really hurt anybody if the salad sat out there for just a minute?

Anyway, this tiny kitchen is bringing a whole new level of joy to the the 5:00 Savannah witching hour. Because now instead of whining from the couch about how she misses daddy and hates beans and she sure hopes we're not having that rice with the little dots in it again and why can't she just have Fig Newtons for dinner and when is daddy going to be hoooome, she comes into the kitchen and stands behind me to do this because a wall now separates the couch from the kitchen.

In other words, I was a little distracted.

I put a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan on the stove. I swear it was only there for a minute or two. But, apparently, it was longer because when I looked over at it, there were thin wisps of smoke coming out of the pan.


I grabbed the pan off the burner and swirled the oil around. The oil didn't look burned, so I set it down on a cold burner for a bit.

This would be the point where I should have dumped the oil and started over. Because did you know that oil stays hot for quite awhile?


And that the last thing you should probably do, other than to maybe pour it directly in your eye, is to throw frozen crushed garlic in there?

Hey, guess what? Hot oil, like, burns.

Yeah, well it is.

The funny thing is that it took about a minute to start hurting. And then...

...please take me Lord. Because The Pain.

I ran upstairs with a pack of blueberries tucked under my arm and asked Mama Google what to do next. She was pretty scary and I started to get woozy when she kept saying the word "blistering". So, I lied on the office floor feeling sorry for myself until Chris came home.

Aaand I decided to just keep it on ice for the next hour.

Then I remembered a crazy bit of information. My uncle is a firefighter! My aunt worked for the Burn Foundation! And guess what advice they gave me?

"Whatever you do, don't ice it!"

Of course.

In other news, the chicken was delightfully tender. Perhaps due to the addition of my filleted arm flesh?

You'll also be delighted to know that this was not in fact my first kitchen mishap. And my last one? Almost burned down a house.

Which I then accidentally locked myself out of.

While running to get help.

I think I'll share that one next time. I have to go salve up.

Update: So, it appears that you would actually like helpful information as to what to do with an oil burn. Ah, I see. Let me share.

1) You should run cold water on the burn until the stinging starts to dissipate.
2) You should pat it dry and cover in a dry bandage.
3) You should never apply ointment or ice as they both seal in the active burning that's still going on under the skin. (Which makes sense since the pores have absorbed the oil.)
4) Optional: Take off the bandage for all the Drop Off Moms to see at school hoping it will result in a sympathy coffee invite. Which it will.


Corey said...

Yikes! So what did your aunt and uncle say to do?

dcrmom said...

OUCH!!!!!!!! I got a bad burn this summer in the kitchen. Blistered immediately. It was horrible. For a night. And the next day it didn't hurt a bit. Hope your injury is as short-lived.

Amy said...

so what do you do? i would have iced it too! who knew?!?

iheartchocolate said...

You POOR baby. I believe you when you tell us you lay on the floor. I would too. Chris really is your knight in shining armor, isn't he. I love how tragedy ends when Chris comes home.

Your poor little ARM.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Why no ice? I must go Google this myself.

BTW - those are some REALLY fierce burns and I would have done more than lie on the floor feeling sorry for myself.

Trust me. I think 911 may have been involved.

Anonymous said...

Okay -- I am so sorry about your arm OUCH -- you cook like me!
Why not ice??

I did not 'delurk' when it was the DAY to delurk, I'm a rebel, but I had to comment today. I LOVE LOVE both your blogs and NOW to find out that you have a 3rd. With recipes. Girlfriend you amaze me.

I am totally addicted to your blogs and you are freaking hysterical. You have a great sense of humor, (like mine).

Thanks for making me LOL everytime you post (and I know when you post now cuz I figured out how to use feeds - which saves me a TON of time instead of going to your site 87 times a day. Hee Hee)

Julie in Texas

Anonymous said...

OUCH! Oil burns are the worst. But, if it makes you feel better, I poured boiling water all over my hand a few weeks ago and spent the next 5 hours with ice on it, and then was fine the next day. So even if ice isn't the preferred method, it works. And smells better than if you use butter (isn't that another method?). And the tender, arm-filled chicken sounds really good, only my husband? He is too delicate to eat chicken WITH BONES IN IT. So only boneless skinless breasts for us, lest his delicate constitution realize that chicken once contained parts other than meat.

Anonymous said...


So what do you do with a burn, if you can't ice it?

prescott said...

Huh, you can freeze crushed garlic?

Misty said...

that is all something i would do so thanks for sharing how it happened! you poor thing!!!

Anonymous said...

Your recipe looks absolutely delicious, but I think I'll leave out the arm flesh.

Patricia said...

Okay, so -- about a year ago I was reaching into my oven to check on some veggie burgers with the oven door only slightly open (because the cat was standing in front of it) and I managed to get a 3 inch in diameter, circular burn on my arm. I wound up running cold water of it for hours and then applying that aloe gel stuff that you use for sun burns and holding my arm in front of a fan.

It turned into one, giant, 3 inch round blister.

Later that night? I reached across my bed to set down my laptop and opened the blister. (You may have heard me scream... from Illinois.)

Anyway, I used Mederma and you pretty much can't see the scar. That was the entire point to this diatribe.

Sleepynita said...

Oil burns suck. I once managed to burn myself doing corn on the cob. How you ask?

I took the corn on the cob out of the boiling water, safely. Then I took the pot to the sink to dump the water (which I always do) and the water splashed out the sink all over my stomach. I had second degree burns and MY GOD the pain.

jen from boston said...

Shit, that look painful. I have burn scars form the clothes iron on my right wrist (I look like a "cutter") and one on my shoulder from dropping a curlign iron on it.

Still, can't imagine a burn from an OIL SPLATTERING.

I would have run it under cold water for awhile, and then iced it, so like everyone else am curious as to what is the right thing to do? Vasoline? Educate us, dear Lena.

DotMom said...

bloghopped from mad momma. hope your burn gets better.. and why no ice.. mama google here i come.

oh! and yes, loved the blog:)

dishes and laundry said...

Oh, ouch! Burn pain is horrible. My son burned his fingers when he stuck them in molten sugar and butter (homemade caramels that were cooling in a pan). I filled a big plastic pitcher with ice water and stuck his hand down in it and drove him to the instacare. They were so awesome - didn't even have me fill out paperwork or wait - they asked if it was a burn (telltale arm in pitcher of ice water), and when I said yes, they grabbed him, weighed him and gave him codeine.

So codeine. Codeine will take care of that right quick.

They did tell me that the thing that makes the burns hurt is ... air. Keep it covered, so that the air can't get to the exposed nerves/flesh/whatever. That's why when my son would pull his hand out of the water, he'd start screaming all over again.

Codeine is quicker though.

Esme said...

I once nearly burned down my apartment building, years and years ago. I was making chicken stock, realised I needed to run an errand, and turned the dial for the burner to "off," and went on my merry way. Except that I didn't realise that I had turned it one notch past "off" and on to "high." I came home 45 minutes later to a street lined with firetrucks and smoke pouring out of the building. The fire cheif looked at me, smirked, and said, "Um. I guess you're a good cook, huh?"

Nothing but some smoke damage, a messed-up burner, and a completely melted down metal pot. Thank goodness.

Mimi said...

Ouch!! Feel better...I would have iced it too. Why aren't you supposed to ice it anyway??

Once, I cut myself rinsing out a tin can...seriously, I saw bone, so of course I locked myself in the bathroom and proceeded to dry heave.

Awesome in a tragedy...that's me.

Lena said...

Prescott - That's funny how you used freeze as a verb. Hahaha! No no no. I BUY frozen crushed garlic from Trader Joe's -- less work for my delicate self.

Anonymous said...

You know it is going to get puffy and ooze and reooze and be really crusty and gross for about a week and a half, right??
At least that is what mine did when I dumped hot chicken broth down my front.
Hope it feels better soon. Getting burned sucks bad.

Kelley said...

I burnt myself yesterday. Kids in the kitchen, husband muttering, me distracted.

Got a nice little 3 inch burn across my arm. Right where yours is.

But you know what burns me up (besides the freaking hot pan that tipped and I saved with my soft flesh?) NO ONE moved. They just looked at me like 'huh?' and I had to dance around them to get to the sink.

But I am proud to say that I ran cold water on it for a while. It still freakin' hurts though.

I didn't ice it. Cause that would mean wasting food (blueberries! you used blueberries!) and I am too cheap to do that and it would also mean ANOTHER trip to the store.
No thanks.

Anonymous said...

O.k., as for the ice ice or not to ice. The reason you should not use ice on a burn is not because it locks in the burning but because your body temperature drops and it can further damage the already fragile skin. The best bet is cool water and for the love of ointments. The bacteria can become trapped and make the injury worse. Keep it dry and clean.
From "The Aunt" (really just a volunteer for the burn foundation) who is married to "The Fireman"

Gabby said...

Delurking to say that aloe is the best burn remedy ever. Snap a piece off, rub the juice on the burn. When the juice dries (it dries quickly), rub more on. Repeat until you're sick of doing it. It takes the pain away and will heal much faster. Really!


Jamie said...

OMG!!! I'm so sorry, it hurts me just to look at it.

Norm said...

Reminds me of the summer I worked at Jack In The Box.

Still have the scars.

(lol @ Mama Google)

Anonymous said...

Ooh. I've done that, with 3rd degree burns as a result. Assvice - go to the ER (or your dr.) and request Sulfadene creme. It's miraculous on burns and takes the pain out in minutes.

Gail said...

As Gabby suggested use a leaf from an aloe plant. Buy one and keep it outside in the sun or on your window seal. It works amazingly and will keep you from scarring.

My mom had a three-degree burn and used that exclusively. No marks left on her hand. :)

Maybe you need another blog with first-aid tips? haha

Kelliqua said...

Yogurt, the more natural the better (no sugary-laced kids brands) applied to a burn will make it instantly stop hurting and can help keep from blistering. The live cultures and acidophilous in it work some kind of magic. After they are used up (in a few minutes) gently wipe off and reapply another thin coating letting it sit on there until dried or the cultures are "used up" and the pain returns. Keep reapplying until the pain subsides.

Also works exceptionally well for sunburns.

Sour cream will work in a pinch, it has has some of the same cultures but yogurt works better.

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