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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not the way we planned it ...

Last Sunday our younger daughter invited my husband and the rest of our family over for dinner. Great! Dinner was delicious, right up through dessert. But dessert also brought a new challenge that I thought I'd tell you about.

We love crème brûlée, and that's what she had prepared for us to finish the meal. Great! :) She also asked me to bring along my little kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. Prior to this, I'd always used a salamander to do this; they do a great job, but they're a mess to clean up afterwards. A salamander, as you might guess from the photo, is rather like a flat, circular branding iron. A torch sounded so much easier!

Okay, time for dessert. I'd read the instructions on how to use the torch -- several times, in fact. My torch looked pretty much like this one. I very carefully started to fill the torch with butane, and that's when things went very wrong. The butane caught fire! Naturally, since I was holding it, my arms were the next to flame up (thank goodness I was wearing short sleeves). In trying to drop my arms away from the flames -- a reflex action -- I then set fire to my three-year-old granddaughter's hair. OMG! I hadn't seen her come over to watch what I was doing. Very fortunately, my elder daughter got the little flames in her daughter's hair extinguished before more than a few hairs were in danger, and there were no burns at all there.

My younger daughter, meanwhile, grabbed my arms and stuck them under the cold water tap, right next to where we were standing. She added ice and burn salve, keeping me from serious burns, bless her.

Eventually, a braver member of the gathering actually tried out the torch, and it's actually no good at what we needed; it doesn't get hot enough to caramelize sugar.

We used the salamander, after all, and the crème brûlée was scrumptious, but do I need to tell you that the torch will never see the light of day again? ;)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my goodness! I am so glad no one was seriously hurt. That is just awful. I had one of those silly torches and hated it. It spit butane all over the food. Tasted nasty. I got a real blowtorch at the hardware and it works great - and no clean up required! Glad you weren't badly burned!

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