The day after I roasted the chicken --- or maybe two or three days later? --- I followed the recipe from this website and popped a can of tomatoes and all the chicken pulled off the bones and a bunch of spices that I just eyed the measurements for in to a saucepan and boiled it away for maybe 20 minutes. And it turned out quite tasty! Though I notice now, looking at the site, that he caramelized the onions with brown sugar, and that sounds lovely, wish I'd tried it.
However, today I went to roast up some potatoes and beets, and as soon as I started to preheat the oven, lots of black smoke came out the vent. That freaked me out. I hadn't even put new food in there yet. So I turned on my fan on high, and opened the window, and periodically opened the back door and waved it open and shut, all the while watching for potential creatures entering (luckily it's not mosquito season yet). and basically just suffered through it while the veggies were roasting. By the end of the time, regular steam was coming out instead of black smoke, but it doesn't look clean in there by a long shot. And I spilled some olive oil when taking out the pan.
So I went and looked up what kind of oven I have (the apartment people didn't leave me a manual) and found the manual on line. And I am totally creeped out by the health warnings they give for running the auto-clean cycle --- basically, you need to be there in case the thing catches fire, but you should have all your doors and windows open, for about three hours, and oh yeah small birds tend to die or get sick if they are in the same room, so be sure to remove all pet birds to another room or even from the house completely. Um. I am sure that anything that kills off small birds will still be doing a number on my body, and my cats' bodies, and I don't like the idea of running the autoclean cycle at all. Besides, what would I do to prevent the cats from running out one of those open doors? Yeah, I don't like the potential health hazards one bit.
But. Black smoke was pouring out my oven, you know? And it smells like a roast chicken in here, even though I was cooking vegetables. I also heard something once about a rental unit catching fire because the landlord never had anyone clean the oven and never checked if old tenants cleaned before they moved out and all the grease in there started a fire. So I think I might need to clean it --- any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
Likewise any thoughts on how to clean my dishwasher, since the pan came out pretty clean looking and feeling once I ran the washer, but now the entire bottom of the washer is greasy and beige. I've run it twice since the chicken pan, I think, and I don't think it's getting any better. And I know from undergrad what happens if you put hand dish detergent in a dishwasher (heh heh my silly roommate's boyfriend --- it looked like an I Love Lucy episode in there!) so I'm kind of at a loss as to how to clean it.
Yes, I am a total paranoid weirdo who overthinks everything while cooking. It's not gonna change. Luckily I have spent years on learning about chopping up and cooking various vegetables, so I can make a lot of very healthy stuff without much thought or consulting of cookbooks, the internet, or various friends.
I did get a lot of grading done today. Maybe I'll be able to post a semi-interesting, semi-academic post one of these days instead of stories about chicken.