I have to tell you, baking these mini loaves was quite an unexpected adventure. Everything was going just fine when I mixed them up and put them in the oven and I had no reason to suspect that they would lead to such chaos. It was a Friday night, the kids were just getting ready for bed, and I was looking forward to having a slice of Cranberry Lime Bread in the morning when my husband noticed that the oven was smoking a lot. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. The loaves hadn’t spilled over their pans, but there was some sort of greasy residue on the bottom of the oven that was smoking like crazy.
Knowing the smoke detectors in our house are quite sensitive, we rushed around opening all the windows and doors. Too late! Since they are hard-wired, every single detector went off together, allowing us no respite from the piercing beeps. My kids went outside to get away from it and my husband and I scrambled to air out the house. But it wouldn’t stop. Even after all the smoke had cleared, the shrieking noise kept on until we felt like we were going to go mad. I rushed down to the basement and pulled the circuit breaker and they STILL didn’t stop. I turned off all of the electricity in the house and they STILL didn’t stop. I knew something had to be wrong.
Finally, we called the fire department, thinking they might have some idea how to shut the system down. We figured they’d send over a single car, but to my children’s delight, and that of the neighbors’ children as well, a huge firetruck with lights flashing and four rugged firemen got out. It didn’t take them long to discover the source of the problem. One of the detectors had malfunctioned, and since they are all hard-wired together, it set them all off. And these are the kind that don’t turn off when you take out the battery. They had to disengage the whole system to get the horrible noise to stop. And what a relief it was when it finally did.
It wasn’t until I thought back on what I had cooked and baked recently that I figured out the culprit. Remember the Mini Maple Pumpkin Cheesecakes? Yes, well, I didn’t think to put a pan under them and it seems that a great deal of oil leached out and dripped to the bottom of the oven. Thankfully, the Mini Cranberry Lime Loaves turned out beautifully despite all the excitement. And I enjoyed a slice with my morning coffee…in sweet, beautiful, blessed silence!