Normally I try to stay away from carbs. But today, I discovered a carb that literally saved me from a dire situation – bicarb.
Bicarbonate of Soda is not only used in baking as a raising agent (such as these awesome sassy molassy cookies – which is the only reason I had bicarb in the first place) but it’s also played a huge role in the Great Plumbing Apocalypse going down in my kitchen right now.
Suffice it to say that I live in a ground-floor flat with two flats above, all serviced by the same waste pipe for kitchen sinks, washing machines and dishwashers. There is a blockage in the pipe where the 3 connect at the bottom…. so it has all flushed back through my kitchen sink, flooding my kitchen and bedroom with everyone else’s dirty water. The smell is … breathtaking. And not in a good way.
Anyway, Bicarb. The plumbers threw large quantities of concentrated sulphuric acid down the drain…. which ate threw all the plastic parts of the pipes…. so that acid and dirty water spewed EVERYWHERE. My smartypants uncle Chris recommended using Bicarb, which would neutralise the acid.
After getting over their shock at my dazzling array of baking supplies, the plumbers duly covered the kitchen in bicarb. It sizzled loudly and smelled so bad that we could almost hear that too, but at least it was no longer eating through the contents of my kitchen (we lost a 2 litre bottle of cooldrink and a cheap pair of pumps but that’s as far as the damage went).
I think the moral of this story is that there is indeed a good “carb” that no kitchen cupboard should be without. Here are even more uses – I get the feeling that it could solve just about any little problem life throws at you.
Possibly, the moral is also that we need to bake more cookies so that we are prepared for plumbing disasters.
PS: If ever you have a similar situation where water is backflushing into your kitchen sink and pushing the plug up – put an upside down cup or mug over the plugged drain, topped by a large cast iron pot or regular pot filled with water to weigh it down. Then – keep calm and eat more cookies.
PPS: Although not entirely successful at the plumbing itself, the plumbers all proudly displayed their trademark cracks :-(. Ew.