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Friday, February 24, 2012

Kitchen Nightmares

I swear that if anyone decided to film my life for a reality show, I'd end up being portrayed as completely inept, dimwitted, and comically clumsy.  Really, these oddball occurrences only happen once in a while, but it does seem like I've been extra-blessed in the kitchen catastrophe department over the past few weeks.  Here's some of the wacko things that I'm talking about:

1)  I had a can of refried beans fall on my head a few weeks ago while rummaging around in a cabinet.   The can was on the counter over the cabinet where I keep my casserole dishes and tupperware.  My cat had been getting up on the counter and I think she must have nudged the can to the edge during one of her forays, because I can think of no other explanation for how that can could have possibly fallen on my head.  Other than poltergeists, and I really don't want to think about those in my apartment.  I also don't know how the can could have been perched that precariously on the edge of the counter without my noticing it.  Regardless of how it happened, it hurt like nobody's business!  The very bottom edge hit me right above my hairline and I did have a little bump from it.  Luckily, it didn't fall far before impact.

2)  I burned myself pulling a dish of homemade macaroni and cheese out of the oven.  Not the brightest, but also the most normal of my incidents.

3)  Last weekend I managed to burn myself while doing the dishes.  The tap water from the hot side has been scalding hot lately, which I knew when I started the dishes that day.  I must have had a lapse, though. While moving a pan under the stream I wasn't careful enough and ended up burning my wrist right under the thumb.  It hurt bad enough that I felt it through my whole body, stamped my foot on the floor and swore.  (Sorry Mom.  It happens.)  It was hot enough that it was a bit red and warm to the touch for the rest of the day (it looked like a mild sunburn, but didn't last long).  Right after it happened, I was so mad that I tested the water temperature with a meat thermometer held in the stream of running water.  150 degrees (beef, medium rare).  I had been meaning to report the temperature of the water to the apartment complex office for a while, but the burn prompted an actual irate call.  I also reported the broken garbage disposal, since I had to leave a message anyway.  Next day, the hot water is merely hot again, without being hot enough to physically endanger the young, elderly, or simple-minded.  The garbage disposal is still broken, but the drain is clear again.

4)  Yesterday, I had another dish washing incident.  I received a vegetable slicer for Christmas, and was cleaning the components for the first use.  I was planning to make scalloped potatoes with a giant sweet potato that I found at the store.  All necessary parts were washed, and I had taken special care not to come in contact with the extra sharp slicing blade (it ate up my poor sponge).  I was drying everything on my flour sack towel and made one last and nearly fatal (by which I mean not really even close to fatal, but not very bright) swipe with the towel, catching my middle fingertip right in the blade.  Amazingly, there was no blood on the towel.  But that sucker bled like a mother.  The cut wasn't that deep - maybe a millimeter - but it seemed like it bled forever.  And each time I thought it was finished, it started up again.  Then of course I started thinking too hard about it (Do I need stitches?  Should I see a doctor?  How clean is that towel?  What if it gets infected?).  I had to lie down and look away from it for a few minutes, to stop myself from giving in to the irrational panic and because I was feeling a bit faint.  Then, as I was getting myself a bandaid to keep myself from looking at the wound, and to keep from bleeding all over the place, I made the mistake of trying to assess the damage and started to feel faint/queasy again and had to lie down.  Did I mention that I hadn't eaten yet either?  That probably didn't help.  Anyway, I was so irritated at the slicer (and myself for being a dork) that I nixed the potato idea and moved on to something simpler and faster.

5)  Today, less actual physical damage to myself...but it did involve that vegetable slicer.  I decided not to hold a grudge against an inanimate object due to my own carelessness, and was preparing the scalloped potato recipe.  The white sauce was completed on the stove waiting for the potatoes to be layered in the pan.  I had already re-washed the blade component, without touching it, and didn't bother drying it.  I popped it into the top of the slicer and started slicing up the humongous sweet potato. This slicer has a container attached to catch the sliced veggies, and I was holding it in my hand instead of using it on the countertop.  Naturally, the whole slicer somehow catapulted out of my hands, crashing to the floor and distributing an even layer of perfectly sliced potato disks across the tiles.  I managed to keep a nice tight grip on the potato, though, and hadn't sliced more than 1/4 of it before dropping the container.  So, all was not lost.  Of course, it delayed my recipe prep and the white sauce ended up thicker than ideal, since it was sitting on the stove during this time and the aftermath.  I had to spread it over the potatoes instead of simply pouring it, as called for in the recipe.  The sweet potato produced enough liquid during cooking that it didn't seem to make a difference though.

Cut to my reality show after the inevitable editing process, and it goes something like the following scene from Frasier, only without the dating or the ironing:


Mom said...

As I was reading your post I started thinking of that Frasier episode, where Niles kept passing out at the sight of blood, and how much we laughed when that was aired. Lo and behold, you attached it - I guess you are my daughter! P.S. Put the slicer blades in the dishwasher...

Fluffycat said...

This is why I am scared to cook, ha ha. I think especially when you have any new cutting implement, it is especially sharp, but that super hot water coming out of the faucet is scary.