Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scars, Burns, and Small Kitchen Fires: Story of my life

Once Danny and I got married, I started cooking. Not all my meals have been worthy of mentioning, but lately I’ve gotten fairly good at making healthy, delicious, innovative meals. Working three nights a week with a husband who works 5-6 days a week, means the cooking is usually up to me. Which is fine, in fact usually I enjoy cooking. The only drawback is I’m a klutz in the kitchen.

I don’t know what it is about a knife or a hot stove, but I will find a way to injure myself. Of course the klutziness doesn’t occur every time I cook, otherwise I would be a queen of take out. Every few months, a scar, burn, or small kitchen fire will likely occur.

My most recent burn is from the oven. We have a ¼ of a grass fed cow in the garage freezer, so it was time to overlook the chicken and make a chuck roast. Yum. Instead of crock potting it up, I decided to broil it almost like I would do a tri tip. Season both sides, 10 minutes on one side, flip, and then 10 on the other. Simple enough. It got a little tricky with the flipping part. I opened the oven door with my tongs ready, I flipped the roast, and shoved the pan back in. Then my knee hit the door, which subsequently hit my arm. This prompted me to say something not so nice.

At first it didn’t hurt too badly, but as time wore on I knew I needed some cool water. The problem was my arms were occupied with a knitting project, which I was enjoying quite a bit, and I didn’t want to put it down. So I soaked some paper towels in cold water and wrapped my arm like a war wound. When my husband came home, he found his poor little cooking solider knitting away, with dinner ready.

I have a fun little scar on my left middle finger from an avocado accident. I just love avocados. I make a pretty good guacamole, if you like it spicy. When we still lived in an apartment in Modesto, the beginnings of my avocado obsession came to be. I was making guacamole for a party …and it turned to disaster.

I enjoy watching some of the Food Network shows, and at times I will use their ideas in the kitchen. The Barefoot Contessa makes getting the seed out of an avocado look so simple. She takes the knife and stabs the seed, so that when she pulls the knife the seed pops out too. Armed with my trusty knife and a delicious avocado, I cut it in half then proceeded to stab the seed like Ina Garten. Only I made the small mistake of holding the avocado in my left hand while stabbing with my right. The not so trusty knife slipped and went through the avocado into my middle finger.

That was a bloody mess. I still have a small scar with a raised edge on that finger. Casie likes to call it my guacamole scar. To prevent any more avocado accidents, I no longer use the stabbing technique. The finger technique works just fine for me.

At about 3 in the afternoon I’ll experience a little bit of hypoglycemia. Especially if I’ve been busy all day and haven’t had time for proper meals. During my hypoglycemic episodes I usually am sleepy, a little cranky (I know hard to believe), and hungry.

On one of these occasions I had been helping out at one of Danny’s wrestling tournaments, which last all day. It was at a ridiculously early time. I had my coffee, then sat all day collecting money from intense parents. The coaches got to have a super nice lunch …a steak and potato lunch. I was hoping for some left over’s. Of course there wasn’t, why would I expect there to be from a bunch of ex wrestlers? So the other coach’s wife and I ate some iceberg lettuce salads and drank our Diet Pepsis…while inside I was dying of starvation.

Once the tournament ended, I rushed home to avoid getting fast food. Of course there was nothing in the fridge besides eggs, so scrambled eggs it was. The eggs came out good. I scarfed them down then sat down at the computer (probably to check my Facebook). After about 15 minutes, I started to smell something…something burning. The dogs were acting funny, sneezing and rubbing their little noses in the carpet. I ran to the kitchen and of course discovered in my hypoglycemic stupor I had forgotten to turn off the stove. The spatula had melted and a fire was burning.

At first I grabbed water…but then I remembered something about not using water on grease fires. I wasn’t quite sure if this was a grease fire or a plastic fire. With no sand to toss on the pan, I decided to go for the cut out the oxygen method. I put a lid on the fire and it went away.

What didn’t go away was the smell or ashes. I think because the plastic melted so much. Little pieces of soot were all over my house. It was ridiculous to clean up. Little black spots covered my white tile counter tops, my window seals, the cabinets, everything. The other day I dusted some obscure part of my window that no one will ever see, but I felt like it needed to be cleaned, and what did I find: Black spatula flecks. This kitchen fire happened a year ago.

So another lesson is learned, make sure to check the burner. And maybe I should grab an apple before I decide to cook anything if I’m feeling light headed. I’m sure my kitchen klutziness will carry on, as I continue to use anything that has the potential for injury. At least my klutziness is fairly limited to the kitchen, I can catch a ball and do a cartwheel…as long as I don’t lose my arms to a cooking battle, I’ll be okay.


  1. oh Jessie! What would you blog about if you weren't clumsy?! I love it!!! I love you despite your glorious guacy scar!

  2. You sound like me in the Kitchen!!! Shall we compare scars?!!