Whenever a mishap happens in the kitchen, and there is some type of accident, John calls me Calamity Jane. From dropping glass pie pans to setting myself on fire, there is always some type of adventure when I am cooking. Here are the top ten calamities in my kitchen or anywhere else I may have been cooking.
- Dropping my glass pie pan filled with blueberry pie filling. It was a holiday and I was trying to hurry and get the pie in so I could move on to my next dish. I filled the pie pan with the piecrust already baked with blueberry filling. I turned to go put it in the oven and didn’t see the dog that magically appeared at my feet. I toppled over trying to hold onto the pie pan to no avail. Crash went the pie pan with blueberry filling splattering all over my floors, cabinets, the dog, and of course, me. I was still finding hardened blueberry filling a month later on some cabinets and glass shards under the floor cabinets.
- Spatula getting caught in mixer beaters. I know better than to try and scrape sides while beaters are going. I really do. However, the temptation got the better of me one day as I slowly slid the spatula into the bowl and whack! The spatula tried to twirl out from my hand as I am trying to hold onto it for dear life, all the while trying to shut the blasted mixer off. Luckily nothing broke, just my ego and a jammed finger.
- First time making flambé. I love to make lobster flambé. However, the first time I made it, I did not realize how big those flames could get. I poured in my cognac and struck the match. I slowly went to ignite the fumes with my head almost to the edge and whoosh, the flames came up. I am lucky that I always wear my hair back when cooking or else I would have burned it all off.
- Hot cast iron handle. Sometimes I forget that I don’t have much feeling in my fingertips. I tested the handle of the cast iron and felt only warmth, so I went to take the handle in my whole hand and, wowza, searing pain went through my hand. Dropped the pan and rushed to the sink for cold water. The rest of cooking I had an ice cube in my hand.
- Serrano’s. As I said, I don’t have much feeling in my fingertips. I was in a rush, so I plopped my peppers on the grill. Once they charred, I took them off and put them in a baggy to sweat. I took them out, forgetting to put the gloves on, and chopped them up. I had to wait to make the guacamole, as company was late, so I quickly washed up to take a minute before they came. All of a sudden I got a burning sensation on the back of my hands and cheek and it was only getting hotter. It took a while for that sensation to go away and it didn’t matter what I did to try and get the oil off; milk, lemon, etc. The sensation hung around like an inflamed bee sting. Yikes.
- Talking about peppers. When I was working with scorpion peppers, and yes I did have my gloves on this time, I made sure not to touch anything like my utensils, board, or even the bowl, lest I get oil on them. However, when I started to blend the mixture to get it ready, I removed the top to add a little more and splash, out came some juice landing on my face. Now luckily I had my glasses on, so it only hit my nose and cheeks, but man that was hot.
- Tripping over the dog—again. Did you know dogs could appear happily at your feet without making a sound? I was making steakhouse steaks and just put my compound butter on the steaks. I went to put the pan in the oven and all of a sudden I was falling down, heard a yelp, and then boom. I was now on the floor, pan upside down, steak and juices spreading over my tile, and in the corner, poor little Sophie with her ears down and shaking. Luckily no living thing was hurt, but more poor steak was dead and was tossed in the garbage.
- Showing off to John slicing my finger. John was helping me to chop my vegetables. I want to preface the next statement by saying that most creative people have some degree of ego. I am not saying mine is huge, I’m just saying sometimes I like to show off my skills. John asked me the best way to chop a carrot. I took the knife and started the chop, chop, “ow”. I was a little to fast and cocky, and the knife showed me who was boss.
- Cutting flap off finger when making meatballs. Jack’s (my oldest) friend was over for my famous meatballs and sausage. I had my sauce simmering, the sausage was done, and the meatballs were almost ready to add to the sauce. I decided to chiffonade the basil. I was bringing the knife down when I got to close to the knuckle and slice. I sliced a deep flap into my finger. I immediately pulled back, instinctively saving my food, and rushed to the sink. I kept applying pressure but the thing would not stop bleeding. As the sauce still had an hour to go, John and I decided to take that time to go to the clinic to get it stitched. Now, Jack’s friend is a germaphobe just like me, so as John and I are walking out to the garage I told him I didn’t get anything in it and please watch the sauce.
- Setting myself on fire. I did blog about this particular incident. However, John thinks this is one of my most memorable Calamity Jane moments. I was making my 3 cheese macaroni with Kobe beef hot dogs, and was whisking to cook my roux with one hand and stir my cream with the other. I thought I smelled something burning. I looked down at the pots and didn’t see anything. I started to whisk again and the smell was getting stronger. I looked down and there was a small flame coming from ME! I flapped my arms and it just made the flame bigger. The fire that was on the edge of my shirt flap was now climbing up. I ran to the sink, trying to get my arm out of the shirt without grabbing it with the other hand, and I finally got it off. Just a small burn on my arm down near my wrist, and another one near my thumb. But I’m strong and determined and just kept on going. Dumped my now burnt roux and scalded beyond repair cream, and started all over again. Now my arm is hurting. I hope this mac and cheese is worth it! I wanted to make an easy, no think dinner. HA! This is why John calls me Lucy from the old but popular show “I Love Lucy”.
Of course, there are more Calamity Jane and “I Love Lucy” moments, but I just thought I would share my top ten that have left some type of mark. Whether it is the bruising of my ego or butt, having to get stitches, or setting myself on fire, these will stick with me for quite some time.
Until next time, happy creating.