Kitchen mistakes?

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Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:52 pm

To paraphrase a famous president: I probably made some mistakes, but I can't think of any....

Actually, I can think of one that happened to me today. In one of the batches of bread I'm making today, I added one cup of water to the flour mixture by using a half-cup measure four times. Duh! And I was a math major.

And my third-degree burns on my fingers a few weeks ago were the result of me trying to drain off fat from my electric skillet without first removing the short ribs. Duh!

(BTW: the honey trick worked like magic. I'd put on some honey at night and the next morning the wounds were noticeably improved. It was almost like watching a wound-healing process in a sci-fi movie.)

But I digress. What are some of your classic kitchen blunders?
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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Howie Hart » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:48 pm

I once tried deep frying frozen chicken wings, using my pasta cooker filled with oil. When the oil got hot I put the basket in with the wings. The oil boiled over and onto the burner, igniting in flames about 3 feet high on top of the stove. :roll:
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global knives ?!?

Postby FrancescoP » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:35 pm

I always cut myself or maybe ovens ... I always burn myself!

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Gary Barlettano » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:00 pm

When I went to high school back in the 60's, I worked summers at a place in Hoboken called Gumpert's. (I think they eventually constructed the Newport Centre Mall on that property near the Holland Tunnel.) Gumpert's was a food processing plant built in the late 19th century, a true sweat shop. I had the honor of being the Crunchies baker. Crunchies are those cookie crumbs you find on the outside of ice cream bars like Good Humor bars. Well, the place was routinely over 90º F and, of course, I had to work in front of a large, industrial carousel style oven. 36 full sheet pans in, 36 full sheet pans out. The "out" was the hot problem and I wore asbestos gloves to handle the pans. It was so freakin' hot, however, that most of us didn't wear shirts. I don't know how many times I pulled a red hot sheet pan out a bit too far and singed my naked chest. I have "war wounds" to this day.

Footnote: We used to roll up the Crunchies dough into bocce ball size balls. If we left them overnight to harden, they got as hard as cement and we actually used them to play bocce in the warehouse. And we eat that stuff!!! Don't ask me about the soup mixes. :)
And now what?
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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Steven Noess » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:21 pm

About two months ago, while cutting myself a late-night snack of a hard cheese, I got greedy. I had cut a small piece on the cutting board and decided that I needed a little more...there was a small, uneven piece on the wedge, so rather than (smartly) using the cutting board again, I held the wedge in my left hand and thought that I could simply and quickly remove with my knife.

After the initial resistance that my knife encountered, the piece immediately and completely cut free and the very sharp Wusthof cleanly cut off the tip of my left index finger that was peeking out at the other end of the wedge from my haphazard grip. I keep my knives very sharp.

Thankfully my wife was around to retrieve the tip from the floor before my dog could get it while I was spewing blood all over the kitchen.

Now that it's healed, I have a strange indentation on the end of my finger with super-sensitive scar tissue. Ah, the things we'll do for great cheese. :lol:
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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Robert J. » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:23 pm

During my restaurant days I was once making meatloaf for an employee meal. This was many years ago and I was still very much in 'party mode'. I was probably still a little slammed from the night before. Anyhow, I got clumsy and snipped off a little bit of my left pinky into the mix on my cutting board.

I went to take care of my finger and one of my co-workers decided to do me a favor and finish the task. He did not know that there was a little piece of me in the loaf mix.

When I came back everything was in the pans and he was putting them in the oven. There were no leftovers.

Bon Appetite!
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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:07 pm

I was working the state fair in Phoenix one year and was deep frying something. I instantly learned why you don't raise the working end of tongs higher than the hinged side. Some hot grease traveled the length of the tongs and landed on the pad of my pinkie. Eeyoww! I had a nice blister for days.
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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:52 pm

It took me about 5 tries to learn how to fry chicken for Paul Prudhomme's chicken and andouille sausage gumbo recipe without starting a major grease fire on the stove. I've elsewhere recounted how the first time this happened, my indoor cat escaped outdoors in below-zero winter night temperatures, I had to leave the door open so the cat could get back in, and as a result I had to finish cooking the dish wearing a parka (until the cat finally came home and I could close the door and let the place warm up again).

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Robert J. » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:33 am

Paul Winalski wrote:It took me about 5 tries to learn how to fry chicken for Paul Prudhomme's chicken and andouille sausage gumbo recipe without starting a major grease fire on the stove. I've elsewhere recounted how the first time this happened, my indoor cat escaped outdoors in below-zero winter night temperatures, I had to leave the door open so the cat could get back in, and as a result I had to finish cooking the dish wearing a parka (until the cat finally came home and I could close the door and let the place warm up again).

-Paul W.


Damn, the things we do for our cats!

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby RichardAtkinson » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:12 pm

I may have posted this episode before...but I've slept since then and I'm probably at least a year older.

Back in my beer brewing days, I had nearly 3 gallons of boiling wort on the electric stove in my apartment.

I was using hops pellets for the first time. I had always used the dried hops flowers before, but the this batch required a higher than normal hops addition and I hadn't been able to find hops flowers in the amount I needed. So I was going to use the pellets at mid boil and finish with dried hops flowers. Anyway...that was the plan.

At mid boil, I dumped the pellets...and turned my back on the pot...for just a second...the whole damn thing boiled over , covering the top of the stove, running into every nook and cranny under the stovetop...onto the hot burner creating a stink not unlike a burning bakery ( with accompanying smoke)...smoke detectors going off...you get the picture.

I cleaned hardened, sticky wort residue for days...then the ants moved in to assist me. After a month long battle, I finally poisoned the incoming ant stream into oblivion...though I may still contract some long running secondary health problems ( sometime in the future) from breathing industrial strength "Raid".

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Robert J. » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:58 pm

Oh man, this exact same thing has happened to me sooooo many times. You'd think I would get it after a while...but nope. Seems like every other time I brew it happens. The things we do for good beer.

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Celia » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:17 pm

I once had insomnia (actually, I *often* have insomnia, I'll sleep when I die..) and decided at 4am that it would be a good idea to make pumpkin soup. Very big knife + very little sleep = very deep cut in the fleshy part of my hand just under my pinky. I remember being amazed that I could actually see all the different layers of fat and muscle, and thinking how much my flesh looked like steak. I reluctantly woke my husband (he's not happy to be woken early) - couldn't get the bleeding to stop by myself (had to go into bedroom holding bowl under my hand to catch the blood) - and he, in his wisdom decided it didn't need stitching, so we bandanged it up and he went back to bed. In hindsight, he probably just didn't want to get dressed and drive me to Casualty...

Surely surely surely Joe Perry has to chime in on this thread... <grin>

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby JoeArmano » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:35 pm

A few weeks back (I had just come back from a 3 month stint in Florence, Italy) and I felt like making some espresso from my brand new Bialetti espresso maker. So, I throw it on the stove (I have made this 100 times in italy) and walked away to put my new desk together. I come back 45 minutes later to find every drop of water gone.. evaporated with about 99% of the rubber gasket, 75% of the metal screen, and 99% of the plastic fittings... yeah.. the house reeked... I had no other choice but to open every window and air the place out... it was damn cold outside too..

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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby JoeArmano » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:37 pm

Steven Noess wrote:About two months ago, while cutting myself a late-night snack of a hard cheese, I got greedy. I had cut a small piece on the cutting board and decided that I needed a little more...there was a small, uneven piece on the wedge, so rather than (smartly) using the cutting board again, I held the wedge in my left hand and thought that I could simply and quickly remove with my knife.

After the initial resistance that my knife encountered, the piece immediately and completely cut free and the very sharp Wusthof cleanly cut off the tip of my left index finger that was peeking out at the other end of the wedge from my haphazard grip. I keep my knives very sharp.

Thankfully my wife was around to retrieve the tip from the floor before my dog could get it while I was spewing blood all over the kitchen.

Now that it's healed, I have a strange indentation on the end of my finger with super-sensitive scar tissue. Ah, the things we'll do for great cheese. :lol:


But did you eat the cheese, or rush off to the hospital to get it sewn back on? ha ha
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Re: Kitchen mistakes?

Postby Larry Greenly » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:44 am

celia wrote:Very big knife + very little sleep = very deep cut in the fleshy part of my hand just under my pinky. I remember being amazed that I could actually see all the different layers of fat and muscle, and thinking how much my flesh looked like steak.



I once reached into the dishwasher and didn't see the steak knife pointing up. The result was a point a quarter inch or so into the very tip of my finger. It hurt instantly, of course, and the pain more or less went away after a little while. The next day was a different story, however. Mama mia, the pain....
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