HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Oops, won't do that again

  • 204
  • Share

I am sure there must be other threads like this, but I wasn't able to search one out. We all do things in the kitchen that in retrospect seem so obviously dumb. I managed a good one last night. I wanted to heat up some canned tuna before cooking with it (didn't want to burn the outside but still crisp up the outside a bit). All I can say is do not put canned tuna in the microwave (yes, i took it out of the can, I wasn't that clueless). I guess it would not have been so bad if I had stood there watching for the minute and a half i set the timer for, but I had to go put the laundry in the dryer....

I returned to find virtually no tuna left on the plate and almost all of it plastered over the whole interior of the microwave. I wiped it down, steamed a couple of wet sponges in it, and even zapped two consecutive lemons into near oblivion.... still smells slightly of tuna. I'm sure it will fade with time.... but please learn from my lesson... don't put tuna in the micro.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Just wond'rin' why that would happen. Was the tuna in oil or water? Could your plate have not been micro-friendly? Is it the mercury in the tuna that caused it? (Could be like nuc-u-lar fusion!!!) Bizarro!! Where's our chemists and scientific types on CH? I've never experienced this when thawing frozen fish in the nuker, but I've never tried to warm up tuna, either..... Sorry Charlie, indeed.... Adam
    P.S. What brand of tuna was it? Bumble-Burst? Super-Nova Kist? TNT of the Sea?

    2 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe

      I've had that happen more than once -- well, not the whole can, but a good bit. I don't know what the mechanism is, but I know it's not the plate and I don't think it has anything to do with whether it's in water or oil (the last time it happened a couple of weeks ago it was water pack on a plate I use in that same microwave all the time). You can heat canned tuna in a microwave, but you have to do it on low power and make sure you don't let it go too long.

      1. re: adamshoe

        glad to know im not alone Ruth, thanks. It was albacore chunk, and it was packed in water. I think what happens is the water that has permeated the fish hits the boiling point, and when it does it expands rapidly... blasting the tuna hither and yon. I'm sure it would not happen with fresh tuna (although I can't imagine putting fresh tuna in the mic.)

      2. I've had exploding meat in the microwave, too. I've learned and now use a mesh microwave cover when there might be a chance (great for butter, too). I would have recommended lemon juice or vinegar but apparently it didn't help. You could always follow up w/ burnt popcorn to cover the smell of the tuna...;-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          How did you know I exploded butter all over my microwave just last week? :-)

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I can't tell you how many times I've done it. It's the definition of insanity. I love my mesh cover.

        2. I have since learned from a friend that you should not put a jar of marshmallow creme in the microwave. All I could get out of him is that it was a brand-new expensive built-in microwave/hood combo - and had to be replaced. He wouldn't tell me exactly why they wanted to heat the marshmallow creme in the first place.

          5 Replies
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            Hadn't he ever microwaved Peeps before? My favorite part of Easter.

            1. re: mordacity

              Microwaved Peeps! Wow, now that's an idea. Do they melt? Expand? Get tough?

              I usually unwrap them and leave them sitting around for about a week until they they really hard and chewy. Now I have a new way to kill those little yellow things off before I devour them.

              1. re: chicgail

                Sorry if this is a little bit OT, but everything you ever wanted to know about Peeps:

                http://www.peepresearch.org/

                1. re: pamf

                  OMG! Reproducible, peer-reviewed studies to support my own theories of Peeps life forces. And I'm not the only one.

                2. re: chicgail

                  If it's YOUR microwave, you want to be hovering by the "STOP" button......I've got some Halloween ghost ones aging in my desk....if we leave them long enough, we might be able to microwave and reshape them into snowpeeps....

            2. A few things come to mind.

              Knife accidents, ouch
              grabbing a hot skillet handle that was recently removed from the oven without a mitt, OUCH
              Making stock and pouring it into a strainer that DID NOT have a pot underneath, watching it go down the drain, #*##

              These are stupid mistakes that hopefully will not be repeated

              13 Replies
              1. re: scubadoo97

                Last night I reached for a knife from the magnetic strip, but my sleeve caught the next knife over and pulled down, crashing on to the counter then floor right next to my (bare!) feet. Thank goodness I have quick reflexes. And all 10 toes.

                One morning in high school I was slicing a bagel for breakfast at 5:30am, and forgot to move my thumb out of the way. Ouch it right.

                Haven't had too many microwave mishaps, except for the time I misread the instructions for the frozen egg rolls and set the microwave for the oven time. I had to get a new microwave and spent a few hours scrubbing soot off the wall.

                1. re: mpjmph

                  I learned from my coworker that you should never use a heavy chef's knife to cut a piece of cheese for youself as a midnight snack. Her fingers got a little oil residue from the cheese and she dropped the knife on her foot. The tip of the knife went clear through her foot into the kitchen floor!! Luckily there was no major damage!

                  1. re: spkspk

                    OUCH! That could have been an incredibly serious accident for your poor co-worker.

                    I have learned through my own kitchen buffoonery not to try to catch things in drop in the kitchen. I retrained my first instinct to be : scoot my feet out of the way and let it crash. If i have a second to think about it, I can decide - "Can I catch this safely or not?" But often... not. Hot things, sharp things, breaking glass - usually best to just get the hell out of the way, let gravity take its course, clean up ,and be happy if no one gets hurt.

                    1. re: Mawrter

                      You are to be commended, o Grasshopper! You have grasped the pearl of wisdom with the chopsticks of experience! ;)

                2. re: scubadoo97

                  "Making stock and pouring it into a strainer that DID NOT have a pot underneath, watching it go down the drain, #*##"

                  LOL. I thought I was the only one!!! I'm so used to draining pasta, veggies, well I don't have to explain Scuba, you know the feeling of holding a strainer full of tired saggy brown carrots, celery and chicken scraps while the beautiful stock of three hours prep time swirls down the sink ...

                  I have also dropped a phone into:
                  a lasagna
                  a cherry pie.

                  I figure it took me two times to learn because one was savory and one was sweet, and one has the house phone and one was a cell. Note- the cordless phone and the lasagna survived, the pie mostly did, but a cell phone will not survive falling onto a pie and bouncing into a hot oven.

                  1. re: yamalam

                    Don't feel too bad. I've read stories of culinary students doing this on purpose. Draining the pot, not realizing that it was The Liquid that they should save, and proudly bringing their "finished product" (ie colander of bones and mushy vegetables) to the chef-instructor to show off.

                    1. re: Louise

                      Okay now I don't feel so stupid because that is REALLY stupid.

                  2. re: scubadoo97

                    Oh my gosh! I did the draining the lovely broth into the sink thing too. I got so mad at myself. I had been sampling the wine pretty heavily as I remember.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      How about forgetting the *whole* skillet gets hot in the oven. The stainless steel handle only stays cool when it is used on the stovetop. And it burns the hand when grabbed trying to remove it from the oven!

                      1. re: al b. darned

                        Yeah, that's exactly what happened. I use my SS pan on the stove top most often and when it came from the oven I blanked out on that fact and grabbed the handle like I usually do. My cast iron skillet I know always has a hot handle so no mix up there.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          I did the same thing at my brother's house one evening. I got a third degree burn on my thumb. I ate dinner, with my thumb in a glass of ice water. My brother is an amazing cook so I guess I didn't realize how bad the burn was.

                      2. re: scubadoo97

                        i touch hot skillet handles out of the oven ALL the time - it's like some sort of mental block, my brain sees a handle and assumes it was on top of the stove vs in it

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          After the third or fourth time I grabbed the handle of an iron skillet fresh from the oven, the rule that a pot holder STAYS on the handle after removing the skillet was instituted at my house. And butter in the microwave always gets covered by a paper towel, but I've managed to blow that off with exploding butter when I wasn't paying attention to the timing....;-)

                        2. I've dropped a knife, landing right by my bare feed too many times to count. Luckily, it has never landed ON my feet, but my life (and therefore dropping knives) isn't over yet. Last night, I was re-heating some pizza in the toaster oven. The first time I brought it out, the edges were warm, but the inside was still cold. So, I decided to put it in for just a few minutes longer. Yep, you guessed it, the entire thing was charred. when I pulled it out the second time.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Melanie

                            My husband has dropped a knife and caught it midair before it hit the new dishwasher. I guess he figured he'd heal but the dishwasher wouldn't... The next time you drop a knife, jump back.

                            1. re: Melanie

                              I had that happen to me last week. Just after I had sharped the knife too.

                            2. I thought one morning after I made breakfast, I would break one of my usual lazy habits of not cleaning up the kitchen immediatly after using it.

                              I went to clean the stove and picked up a burner cover, it was still hot.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                Hmmm...I spent many hours cleaning the microwave after a spaghetti squash explosion. I had cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds etc. It was positively transformed (as was the interior of the microwave) is it spun around on the glass tray! Never again. I did microwave artichokes successfully a couple of days ago - eight minutes in a tall dish with about 1" of water and voila!

                              2. Cooking anything while intoxicated. A few years ago back in college I threw in a pizza and proceeded to pass out. I was woken up by two seriously angry roommates and some firemen. Oh yeah, I cleared out my apartment building at 3am and the fire department showed up. All for one drunk 22 year old and a charred tombstone pizza.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Stillwater Girl

                                  I feel as though I'm in that little confession booth at church: Hounds forgive me because I've......

                                  Grabbed something very hot with my bare hand (example, oven rack) yet again. The finger that I burn is always the one I use most. For everything.

                                  Dumped too much stuff in the garbage disposal & causing a blockage which then elicits yet ANOTHER lecture from my husband on how I souldn't ever ever do that again because he's the one who has to go unclog all that nastiness from the pipes.

                                  Put my hand in the sink full of water & connected with the buried cuisinart blade. On Thanksgiving. With 20 guests to feed. Luckily the ER was not too crowded.

                                  Melted plastic jars in the microwave.

                                  Exploded butter.

                                  Forgot to turn the burner off while I did a thousand other things & had to 86 a good pot.

                                  and (the best)

                                  Made a triple recipe of a taste-alike version of KFC's coleslaw, which uses a bunch of dried minced onion; took it to a BIG picnic, then discovered I'd used minced garlic instead. No vampires at THAT picnic.

                                  By the way, we don't microwave ossified peeps at our house. We put 'em on a stick & toast them over a fire. Like marshmallows. The sugar on the outside makes a fairly spectaular flame.

                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                    oohhh... I've clogged the garbage disposal too, on multiple occasions. I'm always too embarrassed to call apartment maintenance guys, so I taught my self how to unclog it (thank you google!).

                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                      Well, to unclog mine my hubby must go into the crawl space under the kitchen, lay on his back under the pipe that the plumber years ago put an insufficient slope on, and open up the pipe to get at the clog. Clogged pipe = a lot of food crap under great pressure. SHAZAM! Much mess, HUGE amounts of swearing, days of lectures about the evils of garbage disposals..... Now I keep an old tupperware thing as a garbage bowl on my counter & use that. The ER was more fun.

                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                        Wow. My ritual involves no crawling, and the only tool required is a plunger. I plug the drain on the non-disposal side of the drain, put a pot full of water on top of the plug, then fill the sink with 4 inches of water around the pot. Then I start plunging like crazy on the disposal side of the sink. After a few minutes and a good shoulder work out the disposal side of the sink magically drains and I make a mental note no never, ever put large amounts of _______ in the disposal again.

                                        1. re: PattiCakes

                                          We're better off without a working garbage disposal, too - for similar reasons. The thing scares us - it did even before we had a curious little kid. Now we compost and I use a lot of meat carcasses in bone broth. We do still throw a few things out that we used to throw in the GD, but not much.

                                  2. Well, I was brewing beer, while drinking beer, while cooking dinner... and the brew kettle was very full and had just come to a boil, so hubby threw in the hops. The kettle foamed up and began boiling over, and by the time we were able to pull the pot off (without burning ourselves), we lost quite a bit of sticky wort all over the glass cooktop. It sizzled and burned onto the burners, dripped down into the exhaust fan, and seeped into the cabinets below and onto all my pots and pans. It also drenched and ruined the daikon radish I was stir-frying.

                                    The daikon could not be saved. But the beer came out ok -- after we got cleaned up enough to bring it back to a boil!

                                    1. Tuna is a flaky fish. No matter how well you drain it, there will still be liquid left between the layers, and when that liquid turns to steam, KABOOM!,you have an explosion. There's nothing wrong with heating canned tuna (out of the can) in a microwave, but it works best when you do it at reduced power for less time and check it regularly. Also it couldn't hurt to cover it with a paper towel! '-)

                                      The same k ind of steam explosion can happen with a lot of food. Beans will explode, tomato dishes will spray paint the inside of your microwave. In my experience, just about everything is better when nuked at a reduced level than when launched in the max zap mode.

                                      1. My father (the physicist) did something very similar with an egg. In the shell.

                                        1. Reading these anecdotes fills me with comfort--you all are my tribe! I'm not alone! LOL.... So what have I learned?

                                          I learned the hard way: NEVER deep fry while nude. I still have the scar on my...ahem...lower stomach.

                                          Styrofoam containers do *not* belong in a hot oven. This ranks as one of the more massive brain farts of my life.

                                          We do not microwave brown sugar (to soften it just a bit) while it's still in the plastic bag, and then try to pick it up with our bare hands. No, we don't do that...now.

                                          -----

                                          I still don't know why soup cooking in the microwave will sometimes boil over out of the mug but sometimes not. Even a mug only half-full will sometimes end up vomiting its contents out. But sometimes not.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: KenWritez

                                            Most likely it's one of the ingredients in the soup. If it has tomatoes in it, you can almost plan on a boil-ove, or at least a lot of splatterr. If it has any whole beans in it near the top or sides, you can pretty much plan on an explosion unless your greatly reduce the power level and stir often. Even with just plain water, it is possible for it to super heat, then explode when you stir it or add a tea bag. Microwave ovens have turned our kitchens into science labs!

                                            Here's an interesting demo with nuked water:
                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_OXM4...

                                            I'm not convinced they are right about the water having to be distilled and unpolluted. There are too many reports of people being burned with filtered drinking water, which is a long way from being distilled.

                                            And if you ever run out of ice at a party, here's a fun and interesting way to get instant ice:
                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-GQk8...

                                            All fun stuff, *IF* you don't get hurt!

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              Oatmeal will boil over unless you heat it carefully -- I think it has to do with the starch forming a skin that allows the steam to build up until it explodes.

                                            2. re: KenWritez

                                              Not just styrofoam, lol. I once put a couple of Swiss Chalet take-out dinners, still within their plastic (or whatever) containers, in the oven to stay warm while I went to pick up my daughter. Not a good idea.

                                              1. re: KenWritez

                                                Why does a bottle of seltzer sometimes explode when I open it and sometimes not ? These are bottles that have been sitting on my porch for the same amount of time (weeks) at the same temperature, without being roiled about in any way, and yet when I open one, it may or may not splurt all over. The failure to splurt happens just often enough that I never bother to open the bottles over the sink, thus driving my husband crazy when a newly opened bottle once again splurts all over the table and the kitchen, except, of course, when it doesn't.

                                              2. to find a knife in soapy dishwater, get a clear glass bowl and press the bottom through the layer of suds. it is your little window on the underwater world.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  Sheer Genius! Thank you - I've always found them the old fashioned way - by slicing my fingers open!

                                                  1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                    kitchen tongs, just fish around till you hear it clunk. you "probably" wont hit it hard enough to dull the blade.

                                                    in an unrelated mis-adventure, I have become used to warming tortillas wrapped in a damp dishcloth in the microwave... it is not a good idea to do the same in a toaster oven.

                                                    earth to brain, come-in brain... hello, is anybody in there?

                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      Any chance you're a twin who was separated at birth?

                                                    2. re: Catskillgirl

                                                      the glass bowl trick is good for locating broken glass under the suds, too.

                                                    3. re: alkapal

                                                      Good one. I have a strict rule about no knives in sudsy water, ever, but sometimes my dh or a guest forgets and then I can't deal since in my mind that "can't" happen.

                                                    4. Along the lines of microwave mishaps, I had something odd happen to to me today. I was nuking bacon on a microwave-proof plate (which I had used several times before for this purpose) when all of the sudden, I heard a strange sound from the microwave (never a good thing!). So I shut it off and it turned out that the plate broke in half. Does anyone know why this would happen? The nuking time was just about 1 1/2 minutes, and I have microwaved bacon before for this amt. of time in the past w/o anything happening.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                                        My best guess would be that the plate had developed a hair-line crack from normal use (they're difficult to see until they finally begin to discolor after a few baths in the dishwasher) and that when the microscopic amount of water inside the crack turned to steam, voila! Two halves, no whole!

                                                        I used to have a microwave tray specially built for nuking bacon. It did a really good job! Maybe it's in one of the boxes in the garage that have been waiting nearly 40 months for me to unpack them. Meanwhile I nuke bacon on paper towels. But I'm beginning to get a bit curious about what forgotten treasures are in those still-packed boxes!

                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                          Snort. I've still got 8-year old boxes waiting for me. I can only think that whatever is in those boxes is not something I really need. :-) But I like the sound of your microwave tray! I always use a ton of paper towels on a regular plate, and still have a greasy mess in the microwave.

                                                          1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                            The last time moved I found boxes I hadn't unpacked since moving there five years previous. Did I say, "Whatever is in here I guess I don't need." and put it beside the street for the trash man? Of course not! I opened it and said, "I was wondering where that went." and put it on the truck. And we've been paying on a storage locker 300 miles away for the last 8 years because we don't have room to store the stuff here and DW won't part with it...even tho she hasn't missed it.

                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                              I learned a long time and many moves ago that any boxes not opened and put away within one month of a move will remain untouched until the next move. I think it has something to do with thermodynamics.

                                                          2. re: Caroline1

                                                            this is my microwave bacon tray: http://www.absolutehome.com/home/1/81...

                                                            i love it, and this particular design allows the fat to drain away from the bacon, and allows you to pour off the fat to use later. i place about 5-6 "thick-cut" bacon slices directly on the tray, cover with a paper towel, and nuke for around 5 minutes. so easy and fast.

                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                              Exactly like the one I have in hiding! Thanks.

                                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                                              Thanks, Caroline! I agree that this is the most likely explanation, and someone else mentioned it to me after I posted in this thread. Will have to check out those specially built for microwaving bacon trays--can't give up my bacon!

                                                          3. Just last night I somehow dumped an entire can of (thankfully cooled) used cooking oil onto my right leg, right arm, my hair, the kitchen floor, and my cat.
                                                            I swore at myself for a moment, then broke into laughter as I slipped and fell on my butt, in the grease. What else can you do?
                                                            The clothes are now clean, the floor is finally grease free (thanks to dear husband, who laughed hysterically at me), but the cat is still looking a bit scruffy.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: MrsCris

                                                              LOL, poor kitty!

                                                            2. Well, I can certainly second some of these. Don't drink and deep fry, don't catch a falling knife, don't stir your ghee to be if it has yet to bubble on its own...

                                                              I'll add a couple of other ones though. Do not mistake mistake your dab of horseradish on your plate for the dab of mashed potatoes that you thought was still there.
                                                              When jellymaking DO NOT mistake your melted paraffin for water and dump it down your sink drain. No fun at all.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: Jester

                                                                Along similar lines, I once thought the shredded white stuff on my plate was coleslaw.
                                                                Uh, no. It was horseradish root. It was also a very big bite.

                                                                1. re: sebetti

                                                                  Oh, ha, like when my dad thought the wasabi at the sushi restaurant was avocado!

                                                                  1. re: sadiefox

                                                                    Muhahaha... My 19 yr old son did the Same thing... and slathered it all over his "California Roll" when trying sushi for the first time a buffet place. (With his friends telling him how good it would taste) Let's just say he was not the biggest fan of buffet sushi at that moment

                                                                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                      As a teenager, my mom and I would make sushi at home when we wanted a project. The wasabi was the powdered kind when Publix first started getting "specialty" foods. I was in a funk - being a teen is the only reason I can remember - and when dad asked to pass the wasabi, I did. I passed the open powder jar right to him and under his nose. Dad breathed in and then was sick all night and some of the next day. I'm still convinced the Jacka** Movie guys heard about my story and got their idea from me. Sorry dad.

                                                                    2. re: sadiefox

                                                                      Or even worse, like a friend of mine at a Mexican restaurant who thought the shredded habanero on the condiment tray was shredded carrots. He survived - barely!

                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                        It's now more than thirty years since I took my parents and children out for a full kaiseki dinner in the restaurant's best tatami room, with a costumed "geisha" to serve us and the whole nine yards. About the third or fourth course, I looked across the table and was convinced my mother was choking to death! I ordered my son to, "Smack Grandma on the back! QUICK! She's choking!" Mother waved him off, shaking her head, but her face was still bright red and tears were rolling down her face. Finally, she croaked, "Water...!" The waitress brought her a glass faster than lightning. She drank it down, then blinked back tears and said, "That Japanese guacamole is HOT!" She ate it all in one bite.

                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                          caroline, that made me laugh out loud! thanks.

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            Same here! Hahahahaha!!!!!!

                                                                2. First Thanksgiving where I was cooking the entire meal. I'd put the bird in the fridge to defrost and it was still not completely thawed. I put the still shrink-wrapped bird on a heating vent to defrost. The plastic melted into the bottom of the bird. We still cooked and ate the rest of it!

                                                                  I worked in a wonderful bakery years ago. We had one of those huge ovens with rotating racks, probably 5 feet across. A batch of baguettes was in and the head baker pulled one tray out to test the crust. He forgot to turn off the rotation, and the tray of bread started toppling to the floor. I reached out with bare hands and caught the tray - and burned both palms and all 10 fingers very badly. Saved the bread, though!

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                                                    YIKES!!! I am wincing just thinking about the rescue of the spinning baguettes. Hope they gave you a Purple Heart!

                                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                                      I think everyone who's ever made Tgiving dinner had pulled that bozo move once... I sure did! (Not the baguette rescue, of course - the other.)

                                                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                                                        Just like a slice of jelly bread, a sicilian pizza will always attempt to land top side down. Like you, I attempted to catch it. All I could think was way too much money heading for the floor, boy are we gonna be in trouble. Result: cheese burns from hands to elbows. Face down sicilian pizza loss is MUCH cheaper than ER and burn treatment fees!

                                                                        1. re: morwen

                                                                          I did something like that the other day. Was putting a couple things in the fridge: gallon of milk and a bowl of something wet. A grapefruit rolls out of the fridge heading toward the floor. Now why I thought that stopping the grapefruit was important escapes me now, but you can imagine what *did* end up on the floor.

                                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                                            I had a similar experience just a few days ago but miraculously made the right split-second choice. I was watering the house plants with a full six-quart plastic watering can when I accidentally bumped the blown-glass shade off a table lamp. Somehow as it was heading for the floor I realized that mopping up a big water spill would be less hassle (and MUCH less expense!) than replacing a smashed shade and managed to save the glass but dropped the can, soaking myself and most of the living room in the process. But we dried out just fine.

                                                                      2. Just so you know, anchovies have the same effect. I was trying to warm up some jarred anchovies for a Ceaser Salad, and let's just say anchovies turn to a fine oily residue after 30 seconds in the microwave, and your cat will rub your leg for the next 4.6 hours purring and begging!!! NOT RECOMMENDED.

                                                                        Kitchen D'OH number 2,

                                                                        3 glasses of Red Wine + using a Mandoline = blood and screaming.

                                                                        1. Just got another good "oops" tonight.

                                                                          I've been cooking with chicken fat lately, and had a batch of stock that had a really good cap on it. I broke up the fat, scooped it into a small saucepan, put it over medium heat to boil out the water, and went into the home office to do a little paperwork.

                                                                          A few minutes later, I heard a "WHUMP" from the kitchen, and went in to find an empty saucepan and schmaltz dripping from the vent hood. Apparently the fat was heavy enough to hold the liquid down until it superheated. Just like Grandma's pressure cooker.

                                                                          Now the entire kitchen needs to be scrubbed down with detergent. Ah, well, it was overdue anyway.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            "WHUMP" huh? My ghee-to-be made a sort of blurping sound. The end result was amazingly similar however. A few blisters not withstanding, I think we were both lucky to be working on sealed heating elements. I was in any event. If you weren't, you were very fortunate. Your narrative could have been much more spectacular. LOL (around the tongue in my cheek).

                                                                          2. >>All I can say is do not put canned tuna in the microwave (yes, i took it out of the can, I wasn't that clueless).

                                                                            Had a roommate that insisted on sauteing CANNED tuna in a skillet ... several of the neighborhood cats would congregate around the backdoor. And the smell would just never leave.

                                                                            1. Here's a hint. They make those mandoline holders for a reason and even if you're just doing one sweet potato, use it. I spent 4 hours in the ER for that one. On the bright side, they've come a long way in stopping bleeding and bandages since I've worked in an ER. It's amazing how your thunb can regenerate and I can barely see the scar now.

                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                i absolutely, literally cringe when i see chefs on tv whipping down veggies at a breakneck pace on the mandoline without a guard. the guard is not perfect, but i'd rather keep my fingers!

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  I just saw that on Top Chef, fast moving fingers. I've read too many stories since about sacrifices to the mandoline god. My FIL was chopping crabs once, too fast and sliced off part of his thumb. He wrapped it in ice, drove himself to the hospital where they sewed it back on. Glad I missed that one.

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    I made that mistake with a Hobart Rotary slicer wich got a nice portion of the corner of my thumb. When I got back from the emergency room the bandage looked like I had stuck my thumb in the middle of a baseball.

                                                                                    Very creepy finding a detatched piece of yourself on the table.

                                                                                  2. re: chowser

                                                                                    Same thing happened to me choswer, except it was a carrot, not a sweet potato. It really is amazing how much the thumb can regenerate!

                                                                                    1. re: spkspk

                                                                                      When I've brought it up, I'm always surprised by the number of people who have scars on the top sides of their thumb. I was sure I'd have a somewhat lopsided thumb when it happened but it's barely noticeable.

                                                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                                                      As I sit here typing with only 9 functional fingers, I must add myself to the list of mandoline/V-slicer casualties. The guard looks so unwieldy and my hands are much more deft ... okay, WERE so much more deft. Yesterday, I was slicing halved onions and marvelling at how beautiful the slices were, when ... oops! I sliced off a piece of my middle fingertip. There was little point in an emergency room visit, since nothing could be stitched. It took four hours for the bleeding to stop, and I'm now left with a pine nut-sized wound and an out of commission finger. Relearning to type, use a mouse, hold a fork, put in my contact lenses, etc. are difficult concepts. Can't cook and can't do yoga for at least a few days. Boo-hoo. Learn from my cocky mistake, people, or at least use the hand you don't use to write, cook, eat, wipe, etc.! LOL!

                                                                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                        1sweetpea, our friend bought us a wire mesh meat cutter's glove to use with the mandoline; it's saved us from your painful plight. You may want to consider buying one for future mandoline sessions. Sorry to hear about your injury.

                                                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                          Not to worry. It's a mistake everyone makes--once.

                                                                                          I know....

                                                                                          1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                            sad to say, better to use your good hand (properly protected) most right handed people are so inept with their left hand that they really make a mess when they try to use it for anything requiring the coordination that using a mandoline takes. (ps, welcome to the "oops" club.

                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                              Proud card carrying member here!!

                                                                                              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                                                I'm lucky I haven't been v-sliced yet, only grated knuckles. My SO on the other hand sliced his finger while I was at work 30 minutes away from home. He calls me and asked me what he should do and if he should go down the street to the ER. I ended up getting a friend who lived in the next complex over to check him over while I waited anxiously by my cell. No stitches but one hell of a nick and kitchen clean-up.

                                                                                            2. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                              Try being a cook AND a quilter. Do you know how sharp those rotary cutters are? 1 trip to the ER for the cuisinart blade fiasco & one for the rotary cutter incident. There is no way I will go anywhere near a v-slicer.

                                                                                              Oh, and they do sell protective gloves for quilters to use while they are rotary cuttin -- they are called Klutz Gloves!

                                                                                          2. Blending hot soup without venting the lid a bit or cooling it off some. There's nothing worse than scalding hot soup going everywhere. Ouch!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: sheilal

                                                                                              Oh, yeah. Hot soup + blender = Mt. St. Helens

                                                                                              1. re: Louise

                                                                                                That's true with hot liquids in food processors, too, in case anyone was wondering.

                                                                                            2. Just the other day I left a metal spoon in a pot, it got very hot and I kept forgetting to remove - i didn't really burn my hands but finally decided to take it out of the pot using my apron as a pot holder (because I was too lazy to go look for a rag or real potholder) - I'm short and I had to stand on my tip toes and lean against the oven to reach the spoon - well the commercial oven i was using, was very hot on the side and I have a huge oven shaped burn on my stomach now!

                                                                                              1. NEVER shuck oysters without one of those steel mesh gloves that you see the chefs use. You will not believe how deep you can bury an oyster knife in the palm of your hands.

                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                                                  There's always the "I forgot to put the lid on the top of the blender" trick. Or the "guests are arriving for dinner in an hour & I just discovered that the big pork roast I put out on the gas grill 2 hours ago isn't cooked because my husband forgot to refill the propane tank" move.

                                                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                    >>There's always the "I forgot to put the lid on the top of the blender" trick.<<

                                                                                                    Imagine when the blender has a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce and tomatillos. Makes a pretty (good) mess.

                                                                                                    Did it with pureed peas, also.

                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                      How about I forgot to use the 220 v. transformer on a 110 V blender while living in Norway? A blinding flash of blue light and the blender blades ascending into heaven to sitteth at the right hand of the Father.

                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        You win.

                                                                                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                          I don't know which I laughed harder at, Passa or Cinnamon. But yep, that beats my tuna all to... umm... Norway and back

                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                            The worst part is I did the same thing w/ my Norelco electric shaver after an all night flight down to Bolivia. The triple head blades also sittith at the right hand of the Father.

                                                                                                    2. re: jlawrence01

                                                                                                      "NEVER shuck oysters with..." an electric drill

                                                                                                      1. re: wew

                                                                                                        i'm intrigued by the mental picture i'm getting of this scenario. was that a ryobi 18-volt?

                                                                                                        1. re: wew

                                                                                                          the possibilities boggle the mind on this one

                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                            The boggle for my mind is why anyone would consider an electric drill in the first place. Unless, of course, they have a great fondness for chomping on bits oyster shell. That's getting your calcium the hard way! Literally.

                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              I use a reciprocating saw for opening oysters. Slick as poop through a tin horn, Cappy.

                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                Hmmm...would vice-grips work to squeeze open an oyster?

                                                                                                                1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                  No sirree cappy, I just open a can of spinach, cause I'm quick to the finish (so sez my wife) and squeeze that oyster open using the strength of my muscle bound forearms!

                                                                                                      2. gross!!

                                                                                                        time to ask Santa for a new microwave!

                                                                                                        The first time I ever made beef stroganoff, I added some red wine... when red wine and sour cream meet, it turns a lovely shade of purple... it looked like strips of Barney over noodles.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                          omg, laughed so hard i cried, visions of young children running screaming from the table... you cooked Barney, you cooked Barney...

                                                                                                          not nearly as funny, but cottage cheese and tomato sauce is a color no-no as well, i don't think i have ever seen that shade of putrid orange pink on a color wheel anywhere, with the lumps of white poking up out of it, truly disgusting.

                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                            haha! Thankfully no kids witnessed the monstrosity.

                                                                                                            Your description of the cottage cheese is gross too, but I know of that color, sometimes I like a little ketchup with my cottage cheese, to give it a little zip in flavor, but it's always done in private, I'd never subject any innocent bystander to my little private quirk!

                                                                                                          2. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                            You got me! I'm laughing out loud.

                                                                                                          3. Blenders and microwaves seem to be a common thread. Also hot pans, falling knives, and broken glass.

                                                                                                            I'm surprised no one has shared a pressure cooker incident.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Louise

                                                                                                              I've heard the new ones are better but I've seen far too many pressure cooker accidents with my mom that I'm afraid to give them a try.

                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                Actually the the new ones are almost "sailor proof." The new ones usually have two overpressure devices and all have an interlock to prevent you from opening it under pressure. I just bought one and I wonder "What took me do so long?"

                                                                                                                Nine years in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club taught me that *nothing* is "sailor proof" because in less than an hour a sailor can break, steal, or lose anything.

                                                                                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                  Exactly what Chowser said. I am *terrified* of pressure cookers.

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the explanation of "sailor-proof", ABD. At first I thought it meant "so well-engineered you can operate it while 3 sheets to the wind and still not eff it up".

                                                                                                            2. well, once my brother decided to heat up a veggie burger in the microwave. for some reason, he pressed the microwave buttons for three HOURS instead of three MINUTES.
                                                                                                              then he went upstairs to his room and fell asleep.

                                                                                                              the entire inside of the microwave was black and it never worked again. the veggie burger was completely gone. it was the middle of the winter, but we had to unseal all of the windows to air the place out. it was horrible. truly.

                                                                                                              1. i put a pyrex dish in the oven, on broil, and then put it on top of the stove where it then exploded into a million pieces, ruining the food in the pyrex and my stovetop - i never realized it wasn't heat proof beyond whatever temp is below broil

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: jpmcd

                                                                                                                  anyone with pyrex should read this: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04...

                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                    My husband was fixated on Steak Au Poivre. I made it for Father's Day many years ago, using a cast iron skillet and lots of really nice mixed peppercorns. The oils from the peppercorns made such acrid, burning, choking smoke that we had to leave the house & eat at McDonalds. The "steak au poivre" stoiry has become a family legend/joke over the years. Also in the vein of "stupid stupid stupid", I repeated a version of the same trick about a year later trying to saute Thai chilis in oil in order to make chili oil.

                                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                      That reminds me of this one: I had a putrid, smelly smoke when roasting cumin and coriander seeds in my cast iron. When they burn, they smell like B.O. Then I "brushed off" (ignored and figured it was ok) the burnt parts and ground them...in my coffee grinder. Ended up having to get a new coffee grinder, as all my coffee smelled like B.O. from then on. I now have a spice grinder though;) For the record, cinammon will remove B.O. smells from your spice grinder.

                                                                                                                      1. re: yamalam

                                                                                                                        Hubbie and I must be twins. but I just open the front and back doors, in the middle of Maine winter, to get a draft. Ah! Fresh air.

                                                                                                                2. Many years ago when I was a new bride and a new cook I had an electric stove, a Wagnerware cast aluminum skillet and a recipe that told me to heat the pan until salt jumped on the pan. Well, the stove was on high, but the salt wasn't jumping. So I decided to walk away and do something else until I got that jumping salt.

                                                                                                                  A few minutes later I looked over see the bottom of the skillet glowing red like the element of the electric burner beneath it. I thought immediately (and brilliantly) that it was too hot and so I reacted, also immediately (and stupidly) by grabbing the handle of the skillet (which had remained cool) and pulling it off the burner.

                                                                                                                  Unfortunately only the sides and the handle of the skillet came up in my hand. The entire bottom of the skillet was melting on to the burner and remained there. Fortunately when it cooled, I was able to peel the rest of the pan off with no damage to the stove, but I was out one skillet and I've never figured out that thing about "jumping" salt.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                    That was one strange recipe! I've never heard of "jumping salt." I don't think i'ts possible! Gee, if it was a "deep pockets" company, you probably could have gotten a new stove out of them!

                                                                                                                  2. In my younger years I learned the hard way that you really, really shouldn't store spices on that little ledge on the back of your stove.

                                                                                                                    Of course, it had to be the red pepper flacks in the plastic jar that fell onto the heating element. BTW, red pepper smoke really hurts and you really can't breath. (uh, duh?)

                                                                                                                    After we ran outside and got some fresh air, we wrapped shirts around our faces and ran back in to find the extinguisher. It took over two weeks for that apartment to air out.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: sebetti

                                                                                                                      Now we all know why pepper spray and tear gas are so effective!!

                                                                                                                      1. re: sebetti

                                                                                                                        In my Thai cooking classes, we often roasted or fried dried chili peppers. Even with two hood fans going, there would still be a gasping miasma. We would gravitate toward the far end of the kitchen to finish the other prep.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Louise

                                                                                                                          that chili-fog happens when making the delicious thai dish, evil jungle prince veggies. you have to heat the many chiles in oil before anything else is added. ack ack! run away!

                                                                                                                      2. As a teenager I found out you can't put cold water into a really hot cast iron skillet. Well, you can if ...you want a two-piece skilet.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                          Ouch. That's a shame - the death of a good pan.

                                                                                                                          1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                            I lost 8 out of 12 china soup bowls to ice cold milk. The boys (1st and 3rd grade) were having a contest to see whose bowl of just-nuked oatmeal would crack in half first. Amazingly the boys are still alive.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                              I'd have nuked the kiddies.

                                                                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                I tried! I tried! They wouldn't fit! '-)

                                                                                                                          2. I must've been 8 or 9 when this happened, but... one evening my mother decided to roast a whole eggplant in the convection oven, but forget to poke holes in the skin. A short while later, she was helping me with homework in the dining room, when: CRASH! The eggplant exploded and knocked the glass door of the convection oven off its hinges and clear across the kitchen, where it hit a wall and shattered. Whoops.

                                                                                                                            1. I had a great oops moment yesterday... I was making macaroni and cheese for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I toss odd bits of leftover cheese in the freezer to use whenever I make macaroni, so I pulled those out, including a few slices of cheese from the deli... I tossed everything in the food processor to shred, then opened it up and saw lot of little paper bits. Only then did I remember that the deli cheese was packed with pieces of waxed paper between each slice. Oops.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                LOL! Whoops. I've done that with butter - tossed part of a stick into the mixer and then saw the highly recognizable little bits of greasy paper with blue writing on them... must unwrap the butter before using.

                                                                                                                              2. we have all forgotten what happens when we put 'the spoon face up in the sink and let's turn the faucet on full' question.

                                                                                                                                Answer - a good face washing!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                  yeahhh..... I do that way too often....

                                                                                                                                2. i was melting butter at 30% power in the micro. it wasn't completely melted when my timer went off, so i put it back in at 50% power. the very first second, it exploded!

                                                                                                                                  wassup with that?

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    Water is heavier than oil, but boils at a lower temperature. Your butter separated into a layer of water covered by a layer of butterfat. The fat was pressing down on the water, raising its boiling point above 212F (like in a pressure cooker).

                                                                                                                                    The microwave then superheated the water - that is, raised its temperature above the ordinary boiling point. But when the fat "seal" was broken (presumably by the escape of a little superheated steam), the water's boiling point dropped back to 212F and it boiled explosively. "Explosively" being the operative word.

                                                                                                                                    Here's a short video of a glass of water that superheated from nothing more than surface tension, and what happens when that surface tension is broken:
                                                                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC_NtH...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                      alan, you're one smart dude (er, "stud" ;-)!

                                                                                                                                      thanks!!!! if i read your explanation correctly, i could've avoided the explosion by stirring the incompletely melted butter (or what was really a butterfat layer over water) before putting it back in the microwave?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                        If you've cut the butter into pieces, at that point, you could just remove it from the microwave and the residual heat will finish melting the butter. I always have my kids cover butter w/ a mesh microwave cover because it's just a pain to clean if it explodes.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                          i took it out and just squished it around till it got pretty uniform. then i used it to make my easy pecan pies! ;-).

                                                                                                                                  2. Or shredded beef down the garbage disposal. Educate your household that it is not the mouth to a black hole that destroys all matter.

                                                                                                                                    Never use dish soap in the dishwashing machine, especially in equivalent quantities.

                                                                                                                                    If you need to get a fireplace fire started, DO use walnut halves at high heat. They burn far better than any kindling I've tried, and in a sustained manner.

                                                                                                                                    And if you're going to use egg yolk as a conditioner, do NOT rinse it out with hot water.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                      ha... i'd love to hear some of the stories behind these gems.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                        >>>
                                                                                                                                        Never use dish soap in the dishwashing machine, especially in equivalent quantities.
                                                                                                                                        <<<

                                                                                                                                        Now you tell me! At one time I had a bottle of Sunlight dish soap and a bottle of Sunlight gel dishwasher soap under the sink. One day I grabbed the wrong one and...well lets say I now only use powder in the dishwasher.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                          "Never use dish soap in the dishwashing machine, especially in equivalent quantities."

                                                                                                                                          Don't even try half the dish soap. As bad as that was, I can't imagine how an equivalent amount would be.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                            I once just put a dish in that still had some residual dishwashing soap on it. That was bad enough. Bubbles coming out of the washer. And you can let it sit to "settle down" but as soon as you run the dishwasher again the bubbles return.

                                                                                                                                        2. dishwashing soap in the dishwasher: oh man, i did that in my houston apartment one summer. the soap was billowing across the linoleum floor of the kitchen, and was about 2 feet high -- at least! i wouldn't have been half surprised if a voice of the bubble monster had rung out of the midst.

                                                                                                                                          i had been in the living room, and hadn't really noticed the impending doom. after many soaked bath towels of sopping up, and then cleaning the still-soapy floor, i had a good laugh. and a heineken.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I did that once when I was 17 or so, and Mom woke me up that night to show me the bubble bath all over our kitchen floor and engage in some family midnight mopping.

                                                                                                                                          2. Ok, so I found ramps in my local Whole Foods and made soup, but couldn't wait for it too cool before I put it in the blender.

                                                                                                                                            Bad Idea. Really bad idea.

                                                                                                                                            Ramp soup all over the kitchen. Hot soup all over my hand. Oh, that's why you don't blend hot liquids. Oops, won't do that again.

                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                              What actually happens? (I need to get a book on the physics of cooking.)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                It's blow the lid off the blender!!! The heat builds up with the propulsion of the blades and it's like a freaking pressure cooker.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sheilal

                                                                                                                                                  Ah, OK. The convection blender!

                                                                                                                                                  For some reason this reminds me of how you make the discovery that friction builds heat - if you've ever had your fingernails sanded in a nail salon you'll probably know what I mean. Suffice to say that if you use an automated tool to file down your pet's claws a little, do it just for a second or so at a time, wait to cool, proceed.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                  Hot water takes up about the same amount of space as cool water. But hot air takes up a lot more space than cool air.

                                                                                                                                                  When you turn on the blender, the heat in the liquid is rapidly transferred to the air, which expands and blows the lid off.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                    will only filling half-full help?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      The less hot liquid there is, the less it will heat the air. Since the expansion of a gas is a direct function of its temperature above absolute zero, you'll get less expansion. Also, there will be less liquid and more gas up around the mouth of the blender jar; anything that does escape is less likely to stick to the cabinets. So with a half-full blender, you may be safe. But you still want to hold the lid on with a side towel.

                                                                                                                                                      I never figured out exactly how much hot liquid can be safely processed in a blender. After the second time I spattered soup all over the kitchen, my wife bought me an immersion blender. Sometimes it's easier to avoid the question than to answer it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                        I love my immersion blender.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                          This might be a good place to ask... what can't you do with an immersion blender? What are its best uses and limits?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                            It's great for things like pureeing vegetables in a pot of hot soup, but pretty useless for any application where you don't have a largish quantity of liquid to immerse it in.

                                                                                                                                                            I have a regular blender, immersion blender, and food processor. The food processor gets most of the chopping/grinding/shredding/pureeing jobs, the blender gets some smaller jobs like making quick hollandaise or other cold sauces, and the immersion blender gets brought out on rare occasions when I want to puree the contents of a hot pot of soup.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                              I use my immersion blender quite a lot. BobB is right that you do actually have to totally immerse it to prevent splats. But I've use for for than hot soups. It's useful for sauces too, i.e. a tomato-based sauce that includes various veggies such as onions, garlic carrots, etc, just to smooth it out. I've also made dips, including hummus.

                                                                                                                                                              Also, in the belief that whole canned tomatoes are less processed and more likely grown close by, I stick my immersion blender right into the can to pulverize those tomatoes before adding them to my sauce.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                                I'm confused about your comment about whole canned tomatoes. As opposed to sauce? Grown closer because?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                                  <<I stick my immersion blender right into the can to pulverize those tomatoes before adding them to my sauce.>>

                                                                                                                                                                  I do the same, but after repainting my kitchen with the contents of a 32 oz can of tomatoes, I learned two important steps:

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Put the can of tomatoes in a large bowl BEFORE you stick blend it, and

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Hold onto the #^@%* can! Otherwise centrigual force from the blender blades suddenly spins the can at high speed, and you've all seen what happens when you rapidly swirl liquid in narrow container, right? Right....

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                                    good one

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                  Speaking of the immersion blender...

                                                                                                                                                                  The local market had whole pork shoulders on sale for $0.69, lamb breast for $0.89, and chuck roast for $1.99. When the stars align like that, it's time to make meatballs. I ended up with 25 pounds of mixed meat, so needed 5 dozen eggs, 5 loaves of homemade bread, 2 pounds of pignoli, 60 cloves of garlic, and a quarter cup of salt. I did it in five batches.

                                                                                                                                                                  Of course, the meat grinder was the tool for grinding the meat and turning the bread into crumbs. But the immersion blender was equally helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                  Need a dozen cloves of garlic pureed quickly? Put them in a tall glass (the Luminarc "jelly jars" are just the right diameter) with a cup of water. Insert the immersion blender and whiz until the garlic is reduced to small pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                  Now you've got to beat the garlic and water into a dozen eggs. Easy enough: break the eggs into a mixing bowl, and add the garlic and water, and a few quick pulses with the immersion blender gets everything uniform. A couple more will mix in the salt and the parsley.

                                                                                                                                                                  Pour the whole wet mess over 5 pounds of meat and 6 cups of breadcrumbs, mix by hand (not a job for the immersion blender), then put the kids to work with a disher.

                                                                                                                                                                  We now have a freezer full of meatballs. The immersion blender made the job a lot easier.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                    should have squeezed a meatloaf out of it too.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                        Ouch ouch ouch! It's especially bad if the soup is thick or oily because then it stays on your hand longer.

                                                                                                                                                        Cinnamon - Harold McGee. Newly revised book (I have the old version) and a blog now, too. www.curiouscook.com

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mawrter

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you. By the way, I'd just posted a thread a couple days back asking about good "science of cooking" books... there are some others on that thread too, in case anyone's curious: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618372

                                                                                                                                                      3. There's something about the layout of the knobs on the cooktop of my new apartment that always has me turning on the wrong one by mistake. Most of the time just results in a hot burner and a cold teapot until I notice my error, but one time I had a ceramic plate sitting on the burner I didn't mean to turn on. Oops. Cracked it right in half. At least it wasn't something plastic!

                                                                                                                                                        1. Hide candy from the kids in the overn. Absentmindedness is a trait that made me regret this move.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mtngirlnv

                                                                                                                                                            ALWAYS check the oven before preheating. I still don't know how or why the crock pot was in there, opened the door to the smell of melting plastic (probably the insulation on the wiring).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                              Or if you stash your store bought bread stuff in there, those plastic doohickeys (doohickies?) to keep the bag closed....nothing like melting one of those on the floor of the oven! (Heat 'em back up again and you can pry them off....)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                LOL- done that and found (through the, hey is something burning?) extra burnt bun from previous nights meal of hamburgers.

                                                                                                                                                            2. New bride...Husband amateur but excellent cook . I decide to cook a surprise dinner ( one of the last in our marriage for reasons that will be obvious soon) Veg was roasted acorn squash seasoned perfectly . Timer on oven went off..checked and it smelled wonderful and was a buttery bubbling work of art. Turned oven off. Went upstairs. 5 minutes pass. Smoke alarm ...kitchen full of smoke ...fire department on the way. Had turned the dial to broil not off...had 2 tiny black acorns left. I don't cook much anymore

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                                                                wow, if grounds for divorce are that low no wonder the rate is so high

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh no 15 years later we are still happily married...because I don't cook much anymore ....

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                                                                    See, all it took was one 'incident' and your meals are cooked for you for life. Voila!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                      My Mother didn't raise a fool

                                                                                                                                                              2. This probably belongs in a separate thread but I just found this topic and am really wondering about warming up canned tuna. That's totally new to me. Does it simulate baked fresh tuna? And......... how would a microwave 'crisp it up'? I'd think it would just heat it. Curious!

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                  I wanted to crisp it in the pan, but i found if i did it enough to warm up the middle of a "patty" (I wouldn't dare refer to it as a crab cake) the outside was burnt and stuck to the pan. I figured what the heck, warm it in the microwave first. No, it still doesn't make sense to me either in retrospect, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                    Ahah! I missed the 'before cooking with it' part. There ARE certain things that would benefit from being warmed up before frying or broiling. Generally pre-cooked things, that are somewhat delicate. Actually, the idea of a 'tuna cake' is kindof interesting. Don't tell the crab cake lovers we're doing this. Great tuna salad, dipped in flour, egg and breadcrumbs (or not), then fried! H-m-m-m-m.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                      yep

                                                                                                                                                                      beats tuna casserole 8 times out of 10

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                        Tried it last night. Next time I'll add a little hot sauce and maybe refrigerate several hours. Cakes needed a binder of some kind. They tended to want to fall apart. Tasted good, but too much like just tuna salad. Needed some zing.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Super late reading this thread. EEK! This is the equivalent of rubbernecking a scene of an accident while driving. I couldn't stop reading despite becoming quite squeamish... I'm now a little frightened to go back in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                  Here's a slightly less frightening tip:

                                                                                                                                                                  When beating egg whites or whipping cream with one of those motorized hand-held electric hand mixers, it is not a good idea to try to clean the blades by lifting them up while the mixer is still running and letting some of the liquid fly off. You would think the walls of the bowl would hold in the mixture, but in fact it doesn't.

                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                    Like watchin' a monkey swallow a hand grenade, i'n't it?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                      Or like sticking a frog in a blender....

                                                                                                                                                                      (Think happy thoughts, moh, happy thoughts... mash potatoes... cotton candy.... macaroni and cheese... kimchi pancakes...)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                        I was with you right up to the kimchi pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                          yum... i assume moh means pa-jhun (or however it should be transliterated), it's more like "kim chee latkes", sort of, LOL. Which reminds me, don't put kochu (chili pepper paste) in an old ketchup bottle. That was a burger my ex will never forget - we had to repaint the wall across the table.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! Reminds me of the time I asked the waiter for hot sauce to put on my burger and he brought me the 16 oz Tabasco bottle from the kitchen. I sprinkled it on without noticing that they had taken out the plastic shaker nozzle, so instead of drops I got gushes, and doused the poor burger with about a quarter cup before I realized what was happening. I ate it anyway - a little too vinegary but otherwise not bad.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh dear! kochujang is a difficult stain to remove, I feel your pain.

                                                                                                                                                                              Actually, pa jon are green onion and seafood pancakes, it isn't typically made with kimchi. I could happily substitute pa jon for kimchi pancakes, pa jon are definitely happy thoughts! Pa jon is one of the only food products where I tolerate green onions.

                                                                                                                                                                              No, I did mean kimchi pancakes. I made a batch of these great kimchi pancakes with go sa ri, and mung bean and soy bean batter. The kimchi was particularly well aged, and very delicious. But here was another "oops I won't do that again" moment. My recipe made gallons of batter! We mixed everything up and looked at the gigantic amount of batter and went "Uh Oh..." We were frying up pancakes for hours. Fortunately, they freeze very well, and i was very convenient to pull out a package of frozen pancakes, throw them in the toaster oven, and feast soon after.

                                                                                                                                                                              BTW Cinnamon, I'm not sure if you are familiar with the Korean notion of "pancake". Unlike the sweet North American flat cake-like substance, Korean pancakes are often savoury, and so kimchi pancakes are not as crazy as they sound. Some people translate these items as "savoury crepes" or "korean pizza". They are quite tasty! Whereas Kimchi folded into our blueberry pancake recipe for breakfast would creep me out big time...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                Moh, I was betting these were not sweet, but still an acquired taste, perhaps. I'd try them, but would prefer to have other standby food around at the time in case I got that hmm-nope-still-a-Westerner-at-heart reaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks for the clarification moh, sorry for answering for you. the kimchi pancakes sound really good. when you get it down to a reasonable sized recipe let me know...hahah

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                    They still sound mouthwatering!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Worst ones are- accidently touching the gas stove after it's been on. Unlike an electric range, there is no color change etc denoting that it is hot still.

                                                                                                                                                                          Trying a new recipe for a dinner party- particularly desserts have been flops.

                                                                                                                                                                          Broiling nachos in the oven and leaving the room for a minute.

                                                                                                                                                                          Not watching the nuts that I am toasting in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: salsailsa

                                                                                                                                                                            Walnuts work so much better than any charcoal and lighter fluid I've ever seen. And those suckers keep going.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                              So even in a grill?

                                                                                                                                                                          2. My most recent incident was:

                                                                                                                                                                            I was going to make my weekly batch of breadcrumbs from my stale left overs, but the middles were'nt completely dried out. So, I put them on a tray in the oven to toast a bit and dry out so I could throw them in the processor.

                                                                                                                                                                            As I sat at my desk, I get an email from the local ice cream shop where they announced "Just made the first batch of Beer Ice Cream!!!! Get it while it lasts!"

                                                                                                                                                                            Well, my eyes popped out and I jumped into my truck and high-tailed it down there for a pint.

                                                                                                                                                                            I get back home, and my block is surrounded by about half a dozen fire trucks. "WTF?!?!" I ask myself...then I smelled it..."UH OH....@%&#*!@%".

                                                                                                                                                                            I guess my neighbor called them cause he saw thick black smoke billowing out of my windows and heard my smoke detectors going off. How embarrassing! No damage, just the smell of burnt bread for a couple days.

                                                                                                                                                                            I now have a note permanently posted on the inside of my front door.
                                                                                                                                                                            "Is the oven on? Are you sure?" LOL

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                              Novelli, this is the funniest post I have read in a long time. Hilarious! Thank you so much for sharing. I have a bad habit of putting things in the oven and then watching TV in the bedroom. I fall asleep and it's DISASTER, because I wake up hours later. I never hear the smoke alarms. What wakes me up are my dogs. They are not happy about this at all. BTW, how was that beer ice cream?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Duquesne

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh the beer ice cream was phenomenal! But that whole scenario was embarrassing as all get out!

                                                                                                                                                                                All the neighbors were out on their front lawns watching the commotion as 5 firefighters emerged from my house holding a little baking tray with a baseball sized meteorite smoldering on it. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Wow, two years from my original post and still going strong. The smell of tuna did disapate over time. I've had an occasional scorch, a recipe here and there not turn out quite right, but all in all no huge disasters recently. guess im just not cooking enough. Can't begin to say how much I've enjoyed reading of the amazing array of other Oops' here and on a couple of the other related threads.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I learned something from your post. I didn't know that would happen. No tuna in the micro for me. My dumbest thing goes like this: I roast a marshmallow on a fork over the gas burner. When it gets just right, I pop it in my mouth AND lick the fork. OWWW. Then, I get another marshmallow and do it AGAIN. Now I can't eat anything until my tongue heals. This is the dumbest thing I do. I've done it more than once! Nevertheless, I did purchase oven mitts that reach all the way up to my elbows so that I can take things out of the oven without scorching my arms. DUH!