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Nov 16, 2008 05:18 AM

The "Murphy's Laws" of the kitchen

Ok i'm sure there's a list of these somewhere...and as was my experience yesterday, i'll throw out the first one !

1) No matter how many beautifully crafted, near to perfection baked goods you crank out on a regular basis, the moment one such item becomes required in some official capacity, it will flop.

(mine was my never fail cake that was due for a charity auction yesterday, and wouldn't set up properly)

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  1. Mine is...

    I posses what I call great kitchen skills, but- it becomes a disaster the minute I am being watched.

    I do my "no cry onion cutting technique" as I have done (unwatched) thousands of times before. A few days ago, at my sister's residence, we had an onion induced cry...

    To top things off, I brought my super sharp knife set along, that simply refused to cooperate. It started in the pulling the tie string of my custom canvas knife wrap. It got knotted right off the bat. Then my favorite knife fell off the counter and stuck in the toe area of my shoe. (Perhaps I was a bit lucky, as not to draw blood or lose a toe. I guess an angel intervened) My diced onions appeared to have been cut by a 10 year old.

    After the meal, I could not get out of there fast enough. I lost a knife, some place...

    1. Even if I prep them ahead of time, have my mise en place set up and labeled, have a complete game plan taped to my kitchen cupboards reminding me exactly what needs to be done when--I'm going to find at least one forgotten garnish still sitting somewhere in the kitchen when I go to clean up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        and here I thought *I* was the only one who did that.

      2. if you don't check the pantry/fridge before you shop, you will not have that one item you knew you had - or the tomatoes will have gone bad, or something

        7 Replies
        1. re: thew

          You *always* have plenty of baking soda in the house except...when you must turn out some elaborate baked goods within the next hour and there's no one in the house to do a break-the-speed-limit grocery store run.

          1. re: thew

            The opposite. If you don't check the pantry/fridge before you shop, you will inevitably buy either a duplicate or triplicate of something you already have a whole one of. I currently have at least 2 full Costco-size bags of almonds in my cupboard. Somehow I always think I'm out of almonds and keep buying them over and over. It's a curse and I can't make it stop.

            1. re: Nyleve

              Ah yes. In my household we call that phenomenon "spinach" after the day my housemate opened the freezer to put away the box of frozen spinach she'd just bought and realized she already had six boxes. Right now my "spinach" is apple sauce. I keep buying the six-packs of single-serving size organic apple sauce at Grocery Outlet, and the last time I looked in the pantry I had four of them.

              1. re: Nyleve

                So that would explain the 3 almost-full boxes of currants I just came across while cleaning up. So I'm thinking, almonds and currants. Sounds like a few dozen good batches of scones to me.

                1. re: rockycat

                  The other day I found 2 jars of Madras curry paste in my pantry and 3 jars of Chinese black bean sauce. Why why why?

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    mine is worchestershire sauce. which I can still never find when I need, but when I don't, I'm tripping over 4 different bottles! ugh.

                  2. re: rockycat

                    rockycat - if you need more ways to use up the currants & almonds, bake up some granola!

              2. Your kitchen sink drain will become clogged when you're ready to do the dishes after Thanksgiving dinner!

                10 Replies
                1. re: janniecooks

                  The Thanksgiving sink drain is classic, and my kitchen appliance guru, an uneducated genius for whom I give quarterly thanks and a nice check as he keeps my elderly-but-love machines in great working order, says that it's nearly always because of potatoes. More peels than usual through the disposal and not the lots and lots of cold water that it takes to flush them through. Then lots of HOT water running through from draining the cooked potatoes, which cooks the remaining starch, which swells up, and....

                  Just a little FYI.

                  And I agree with the pantry-check thing, for sure!

                  1. re: lemons

                    Well, potato peels stops up our drains rather easily.

                    I soon discovered that if I run the leftover peels through my already food soiled - food processor, they go down the running disposal just fine. Running the disposal helps in mixing the peel solids with water and prevents the solids from clinging to the inside cavity of the disposal. Guess I saved hundreds of dollars by firing the landlord's plumber. (Yes, our landlord will charge us for preventable plumbing issues. Grease and potato peels are subject to that)

                    1. re: lemons

                      Grandpa did this one Christmas, peeling 10 lb of potatoes. He liked to feel that he was still useful which is why he then tried to snake it out. He's had a heart attack and isn't supposed to raise his arms over his head, which is why I practically had a heart attack seeing him do this. I grabbed that thing away so fast, and ordered him back upstairs.

                      FWIW, I hear that Thanksgiving and the day or two after are $$$ for plumbers.

                      1. re: Louise

                        Just a note ... if desparate times call for desparate mesures ... a mix of vinegar and baking soda will clear a drain,. Look it up on the web. When I imparted this wisdom to a friend, he cautioned to be careful. He used the combo to make pipe bombs as a kid.

                        A major flaw of my S/O is that he will clog up the drains. Recently when he did this, he also used the last of the Draino without replacing it. Pissed is not a understatement .. I was NOT going to lay out big bucks for MORE Draino. So I searched the web and found the vinegar/baking soda solution .

                        As God is my witness, I will never use Draino again.

                        1. re: rworange

                          i thought the vinegar/baking soda combo was just meant for smelly drains...not powerful enough to unplug a clog....

                          1. re: im_nomad

                            It works best for clogs if done regularly so that drain pipes don't get too narrowed by junk in the first place. And boiling water down after helps.

                          2. re: rworange

                            I thought vinegar and baking soda (along with some red food dye) were the active ingredients for making a volcano for a science fair (former primary school teacher here...).

                            Another Murphy's Law of the Kitchen is that no matter how thoughtfully you choose a recipe to make from a book, it will be the single recipe with one ingredient that it never tells you when to insert into the dish (Um, ok, I chopped the olives, but when do I add them???). Or, the inverse, the recipe photo will show ingredients not listed or even mentioned in the actual recipe (where did those olives come from???).

                      2. re: janniecooks

                        LOL. This happened to us just last year -- at the in-laws new vacation house, where we didn't know where anything was or how to fix it.

                        1. re: janniecooks

                          Our dishwasher died on Thanksgiving Day. Ugh!

                          1. re: laurachow

                            Mine two days before Thanksgiving! And they couldn't repair it until after. Hahahaha - did I laugh!

                            No. I didn't.

                        2. The ice maker will always quit when you have guests.

                          If your house is 70 years old, you will have standing water in the sink when you want to do dishes.

                          Pie will never set up if anyone besides blood kin is at the dinner party.