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Kitchen Superpowers - have one?

operagirl Nov 20, 2008 11:21 AM

They call me the Tupperware Guru. No matter how much of something is left over after dinner, I can gauge exactly which tupperware will just barely hold all of it. Every time.

  1. goodhealthgourmet Nov 20, 2008 11:58 AM

    LOL! operagirl, i think you & i may share some DNA - i have the same superpower. when i was staying with my folks earlier this year, every time mom took out a container for the leftovers, i would always put it back & take out another one that would turn out to be the perfect size. eventually she gave up trying and just left it to me to take care of the leftovers.

    my other superpower would have to be loading the dishwasher...i can fit more stuff in there than even the manufacturer ever thought possible...and it all comes out clean.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      LindaWhit Dec 3, 2008 11:36 AM

      Hello, my long-lost Twin!

      My job was always the food storage person and the dishwasher stacker, from the time I was about 9-10yo. Mom would tell guests "oh don't bother - Linda will get more in that dishwasher than anyone can even imagine - just let her do it. If you attempt to help, she'll just pull it out and re-stack it HER way." I guess a bit of OCD-ness coming out in me. :-)

    2. hypertomatoes Nov 20, 2008 12:19 PM

      Operagirl - I'm much the same, but my tupperware superpowers are in collecting it! I can't ever have enough - all different shapes, sizes, uses, compartments, etc. Some with rubber snap lids, some with plastic screw lids...you get the idea. The round plastic containers that soup from Chinese takeout comes in - those are my favorite as of late.

      Other superpowers? Hmm, well I'm pretty good at cleaning up pots & pans while I'm still cooking and baking. I can't stand a cluttered counter, dirty dishes and stuff everywhere when I'm in a culinary frenzy!

      1. cayjohan Nov 20, 2008 03:11 PM

        It'd have to be timing, without any sort of conscious plan. Since T-day is coming, and the usual freaking out of various family members over "will everything be ready at once?", this has been on my mind. I just always seem to get everything ready at the same time, even on the big day. I think making a list of things-to-do-and-when-to-do-them would just stress me.

        Now if I could just be invisible on those over-the-top feast days!


        1. m
          MrsT Nov 20, 2008 03:17 PM

          I have two. I can make dirty dishes magically appear in the sink after I just did two full loads in the dishwasher.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MrsT
            goodhealthgourmet Nov 20, 2008 03:18 PM

            mom? is that you...?


            1. re: MrsT
              purple goddess Nov 20, 2008 03:25 PM

              You're one of my kids, aren't you?

              1. re: MrsT
                Jen76 Nov 28, 2008 11:02 PM

                We must be long lost sisters! ;)

              2. j
                Janet from Richmond Nov 21, 2008 05:07 AM

                I have an incredible talent for kitchen timing. If dinner is at 7, everything will be ready at 7:00. If Dh is cooking and dinner is scheduled for 7, it will be most likely 7:30-7:45 and some items will be waiting on others.

                1. s
                  susan1353 Nov 21, 2008 08:45 AM

                  I have a knack for getting up from my chair about 5 seconds before the kitchen timer goes off. Doesn't matter how long it was set for, and I never have to look at my watch. I just know!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: susan1353
                    starlady Nov 21, 2008 09:30 AM

                    Me too! Or if I don''t set a timer I get to whateverit is just before it's over cooked, about to boil over etc.

                    1. re: susan1353
                      melly Dec 3, 2008 04:30 PM

                      Me too Susan. I always get to the timer right before it rings.

                    2. c
                      charlesbois Nov 21, 2008 08:53 AM

                      I once peeled, pitted and mashed an entire case (what is it, a 15# box?) of avocados and made a batch of guacamole in under five minutes. That was back when my prep kitchen prowess was at its zenith.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: charlesbois
                        RShea78 Nov 23, 2008 02:48 PM

                        Now, what really happened? Sure "time change" wasn't a factor? <jokingly> <wink>

                      2. BiscuitBoy Nov 21, 2008 09:52 AM

                        I can pour a beer just to the absolute point of not going over the side of the glass....And speedily prep potatoes into french fries...No v slicer, just me, my knife, and a little rhythm

                        1. Vetter Nov 22, 2008 01:23 PM

                          I can toss food, including eggs, in my 12" cast iron skillet.

                          1. Sam Fujisaka Nov 23, 2008 12:08 PM

                            Superpower 1. Flip 6 corn tortillas (and just about anything else) in a pan all at once with all coming down in the pan perfectly distributed.

                            Superpower 2. Juggle Jello

                            Superpower 3: Make all the alcohol in the house disappear.

                            NB (a): superpower 1 and 2 cannot be employed after superpower 3.

                            NB (b): I lied about superpower 2.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                              JoanN Nov 23, 2008 12:55 PM

                              LOL is used rather cavalierly on this board. But this time, I really did.

                              1. re: JoanN
                                givemecarbs Nov 23, 2008 01:27 PM

                                Sam is da man! operagirl what a fun idea for a thread! All the comments are delightful to read. I make lots of cookies at Chrismas and even with the insulated pans I use I would always burn two pans full and have to toss them. I figured out my problem was using the oven timer. I'd get involved on the intrazweb or something and just not hear the timer. So I had to develop super powers to save mah cookies! First I learned to just use my nose and smell when the cookies were almost done, guess my sense of smell is better developed than my hearing, but like some of the other posters I soon just got up from my pc at some random time and the cookies would be about ready to come out. And my oven is one that just keeps getting hotter and hotter as I bake so the times really are random. Haven't burnt any cookies in a few years! All the best cooks use intuition I betcha.

                            2. enbell Nov 23, 2008 07:10 PM

                              I am too superstitious to name mine out loud for fear of jinxing myself for life

                              1. Caroline1 Nov 23, 2008 11:50 PM

                                I used to do that! And now I have made all of my Tupperware disappear by using Zip Lock bags. And I ALWAYS know exactly which size to use! And now I don't have to worry about some idiot putting the Tupperware in the bottom rack of the dishwasher and melting it so the house stinks every time the dishwasher runs for the next two years! I have a true superpower! '-)

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Caroline1
                                  im_nomad Nov 28, 2008 08:41 PM

                                  i have never had tupperware melt in the bottom rack of the DW........what gives?

                                  btw, i was a ziploc fan, soups could be bagged and flat stacked to infinity in the freezer. but the willies now have me in the glass zone, taking up more room.

                                  1. re: im_nomad
                                    Caroline1 Nov 29, 2008 04:29 AM

                                    Housekeepers would put small pieces -- lids, custard cup sizes -- in the bottom (and probably top as well) rack unanchored and the water pressure would wash them out of the racks and onto the heating element. I had no problem finding "house friendly" housekeepers in El Paso. Dallas is a whole different story. Every once in a while my 3 year old dishwasher emits terrible odors from the styrofoam cup one brilliant housekeeper decided to load. Did you know the heat of a dishwasher can "deconstruct" a styrofoam cup into wee little styrofoam pellets that lurk in the innards of a machine for years, and when they finally come out, you have to pluck them from the drain filter with tweezers? Things I NEVER wanted to know about dishwashers!

                                    But I've also had Tupperware partially melt from someone placing it in the bottom rackdirectly over the heat element. It smells bad but it also deforms enough that the lad and contaiiner no longer mesh. So I've dumped all Tupperware.

                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                      RShea78 Nov 29, 2008 07:17 AM

                                      My Uncle that runs his company, tells me there is a huge difference between construction equipment Operators (highly skilled) and Drivers (zero intelligence).

                                      My Aunt says there is a huge difference between Housekeepers and Housewreckers.

                                      Both say that the latter of each can destroy more property than what they can earn. For many years now, careful screening prevents bankruptcy.

                                2. emmaroseeats Nov 25, 2008 10:33 AM

                                  I have a super sniffer! I can smell that foods are done a few seconds before the timer, or even when the timer is completely wrong. Cookies, roasts, veggies, anything. Including hot sugar for hard candies.

                                  I also can open any jar you give me, despite petite hands. I am just that stubborn.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: emmaroseeats
                                    JoanN Nov 25, 2008 12:11 PM

                                    Please come see me. I have a jar for you. Just about a year ago I actually tore a tendon in my wrist trying to open a jar of roasted peppers to decorate a paella for a party that evening. Adrenaline got me through the party, but I was in a brace for nearly a month afterwards. Talk about stubborn, I've still got the damned jar. It's going to get opened one of these days. Just not by me.

                                    1. re: emmaroseeats
                                      goodhealthgourmet Nov 27, 2008 05:01 PM

                                      emmaroseeats - did you ever see the episode of "Will & Grace" where he asks her to sniff the milk carton & she tells him it has 12 hours left? my roommate at the time looked at me and sai, "wow, that's totally you!"

                                      i've always said i think i'm part bloodhound ;)

                                      it comes in very handy in terms of palate sensitivity & wine tasting, and as an early warning system [i.e. for things that are about to burn or spoil], but the drawback is that the faint, funky/bad odors that others don't even notice are totally obvious and offensive to me.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        TampaAurora Nov 29, 2008 03:02 PM

                                        My superpower is to throw away all milk if I smell it. I always think milk smells sour. I have magically thrown away too much money. I even threw away two quarts - in a row - that were bought that day from the market and still had a week on them apparently.

                                        1. re: TampaAurora
                                          MMRuth Nov 29, 2008 03:42 PM

                                          I've learned that sometimes smelling the milk isn't enough - often the milk itself is fine, but there is a little bit caked around the lid/opening that smells bad. So, much as I HATE the taste of bad milk, I taste a little with a spoon. That said, I've recently stopped buying milk from one local market because it's often bad way before its sell by date - I think it must be some issue with their refrigeration.

                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                            TampaAurora Nov 30, 2008 11:35 AM

                                            You and my SO are on the same wavelength. My family rehashed the many times I poured milk down the sink and this is what my husband came back with. Finally, a curveball in the story.

                                      2. re: emmaroseeats
                                        LJS Nov 28, 2008 07:13 AM

                                        Oh, thats my Superpower, too! I know from my nose when a cake is baked, when a roast is done, when a roux is ready and when something is too far gone to save. But it only works on stove top and oven-cooked food,,,my superpower is useless against the kryptonite of the micro-wave oven.

                                        1. re: LJS
                                          Caroline1 Nov 28, 2008 05:20 PM

                                          I also have a "super nose." I think a lot of good cooks do. In addition to when food is done, I can also smell a skunk from a country mile, even though I'm in the house. No one else in the family can do that. They only smell it when the damned thing gets in the yard! I can smell when things are done in the microwave, as well as other cooking methods. Handy!

                                          Emma, I envy your ability to open jars! I have to fight hard, and even then, I may lose or give up and ask the housekeeper to open it. Well, wait a minute. Isn't that a win too? It gets the damned jar open!.

                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                            emmaroseeats Jan 8, 2009 01:51 PM

                                            So interesting to think of a good nose as being part of what makes me a good cook...

                                            One of my jar techniques is using the large size rubber bands from the broccoli and other veggies at the store. Just wrap around the side of the lid and twist off. Plus there's the good ol' bang on the counter trick.

                                      3. krisrishere Nov 25, 2008 11:22 AM

                                        I cannot judge the tupperware based on the leftovers. I can't keep a clean kitchen while baking/cooking. I cut myself almost every time I'm in the kitchen; most of the time when not even using a knife or any sharp implement (who knew aluminum foil could almost slice your thumb off?). I tend to forget that I just had that pan in a 400 degree oven (you should see the burns on my stomach from trying to reach in the cabinet above the stove). But boy can I cook!
                                        Would that make me the arch nemisis to your kitchen superpowers?

                                        11 Replies
                                        1. re: krisrishere
                                          RShea78 Nov 27, 2008 08:52 AM

                                          ""Would that make me the arch nemisis to your kitchen superpowers?""

                                          Hey, maybe we can start our own club. Kitchen Mishaps & Disasters Anonymous. Are you willing to hand out annual survivor pins? :-p

                                          1. re: RShea78
                                            krisrishere Nov 28, 2008 04:31 AM

                                            Absolutely! The pins can be a bandaged hand :)

                                          2. re: krisrishere
                                            MMRuth Nov 29, 2008 03:44 PM

                                            That sounds a lot like me! No stomach burns though, fortunately. I have good timing in that even if I leave the timer in the kitchen and go off to another room, I always return to the kitchen a minute before the timer is set to go off. However, I also generally know what time it is though I never wear a watch etc., so I don't think it's a particular kitchen superpower, though it is useful.

                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                              MMRuth Nov 29, 2008 03:49 PM

                                              Oh - I did however once slightly burn a breast, by leaning over the breakfast table to reach for something and 'landing' in my cup of tea. That was, um, painful.

                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                krisrishere Nov 30, 2008 05:32 AM

                                                Oh. My. Goodness. I can't even imagine what that felt like..and I never want to

                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                  Caroline1 Nov 30, 2008 08:43 AM

                                                  M, it absolutely does sound painful, but this irreverent mind of mine is pushing the question: Were you having breakfast in the nude? '-)

                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                    MMRuth Nov 30, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                    No, fortunately for me I had pyjamas on - it really wasn't that bad in terms of pain, just terribly embarrassing!

                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      Caroline1 Nov 30, 2008 10:09 AM

                                                      No need to be embarrassed. Just think of all the super-flat chested women who envy the experience! :-)

                                                  2. re: MMRuth
                                                    TampaAurora Nov 30, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                    I can't help but thinking Mrs. Doubtfire and the setting of the fake breast on fire scene.

                                                2. re: krisrishere
                                                  Agent Orange Dec 9, 2008 08:22 AM

                                                  You're just like me. Last Thanksgiving, I burnt fingers on both hands and made a large gash in one thumb, all due to three different incidents.. I had to sit on the sidelines after the last one.

                                                  I seem to do the "forgetting the cookware has just come out of the oven" routine every time I braise something in a pot. I take out the pot, place it on the counter, and a few minutes later I will reach for the lid expecting the handle to be 72 degrees. Not sure what's wrong with me. I'm in school right now, and people often ask me why I'm not in culinary school to be a chef. I tell 'em that with my propensity for burns and cuts, as a chef I'd probably lose all of my fingers within months.

                                                  1. re: Agent Orange
                                                    krisrishere Dec 9, 2008 08:42 AM

                                                    I'm too accident prone to do anything more than a desk job even though I would love to cook. Funny enough, I actually work as an office manager in a kitchen with no accidents to speak of....yet (knocking on wood). I guess it's part of the curse of being a left-handed redhead :)

                                                3. kirinraj Nov 27, 2008 10:46 AM

                                                  I'm a multi tasker. I can cook a lot of dishes with little to no help and still have the meal ready on time. I don't get overwhelmed by cooking, but mysteriously by schoolwork.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: kirinraj
                                                    Passadumkeg Nov 27, 2008 05:42 PM

                                                    As a high school teacher my favorite line in a song is found in Paul Simon's "Kodachrome", "If I think back to all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all."

                                                    I can take a fridge, that my says has nothing good to eat in it an whip up, Presto Zamo, a gourmet meal. Take a hike in the woods or a walk on the beach (armed or not) and return w/ a feast for two.

                                                  2. Raivyn Nov 28, 2008 11:46 AM

                                                    A resistance to heat..? I can handle hot pans/dishes with my bare hands without a problem.

                                                    And I have an odd ability to create some of the cutest pastries. (Like my Halloween spider cupcakes) :)

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Raivyn
                                                      RShea78 Nov 28, 2008 12:53 PM

                                                      ""And I have an odd ability to create some of the cutest pastries. (Like my Halloween spider cupcakes) :)""

                                                      OMG! Several years ago, I found some extra heavy aluminum craft cooking blanks that I could form (using a small trimmed piece of wood) into small coffin shapes. All of this was intending to make "Coffin Cakes" from yellow cake mix. They were a hit after my assistant came up with some white sugar floss to be used as cob webs.

                                                      1. re: Raivyn
                                                        goodhealthgourmet Nov 28, 2008 04:29 PM

                                                        "A resistance to heat..? I can handle hot pans/dishes with my bare hands without a problem. "
                                                        i totally freaked out my T-giving hostess last night. i was helping her in the kitchen so we could get dinner on the table, and i pulled a pan of brussels sprouts out of the oven with my bare hands...it hadn't been in for *that* long :) i told her that if you spend enough time cooking and/or baking, you develop asbestos hands.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          Caroline1 Nov 28, 2008 05:33 PM

                                                          When my daughter was an early teen, she was standing next to me when I took some hard boiled eggs out of boiling water and put them in a bowl to carry to the sink/ice maker. She immediately picked one up with her bare hands and began peeling it. When I said to her, "Christie, you'll burn yourself!" she just cupped it in both hands and said, "But it's not hot, Mom." I expected her to develop burns, but she didn't!

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                            RShea78 Nov 28, 2008 09:55 PM

                                                            I was a bit bashful concerning my "" extreme sensitivity to heat" (or?) - problem.

                                                            Oh, I can stand the heat of the kitchen, no problem. My hands however, is another story... Hot (or?) foods leave my kitchen at such high velocity, I pity the poor soul in the path of the flying food or the pan.

                                                            Now comes the ability to toss a 7" skillet and have it stick in the wall! Perhaps it is a pinched nerve problem???

                                                        2. sunangelmb Nov 29, 2008 07:30 AM

                                                          I have an amazing ability to burn any piece of toast I put in the toaster oven. For some reason that small psuedo oven is my arch nemesis! The oven and I are friends, but the toaster, gets me ever time!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: sunangelmb
                                                            TampaAurora Nov 29, 2008 03:06 PM

                                                            I can burn any white rice I make. Even in a rice cooker.

                                                            1. re: TampaAurora
                                                              mjhals Dec 2, 2008 11:22 AM

                                                              Oh my god, I thought i was the only one! I can cook anything on the planet EXCEPT rice.

                                                          2. Passadumkeg Nov 29, 2008 04:23 PM

                                                            We just finish 2 month out of date yogurt and cottage cheese. Why do they put expiration dates?

                                                            1. c
                                                              Cachetes Nov 30, 2008 10:40 AM

                                                              I can fit anything into the refrigerator that needs to go in. Others balk, and say it can't be done, but I know it can. Thanksgiving leftovers are child's play in my hands.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Cachetes
                                                                cayjohan Dec 2, 2008 04:20 PM

                                                                You and my Hub! I never have to worry about post-holiday fridge chess, since he pushes up his sleeves, does a little jazz-hands "Show Time" and all the leftovers are packed in tighter than a winning Tetris game! Truly a wonderful superpower!


                                                                1. re: cayjohan
                                                                  cookingwithdadtv Dec 2, 2008 05:36 PM

                                                                  I can turn any left-overs into a new meal that the kids will eat, (well most of the time)
                                                                  They call me the left-overs king..

                                                                2. re: Cachetes
                                                                  manraysky Jan 8, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                                  That's my super-power, too! I credit it to a lot of Tetris playing. I can always make everything fit in the fridge.

                                                                  1. re: manraysky
                                                                    Cachetes Jan 11, 2009 06:16 AM

                                                                    Yes! Who knew that what I thought were wasted hours playing that game would end up helping me in the kitchen?!?!.

                                                                3. m
                                                                  mordacity Dec 3, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                                  Mine is more of an anti-superpower: I can make absolutely anything stick to a nonstick pan.

                                                                  1. Peg Dec 3, 2008 10:23 AM

                                                                    I can make a (good) meal when there's 'nothing to eat in the house'.

                                                                    1. s
                                                                      spifferooney Dec 10, 2008 11:29 AM

                                                                      I can smell chicken at 20 paces, without even seeing it on the counter. WOOF!
                                                                      Your canine friend, Spifferooney

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: spifferooney
                                                                        Monch Dec 10, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                                        Super-human control over the presence or absence of matter:

                                                                        My wife disappears everytime I start to cook!

                                                                        She can't stand the mess I make...even though it's spotless when I'm all done. The intermediate mess makes her head explode.

                                                                      2. p
                                                                        polecat2663 Jan 12, 2009 04:00 AM

                                                                        My superpower comes from having three kids. No matter how many glasses of juice, milk, etc I pour and how casually I do it, they will all have exactly the same amount of liquid in the cup (even as judged by thirsty kids who all want the cup with the most , and are using their superpowers of unfairness detection)

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