HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


I'm an idiot-bad judgment in the kitchen

Well I guess two nights on call at the hospital disactivates the better judgment gene. Last night I couldn't decide which vinegar I wanted to use and coincidentally all of my options only had a few tbsps left so I decided to do the "pour in the mouth" taste. 1st bad idea? What! Who does that? Then I forget a few don't have a good sprinkle cap but a pour cap. First bottle, in it went...a nice pour of red wine vinegar on the back of my throat. I guess 6% acid can be caustic like it's chemical forms hydrochloridic acid. Immediate burn, throat still scratchy and inflamed. Have you had any moments of obvious bad judgment in the kitchen?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can't think of anything I've done off the top of my head, but I did recently watch a cooking show where the hosts (two home cooks) test out cook books. They were making fries and their oil was too hot, so the idiot dropped an ice cube in the oil to cool it down. Lucky for them there was no fire!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Musie

      Wow I guess they had the right concept I'm mind but not so much in principle. Good thing, no injuries. I'm going to need some tea for this throat.

    2. I once learned the hard way to NEVER keep honey and olive oil in similar looking squeeze bottles....... yuck :P

      1. A baked apple is much better with cinnamon than with cumin!

        11 Replies
        1. re: grampart

          I had a similar misfortune with a mixed nutmeg/cinnamon ratio

          1. re: grampart

            And a pre-baked apple pie is much better with cinnamon than with cayenne!

            1. re: JerryMe

              And the paprika/cayenne mix up is equally bad on pork.

            2. re: grampart

              Oooh. I made oatmeal with chili powder one morning rather than cinnamon. Not fun.

              1. re: Heatherb

                That's kinda what I did..substitute EVOO for chili powder.

                1. re: petek

                  Did you have that moment of utter misery when you realized you'd just messed up your breakfast?

                  1. re: Heatherb

                    It was actually a late,after work snack.It was dark,I was hungry..it took a couple of spoonfuls for me to realize my mistake,never again.
                    If anyone's looking for a good "cleanser"..oatmeal & olive oil is the stuff.. :D

              2. re: grampart

                I once started to make a cinnamon yeast cake, I thought it smelled different and I'd used garam masala instead.

                1. re: Musie

                  Hmmmmmm. I'm actually thinking that goof might be tasty!

                  1. re: Musie

                    I pulled a similar goof with cookies and five spice. I still have an aversion to five spice

                2. The clear glass salt and sugar jars that sit on the counter are the same size. I put a cup of table salt into my brownies!....need I say more?

                  1. Immersion blender pureeing carrot soup + distraction = lengthy cleaning session

                    1. I think we've all reached into the oven without a hot pad...put a pan on the burner and then forgot to turn it on....put something on to warm up, then nodded off for a nap (chili. ugh. Coal.)

                      It's not you -- just a brain fart. We all get them.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Agreed, but taking a swig straight from the vinegar bottle does raise the bar for brain farts.

                        1. re: grampart

                          some stink more than others.

                          I wouldn't discount second-degree burns.

                          1. re: grampart

                            Indeed, SO questioned whether we just ran out of wine.

                          2. re: sunshine842

                            Oh I seem to always reach into the oven without a hot pad. For some reason I continue to think "it won't be that hot."

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I've done the exact same thing with re-heating chili, lol! I was woken up by the fire department, they were already in my place airing it out with fans. The chili itself was literally glowing red, and they warned me to not put it in the sink under water.

                            2. My idiocy was in the garage, but food-related: a bag of shrimp hopped out of the grocery bag during transit. I didn't discover it until a week later because of a, shall we say, unique smell. In my defense, it was in the bed of a shell-covered pick-up truck, so not right at nose-level. Offered hubs a scampi for dinner (I don't eat shellfish)--but he didn't bite, literally or figureativly.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: pine time

                                Oh I did that, only in the trunk of my car, and with a bag of chicken. It leaked and I didn't discover it for a few days. I had to have the car professionally detailed to try to get rid of the smell, and even with doing that, on a hot day, you'd still smell it. Thankfully it was a lease that I got to turn back in when it wasn't hot out :)

                                Same thing happened when I was selling my house. I had cleaned out the freezer before I moved out and threw out some old chicken. Part of the deal was that I had to clean the carpets as my then-unhousetrained puppy had left some staining. I also had a cleaning person come through and I thought they would take the trash out. They didn't. Well, the new buyers came into the housee to do a walkthrough, smelled that awful chicken, and raised a huge stink (no pun intended) because they thought I hadn't lived up to my end of the bargain to clean the carpets. It delayed the closing, and I didn't figure it out til I went over there and realized the chicken was still in the garbage can in the kitchen.

                                1. re: pine time

                                  It was winter, I had been grocery shopping. In my groceries was a package of spareribs. I did not miss it when I was putting things away. About a week later as I got in my car and pulling out of the garage I noticed an unusual odor. I did not investigate. I went to my office and was there 2-3 hours. The temperature was very cold. When I left to go home the odor was gone. Over the next week the same thing happened. I figured it was something in my garage and that my DH could deal with it. Went grocery shopping again and while putting the groceries in my trunk the package of spoiled ribs had slid into view. They would freeze when I was not in the garage and then defrost in it.

                                2. I started boiling a half dozen eggs and then signed on to CH in another room. An hour later it sounded like a shootout was happening in my kitchen. No deviled eggs, lost the pan also.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    I've done that with eggs on the stove and with the toaster oven making a sandwich.

                                    I forgot to turn off the gas grill once an entire weekend.

                                    I've left the house with the water in the kitchen sink running.

                                    Distractions are my undoing.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      heh -- you'll only forget to turn the grill off for about 8-10 hours. After that, it's a non-issue :)

                                      that's what somebody told me, anyway. :P

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        It was scary enough to be miles from home by the time we realized it. When we returned it was out but still very hot. Thankfully nowhere near the house walls.

                                      2. re: HillJ

                                        In Sri Lanka, we have a gas stove. We boil water for drinking in a pot that holds 15 liters.

                                        Can you see where I'm going with this?

                                        We had to buy a new pot. More than once.


                                        1. re: LMAshton

                                          I do this. I'll be heating a pan...the phone will ring....yeah. No bueno.

                                      3. re: Veggo

                                        This happened to a friend in college. IThe kitchen was in the basement. Put a dozen eggs on to boil and never thought to set a timer I guess. Within the hour, the fire alarm went off, full evacuation and the Fire Department found exploded eggs and a burned-to-a-crisp pot in a kitchen of smoke.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          They do explode with a bang and their version of shrapnel, across the room.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            My sister decided to use egg wraps on her colored easter eggs one year -- a printed, heat-shrink plastic sleeve that goes over the hard-boiled egg.

                                            She thought she could bypass the "dipping-in-boiling-water" step by just putting them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

                                            and it worked swell for the first 3-4 eggs. Then....

                                            Yeah, not such a great idea.

                                        2. re: Veggo

                                          My daughter did something similar when she was a young teen. She was boiling water to make some Ramen noodle soup and forgot about it. The water had boiled out and the thick aluminum base on the pot had melted. When she smelled something burning she went to the stove, realized what she had done, and without thinking, removed the pot and dashed to the sink with it, leaving a trail of molten aluminum on the hardwood floor. Fortunately she did not drip any on herself, but the glass cooktop, the hardwood floor and the sink all had to be replaced because the melted metal had either burned it or fused to it once it cooled.

                                        3. Failing to trust my experience and instincts: I should have noticed that a recipe that claimed to serve 4 people and called for a full cup of chopped, raw red onion would likely turn out to be sinus-fumingly acrid and overpowering. I think they meant to say 1/4 cup..... Two days later, no amount of tooth brushing, parsley eating and Listerine gargling has helped!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Fargo

                                            Try rubbing something made of stainless steel on the inside of your mouth? Might be too late for that, though..

                                          2. About 2 weeks ago I took my dutch oven out of the oven and set it on the stove top to check the meat that was in it. The lid on it is glass with a metal handle. I set it off to the side but then decided to put the whole pot back in, so I grabbed the lid without even thinking the handle would be searingly hot. The skin on my left forefinger is still peeling off from that one.

                                            Also, leaving my baking pans with the silpats on them, stored in the broiler drawer. Then, forgetting they were there and turning on the broiler. 2 ruined baking pans AND silpats. Yes, silpats CAN melt :-/

                                            Oh, and subbing in chipotle chili powder for regular chili powder in a chicken and rice dish. I like hot, but good lord that was almost intolerable. My SO asked if I was trying to kill him after taking one bite and refused to eat the rest. I got mine down only while drinking 2 huge cups of water with it.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              Burns, oh yeah. I hosted a dinner party with lots of candles everywhere, a fire in the fireplace, and the Weber going. Was concerned about all the drinkers (shall we say) who would be in attendance. I ended up being the only casualty-- burned my palm on one of the gas burner trivets on the stove while cleaning up (the kettle's spot). Nothing a little ointment couldn't handle, for which I am grateful. Stupid head (she said to herself, repeatedly).

                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                Julie, I've burned myself on a hot lid just enough times that I always, I mean *always* leave a potholder on top of the lid to warn myself. I do the same with casserole dishes, Pyrex ... Anything that I may stupidly pick up to put back in the oven, without thinking it's still 400 degrees. I just lean a couple of potholders against the handles.

                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                  I was about to post something very similar when I saw yours. The handle on my dutch oven doesn't LOOK hot. I do this pretty regularly.

                                                  We also have a bad habit of sticking the pizza box in the oven on order-in nights, meaning to put it in the trash the next day. Nine times out of ten, it stays there for a couple days until I start preheating for something. Burning pizza box smells terrible.

                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                    Related, I think: distractedly wiped up a water spill, then used the same dishtowel to pull a 500 degree pan from the oven. Yowsa--does water ever conduct heat directly to flesh!

                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                      When I was a kid, I had a pretty serious issue with taking things out of the oven. (I had dropped a pot holder on the heating element once and it caught fire....)

                                                      I thought that using a wet potholder/rag would be safer than I dry one. I rethought that one DAMN fast.

                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                        I think this is a good place to insert a tip: I started using leather as potholders - sort of accidentally, as I had a lot of leather pieces left over from assorted projects and thought, well, if leather works for gloves for foundry work and welding, why wouldn't it work for a hot pot of something-or-other in my kitchen? Far fewer steamed finger from a wettish towel, and no more singed potholders that were (stupidly) left a bit close to a flame. The leather has a nice grip, and feels secure. I also like the leather for its draping quality; I can hang it over a hot pan handle as a visual reminder and not have it slip off like some of the heavily padded fabric potholders.

                                                      2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                        >The handle on my dutch oven doesn't LOOK hot. I do this pretty regularly.

                                                        Generally, once I've done something to myself once, I don't do it again. But EVERY TIME I sear something in a pan and finish it in a hot oven, I remove the pan, start making a pan sauce, and forget that the handle is SCREAMING HOT. I even have a silicone sleeve to put on that handle to protect myself...and always forget to use it.

                                                        There are an awful lot of lovely dishes that I just don't make because they can't be trusted not to hurt me.

                                                      3. re: juliejulez

                                                        So, I did the "grab a hot pan" thing again while cooking dinner at my friend's house. Stainless steel pan had been in the oven and of course I grab the handle after setting it (with mitts) on the stove. The lower part of my forefinger is peeling now, 2 weeks later, from that one. I'm a slow learner.

                                                      4. I got into spicy food for awhile, and went quite heavy on the spices. Apparently I have contributed to someone's ulcers and my sister burnt her mouth on a pepper I left in the spaghetti sauce. So I use very poor judgement on the spicy food.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                          Me too! Most of my spicy foods involve a wet brow and runny nose. Good thing it's usually just me +/- SO

                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                            I was experimenting with growing hot peppers when I moved to Texas. After growing up in Massachusetts, I was eager to try growing the hottest peppers I could. After a particularly spectacular habanero harvest, I decided to smoke the peppers over apple wood to preserve them. What to do with the peppers then? Hmmmm. I decided to grind a few up in the spice grinder and use them in spice mixes. All went well until I decided to take a quick sniff to see if I could smell the apple smoke on them once they were ground up. Got the nose right down in the spice grinder and inhaled. Sinuses exploded in pain, my knees actually buckled and I ended up on the floor. My husband, who watched the whole thing, couldn't stop laughing. I still to this day cannot believe I did that.

                                                            1. re: Bivalve88

                                                              I know this isn't funny at all but you have to be able to laugh about it now. And what a stand up guy just laughing at you and making a bad situation worse. For shame hubby. :-)

                                                              1. re: Bivalve88

                                                                don't feel bad, i did that once with a bottle of ammonia based cleaner once. headache for hours. like to be able to say that i don't know what i was thinking, but obviously I wasn't thinking at all. it must be true, curiosity did kill the cat.

                                                            2. When a recipe calls for 1/4 cup pepper it means diced green peppers, not the spice. (Did this when I was a teenager...I hope I'd be more aware now!)

                                                              1. Deciding to cook bacon in the oven on a rimless baking sheet. Thank God for the self-cleaning cycle!!!

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                  I did something similar recently only with eggs -- you crack an egg inside half a bagel on a baking sheet. Musta made this recipe dozens of times, yet last weekend I decide NOT to put baking paper underneath the bagels. Burning egg white is awful. And it takes a long time to burn through.

                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                    My dear husband executed a similar maneuver with oven-fried chicken on a rimless sheet. Not once. Not twice. Three times, despite a Reeducation Campaign. My complicit kitchen bad judgment was not hiding the rimless sheets sooner; he can't seem to resist them.

                                                                    1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                      My mom baked bacon and used a rimless baking sheet.
                                                                      To make it even worse, the "self cleaning" button was pushed instead of "bake"... The oven temp reached the absolute hottest temperature with baking bacon inside and the oven door locked! Luckily my dad pulled the oven plug from the wall or we could've had one nasty house fire.

                                                                      When Sears delivered our new oven, they removed the old one with bacon still stuck inside!

                                                                        1. re: OhioHound

                                                                          Other than the bacon disaster, was/is your mom a decent cook?

                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                            Mom is a pretty okay cook! She doesn't know or care to learn about different techniques, ingredients, cuisines etc., but she has the basics covered and can repeat them well.

                                                                            But there's one thing I am sure of..
                                                                            Bacon will never, ever enter her oven door again!

                                                                      1. We had a mini critter issue and so started to leave leftovers in the oven while eating round #1 in case we wanted leftovers. Well, one night no leftovers happened. Plates in the dishwasher and continued with the day. Later that night I preheated the oven to roast garlic and 20 minutes later smelt a horrible stench of burning rubber like smell. I had left the plastic takeout containers in the oven and opened the door to dripping plastic everywhere.

                                                                        1. Another dose of bad judgment...I was having an issue with kitchen towels scattered all over and not where I need them when I need them. Brilliant me I decided I'd keep a stack right next to the stove. There were no accidents, but I quickly realized the err in this judgement...flames and ignitable fabric do not mix. They now sit happily either on the refrigerator door or tucked in my waistband.

                                                                          Oh, this is also true for me with scarfs! I am a scarf lover and am always freezing so wear scarfs pretty much 24/7 in the winter. I have to remind myself to remove scarves while the gas stove is alit.

                                                                          1. Here's another one on bad judgement. I purchased frozen croissants from a local bakery. I heated them up on a rimless baking sheet, and had a smoke filled house. Not a wise decision as the fat oozed from those darlings.

                                                                            1. I was making simple syrup for the first time. I had a small glass jar I was going to put it in when it was done, but I didn't know how big the jar was. I filled it with water and then emptied the water into a measuring cup. 1.25 cups. Ok! Perfect.

                                                                              I put 1.25 cups of water into a pot, added the same amount of sugar and set it to boil...do you see where this is going yet?

                                                                              Once the sugar has dissolved, I gleefully went to pour it into the jar, not paying too much attention to how quickly the jar was filling up because I knew I was SUPER-SMRT and had pre-measured the jar's volume.

                                                                              And that is how I poured almost a cup of boiling sugar water all over the kitchen counter and floor.

                                                                              1. For one of my jobs, I'm in a small, three person office. I wanted to quickly cool down a can of diet coke, so I put it in the freezer section of the "mini fridge" (dorm sized) in our kitchen area. Naturally, I left that evening and forgot it.

                                                                                The next morning, the can exploded with such force that it not only opened the freezer section flap, it forced open the magnetic seal on the fridge door itself and shot a good four feet into the common area.

                                                                                My super fastidious boss #1 (think Felix Unger, only female and thirty something) had a fit.

                                                                                My boss #2 (ex Navy, 60ish), thought it was hilarious.

                                                                                I felt shame, apologized profusely, and cleaned the mess.

                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                  Oh exploding cans of soda in the freezer...that's a regular for me. I am a big fan of carbonated canned drinks particularly seltzer water and quite a few have exploded in the fridge to be discovered days to weeks later. Fortunately most of the time it's tucked in next to something else and so the explosion is contained and none ever include real sugar so no sticky mess to deal with. I now just manage with warm drinks if I didn't think ahead to stash it in the freezer although I prefer warm drinks most of the time so it's OK.

                                                                                  1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                    At least it was diet and not regular. I recall an exploding can of root beer in my mom's freezer in high school. Sticky mess.

                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                      My ex was notorious for the frozen, swollen, leaking beer cans in the freezer.

                                                                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                        when I was dating Mr. Sunshine, we put a bottle of white wine in the freezer to chill, then got distracted -- the next morning we found the bottle in the freezer with a 6" column of frozen wine protruding from the bottle, with the cork embedded in the end of the winesicle. It had broken right through the foil.

                                                                                        We figured we were lucky that we didn't have broken glass and 750ml of wine to clean up.

                                                                                    2. re: pinehurst

                                                                                      Oh my gosh, I have done this one more than once. More than twice. At the office...how embarrassing. And yes, we have a fastidious business owner who frowns on even little spots of water not wiped up immediately on the kitchen counter, so needless to say, I did not endear myself to her by doing so.

                                                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                        I was always the 1st person into the office who liked coffee, so made the 3-4 1st-of-the-day pots. Set up the 1st pot, poured through the water, then went to my desk. Came back awhile later--fastidious boss standing there--only to find I neglected to put the pot itself on the burner. Coffee allllllll over the place. I laughed hysterically, but managed to use 2 rolls of paper towels to blot up the mess. The boss did smile--ever so briefly--and walked away.

                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                          One time at the office I'd brought leftovers on a plate. I ate, washed the plate, and called my coworker in to show her something cool -- the unbreakable plate. It was my parents' plate from the set we'd used when I was growing up, and my mom had demonstrated to me multiple times over the years how you could drop these plates from waist height and they wouldn't break, which was surprising because they were obviously some kind of ceramic. Anyway, back to the office -- I called my friend in, told her about the plate, and dropped it on the floor. It shattered into a million pieces and made a huge noise! We just stood there in shock for a minute, then cracked up. Turns out my mom had always made sure to drop it horizontally, and I, not realizing that was important, had dropped it on its edge :(

                                                                                          1. re: juster


                                                                                            It's pretty resilient, but it will break. Spectacularly.

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              Yup. We had one Corelle plate. $20 for the plate, cheapest we found. Broke the second or third time I used it. No warranty.

                                                                                              1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                How do you spend $20 for one plate? I bought an entire set for 4 for $20.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  Singapore, where some things can be outrageously expensive.

                                                                                                  We saw a set for four for $160. That wasn't going to happen. We really only needed one plate, at the minimum, that was microwaveable. The rest of our dishes are not - they're melamine or some such thing.

                                                                                                  1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                    ah, okay -- I should have known you were outside the US...

                                                                                                    I've brought several pieces to Europe in my checked luggage because of the price difference!

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                      If you ever come to Singapore, please bring me cast iron cookware. Really expensive here.

                                                                                                      1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                        sorry, I didn't even bring my cast iron to Europe. Too heavy.

                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                          I have one cast iron piece - a flat griddle. I bought it in Sri Lanka for Rs300, or about US$2.50. I've only ever seen a total of three pieces of cast iron there, and the other two pieces were so small as to be completely useless. That griddle has gone with me from Sri Lanka to New Zealand to Sri Lanka to Singapore. It goes with me wherever I go. Period. :D It's my one concession. Along with my knives. :D

                                                                                            2. re: juster

                                                                                              Not Corelle. I found it -- Centura by Corning. It's heavier and less glassy-looking; more ceramicky.

                                                                                      2. My friend Eric was heating up a tray of lasagna in his oven. When it was almost done he took it out, removed the aluminum foil, folded it and put the tray under the broiler to melt the cheese.
                                                                                        When the cheese was bubbling and the tray super hot he looked for his pot holder to use for the red hot tray.
                                                                                        The pot holder had gone astray so he picked up the "square" of aluminum foil to take out the tray.
                                                                                        OUCH!! It is amazing how well aluminum transfers heat!!
                                                                                        For his birthday I gave him an oven mitt I made from aluminum foil. We all got a good laugh out of that.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Motosport

                                                                                          Similar episode at my house a few weeks ago except it was me who suffered but my oven. Only used 1 pot holder to pick up a tray holding 2 small pans of lasagna and it was a bit too wobbly but I didn't have another to save it and so the pan on the farthest end of the sheet slid into the oven into the compartment with the gas heating element. Other than a ruined pan of lasagna, the other pan was saved and all was well. Until I went to heat up the garlic bread and discovered the oven ablaze. The night ended with a visit from the fire department but after that a delicious plate of meat lasagna and garlic bread was much enjoyed at 2am. Now it's safe rather than sorry even if I'm in a hurry so 2 pot holders at reach at all times.

                                                                                            1. re: Motosport

                                                                                              Yea, quite the mess and I was terrified to use the oven the next day for fear of another inferno but the fire department assured me that as the fire went out on its own after 15 minutes that it had burned all of the residual food and it was safe to do a self-clean cycle.

                                                                                        2. Years ago, I had a book of recipes that purported to duplicate recipes from various franchises. There was a tasty recipe for "The Colonel's Coleslaw", which I made on many occasions, and became a requested item at pot lucks. One of the ingredients was minced, dried onion, and I always had a heavy-handed with those. One day I made a double batch to take to a family picnic, where everyone was just waiting for PattiCake's Wonderful Coleslaw to appear. Unfortunately I'd grabbed the bottle of minced dried garlic instead. No vampires at that picnic!

                                                                                          1. My roux got too brown for the dish I was making. I found out the hard way that wiping the stuff out of the skillet with a bit of paper towel is totally stupid. All the clumps of floury hot goo attached themselves to my hand as I wiped. And they don't shake off! They keep burning your skin until you wash them off.

                                                                                            1. More of a distraction episode than bad judgement--I was cooking dinner for a new BF (first time I'd cooked dinner for him) and I had some pork chops cooking on the stove (nice, meaty heirloom pork, since I liked the guy!) Anyway, we got a little "busy" and I forgot about dinner until I smelled burning and saw the haze of smoke. I wound up having to keep the patio doors open to get rid of the smoke, and it was all of 9 degree Fahrenheit.

                                                                                              More recently, I was removing the pit of an avocado. Had the avocado half in one hand and chef's knife in the other. The knife slipped and I wound up stabbing myself in the hand. I just looked at my hand--a knife piercing the avocado and then piercing the fleshy pad between thumb and forefinger--and said "I think I just effing stabbed myself". Was much more careful with the next avocado!

                                                                                              1. Oh, another good one. After the big Super Bowl win in Baltimore this year I really wanted a few fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Fortunately I had some frozen dough and popped a few nuggets onto the baking tray and into the oven. Well, as the timer rang and I went to go check on them I realized that I forgot to remove the cooling rack which is stored with the tray and the cookies were oozing right through onto the sheet. I wondered if they might just ooze through and resettle into cookie form on the bottom, but decided to scratch that and make a new batch. It's probably best to not spontaneously get up at 1am to make cookies without 5 minutes of planning.

                                                                                                1. Had another one last night. I wanted to roast some frozen corn kernels for my dinner. The recipe said to just put them on a baking sheet with some olive oil and roast under the broiler.

                                                                                                  Well, did you know that corn, when it gets a bit too warm, will pop up off the sheet and all over your oven? There is now a collection of corn kernels all over the bottom of my oven that I need to remember to clean up before turning it on again tonight. Created quite a bit of smoke too.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                    LOL...now that's a version of "pop" corn I've never heard of!

                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                      Yep...I discovered that one the hard way too. I was pan frying mine and had them popping all over the range!

                                                                                                    2. When lighting the gas oven, and you are having trouble getting the match to light, do NOT keep the oven door closed, building up gas, until you get your match lit. I've never moved so fast in my life. I was lucky and only lost a couple of eyelashes and a bit of brow (both grew right back.)

                                                                                                      And fldhkybnva--I once drank a shot of vinegar, on advice of a doctor, to help stave off a cold. It nearly put me in shock!

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: dct

                                                                                                        My FIL drinks vinegar constantly, for various supposed health benefits. I don't see how he does it. (But now that I think about it, maybe that's why he has to put ketchup on everything? He's probably wrecked his taste buds.)

                                                                                                        1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                          I could probably drink it, I think it was more the shock of it directly on my throat in a high dose which was the issue. I love vinegar and really do sometimes just sprinkle a dab for a taste of it because it's so yummy.

                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                            Some vinegar is mild enough to drink. My daughter likes to drink a spoonful of Bragg's apple cider vinegar in the evenings. It's mild enough not to kill you immediately, but I can't bring myself to do it.

                                                                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                              I think it would be mild enough to drink but not to pour directly on your epiglottis :)

                                                                                                          2. re: dct

                                                                                                            See the movie "Creatures of the Southern Wild" for the best stove lighting scene ever.

                                                                                                            1. re: dct

                                                                                                              friend opened a gas grill once, one side had gone out, when he opened the lid it re-lit. No eyebrows gives one a constantly surprised look. Took some time to grow back in.

                                                                                                            2. I have recently put aside my pride in my once-but-no-longer-infallible memory and purchased one of those digital timers that you can hang around your neck like a soap on a rope. When anything goes into the oven or on the stove top and there is a chance that I will be leaving the kitchen at some point during the cooking process, on goes my new jewelry. It makes me feel old but the number of times it has averted disaster makes uo for that.
                                                                                                              Is this the culinary equivalent of the "I've fallen and I can't get up" button?
                                                                                                              I fear it is.

                                                                                                              1. I learned the hard way to be very careful when removing a blenderful of heirloom tomato puree from the base-accidentally unscrewed it instead- Gawd what a mess!! I am apparenly a slow learner because I did it twice!!

                                                                                                                1. Ooooh, just the title of this topic made me shudder. I don't know why, but was just thinking of this lovely anecdote the other day: fresh into the second day of my first job on the line in a very high-end restaurant, I thought I was being the ultra-est of efficient cooks, and this is what happened:
                                                                                                                  We were allowed to smoke on our brief breaks, and the staffroom was two flights up and over, which really cut into that second ciggie. There was also an alley right off the kitchen door that we could employ. I cleverly thought that I'd set myself up in advance, so into my whites went two smokes, a small bic, a roll of Certs (fruit-flavored, whoot!) and the ever-present Sharpee. I had the cold station that night and prepped my mise, then went out to smoke in the alley. When I got there - nothing, NOTHING, in my pockets. Okay, so my first thought was that I'd just thought about doing that and not actually done it, but I knew that was wishful-thinking bullshit. I went back in with my heart pounding and weak knees and proceeded to just tear up my station. I went through EVERYTHING - or so I thought, and then figured I was just in a waking nightmare and proceeded with service, which went well. End of the night, I broke it down, and didn't find a thing. Not a thing. And nothing had been sent back, so...I figured it was a lucky break and I'd lost them when I was somewhere it "didn't matter."
                                                                                                                  Ahahahaha. Not
                                                                                                                  Came into work the next day and there was Chef Julia with one grim look on her face. She was holding a pan of pre-prepped, wrapped, labeled romaine that I had done, which contained: 2 very very small shreddy Marlboro butts, extensive bits of shreddy tobacco, 1 pink Bic lighter, and a half-melted roll of, of course, fruit-flavored Certs.
                                                                                                                  And of course, I wanted.to.die. I knew at the time it happened that I should have said something, but I was so green and so scared and and and there was absolutely no excuse and I was an idiot and that's what I stammered out to her. We had a little talk about "next times," and how there wouldn't be any (!), but the ABSOLUTE worst thing was that halfway through our talk, I spun out in a combo. of relief, panic, terror and self-loathing and started laughing hysterically, like you do at a funeral or something else horrible like that. :)
                                                                                                                  Nope, she didn't fire me. Gave me another chance, bless her heart, and I didn't disappoint, but to this day that one is my own personal best.

                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                    Chef Julia knew what a talent you'd prove to be in her kitchen :)

                                                                                                                    But yikes, what a crappy day 2. And you didn't even get to relieve the stress of it with a nice smoke break.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                      I'm fascinated! HOW did all of those objects get into the pan?

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                        They were in my breast pocket on my whites. Must have fallen in one fell swoop when I packaged it so nicely and put it away.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                          Ah, now I understand. I'm not in the business so no whites but I cannot think of any object (lighters, lipstick, cash) that has remained in any breast pocket of my Tshirt/jacket for very long. After repeated losses of the above-mentioned objects, I just pretend those pockets aren't there. Bet you do too!

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                          That little anecdote, well told and brutally honest, has an endearing quality about it. I empathized so completely that I found myself giggling... in such an apparently odd, high-pitched manner that ItalianPapa was jarred from his morning Sudoku asking "What the hell is wrong with you?" My cheeks were actually hot! :-D

                                                                                                                        2. Years ago when I first started cooking a bit more serieus, I decided to try a heaping tablespoon of nutmeg, after a super weird night, i learned Nutmeg has hallucinogenic properties when taken in moderate to high quantities. :-0

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: CharlesKochel

                                                                                                                            Interesting, I'll be sure to stay away from the tbsps when nutmeg is around. Good to know...

                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                              Historical anecdote: Before he was Malcolm X, he was busted for selling matchboxes of nutmeg in Harlem. True story.

                                                                                                                          2. here are a few similar stories in case these aren't enough

                                                                                                                            1. I wonder if there is such a thing as a kitchen timer with the equivalent of a snooze alarm. Though my stove has a timer that won't shut off until you turn it off, the dial is hard to read so I most often use the plain old plastic dinger type timer....hear it, think I'll go tend to the dish in a minute, and next thing I know I'm smelling burning.

                                                                                                                              There's forgetting, there's unintentional oversights/mistakes, and there's bad judgment. The last is the most demoralizing since dumb is harder to excuse when it's intentional!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. It's too late for you now, but if you ever get an acid burn like that again, neutralize it by gargling with baking soda and water. And if you get lemon juice in a knife or paper cut, just sprinkle a little baking soda on it, add a few drops of water, and make a paste.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the tip, no more vinegar chugging for me :)

                                                                                                                                2. I just wanted to say....this thread scares me.

                                                                                                                                  1. Lately I've been making turkey burgers for dinner, but for me, they have to have some char on them, and I don't normally use my charcoal grill during the week, just too big of a hassle for a quick weeknight dinner when we still have chores and homework to do.

                                                                                                                                    Since the last time I used my heavy CI grill pan, it is still not seasoned enough to be nonstick, and the burgers stuck even though i had oil in it and it frustrated me to leave behind the nice crunchy charred part in the pan.

                                                                                                                                    So tonight I decided to use my broiler, which I've done before, but again it has to be screaming hot to get them browned to my liking. I have a combo convection oven, and the top oven has a bent door hinge, so you really have to slam it shut while pushing it up to make sure it closes, and you cannot prop it open like older ovens when you broil otherwise it stops the convection, doesn't shut all the way and you lose a lot of heat. So to help make sure I would get the browning process off to a head start, I had the brilliant idea to put some vegetable oil in the broiler pan, so that the burgers would get brown faster before I dried them out.

                                                                                                                                    Yup, I almost started a fire in my kitchen, as I saw smoke pouring out..... Opened up windows and doors, but when I opened the oven door to check, flames came shooting out! I should know better! Can't believe I did that! And shocked and lucky I didn't burn myself. Stupid burgers got slapped in a regular CI pan to finish cooking.....

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                      Wow, so glad to hear that you're safe. This reminds me of my lasagna-induced fire which I happened upon and immediately opened the door. Thankfully I also immediately realized that that was a bad idea and promptly shut it. At least, the burgers were saved. With my lasagna, I lost a pan, saved the other pan and still enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner 2 hours later.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                        Thanks, yes, the things we'll do to get food *just* the way we want it.......

                                                                                                                                    2. after two nights on call, someone should be babysitting you.

                                                                                                                                      1. Just last week I was making homemade Chicken Tetrazzini. When I put it in the oven, I knew the pan was so full that it would bubble over slightly so I put it on a baking sheet. So when I took it out of the oven I used my Ov-Glove (if you don't have one, buy two!!) and since I only have one Ov-Glove I removed the cookie sheet-pan combination one handed. Well, the pan started to slide on the cookie sheet and I unthinkingly grabbed the cookie sheet with my unprotected right hand, so I now have a burn scar on my right palm.

                                                                                                                                        1. Don't cook naked.
                                                                                                                                          I was baking some chicken pieces, put them in the oven and decided to take a quick shower. Checked on the chicken when I got out (still in only a towel) the skin was crisping up really nicely, a good gravy was forming. I placed the pan back in the oven, my arm touched the inside of the oven door due to the lack of mobility in my arms since I was holding my towel on and this led me to drop the pan. It fell exactly in the oven crease where the bottom of the door meets, juices spilled all over the oven inside, into the storage below, and onto the floor underneath. I immediately turned off the oven so that I could get cleaning. I still needed to finish cooking the chicken and was concerned that it had tocuhed nasty unclean parts of the oven. Thought I'd sear it in a frying pan, that did not work, ended up boiling it. Still tasted okay but what a disaster!

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                            now see if you were really naked you wouldn't have been holding the towel. but that could have led to other disasters. in general frying food when naked can lead to some painful burns.

                                                                                                                                          2. When I was in college I decided that it was OK to make popcorn by putting a handful of unpopped corn in a drinking glass and then putting the entire thing in the microwave.

                                                                                                                                            If the burning smell wasn't enough of a hint that this was not a good idea, the exploding hot glass that resulted when I opened the door to try to remove it probably was.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: taos

                                                                                                                                              And exactly what Adult Beverage was involved? :)

                                                                                                                                            2. This just in......I needed the juice of one orange and one lemon. Dug out the juicer, cut fruit in halves, pushed down on the first orange half (very juicy), and discovered (too late) that I had forgotten to put a container under the spout. Wet, sticky mess on counter, floor, and my person. I have a hunch others may have done this too.

                                                                                                                                              1. I spent 5 hours making a big pot of chicken stock, and accidentally dumped it all down the drain.

                                                                                                                                                I was on the phone with someone while I was taking it off the stove, and put a strainer in my sink, but forgot to put another pot under the strainer to catch the stock.

                                                                                                                                                1. Another one I just remembered:

                                                                                                                                                  I had bought a couple bags of fresh bread dough, but never got around to using them for a few weeks. They were just sitting in my fridge.

                                                                                                                                                  I figured they were stale, so I threw them in the trash one evening. When I woke up, the dough rose so much it knocked the lid off the can and was spilling over like The Blob.

                                                                                                                                                  1. My mishap started at the store a few weeks ago when I knew the tube of tomato paste in the fridge was coming to an end. Glad to have even thought of it, I decided to buy the replacement then and there, not paying much attention to the brand I picked up a box and moved on. Fast forward a few weeks, my old tube long gone, I get the new stuff, toss the cardboard box, open the tube and squirt a generous amount out into what would soon become a quickly thrown together pasta sauce. Before that day, I had no idea that you could buy HARISSA paste in a tube.............

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lilmsmuffin

                                                                                                                                                      oh geez.

                                                                                                                                                      I *love* harissa (did you at least get Phare de Cap Bon brand?) but oy, that would be a surprise, to say the least.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilmsmuffin

                                                                                                                                                        gives a whole new meaning to 'arrabiata'

                                                                                                                                                      2. I once made a chicken stock with typical loving attention, then put a colander in the sink and poured all the stock down the drain. I believe some inebriation was to blame for my forgetting to strain into a pot in the sink. That's rock bottom, no?