Over the years I’ve come realise that I’m quite a clumsy person. I trip over on flat pavements and I bruise myself almost daily by bumping into things. I’m a bit of a calamity but thankfully I’ve never seriously hurt myself or anyone around me. The worrying thing is when someone with a tendency to be slightly clumsy gets into the kitchen. Expect trouble, and lots of it! And that’s what I’m blogging about today: the mishaps and mistakes I’ve made in my kitchen and the reasons why it makes sense to stay focussed when you’re baking…Grills. Many a time I have turned on a grill to ‘pre heat’ without opening the grill door, or checking whether there’s already something under there. This is how my mum’s favourite frying pan (the one she’d owned for longer than she’s had me) ended up with its wooden handle on fire. Okay, I didn’t put it in there in the first place, but I did turn on the grill without checking that it was empty. Another frying pan handle met its doom in my grill recently when I was trying to brown the top of a Spanish omelette. It was all going great, with a crispy golden cheesy layer forming nicely, until the (not heat-proof, it turns out) handle started bubbling. Oops.Hobs. Hobs are my worst enemy. They stay hot for far too long, and I regularly get scolded on the rim of hot pans. But the main problem I have with hobs is that they are not a work surface. Let me explain. In my home (in fact, in all of my previous homes) I have a small kitchen with not much work space. I therefore tend to use the back two hobs of the oven as an extra surface, which is where my kettle etc live when they are not in use. The trouble is when I turn on the front hob to cook a dish and start to wonder why my onions aren’t sizzling away. The smell of melting plastic soon helps me to realise that I’ve turned on the back hob by mistake. And chiseling the base of a molten coffee machine off the back hob made me realise that I’m always just a couple of minutes away from disaster when I cook.
Microwaves. I’m sure it’s quite a feat to burn something in the microwave but I still manage to do it. When I try to melt chocolate it ends up crispy in the middle, and even reheating some baked beans can end up in a smoking mess. I once tried to make microwave meringues. While the recipe was simple and the method was really quick and easy, I managed to melt the plate that I was cooking them on. You see, I didn’t realise that my melamine plates weren’t suitable for the microwave, and 15 minutes of zapping batches of meringues had taken its toll on my plate, which sadly cracked and crumbled in the centre. But apparently it’s not just me who struggles with microwaving food. Check out this Nutella brownies recipe video below:
Ovens. This one made me laugh for days when it happened. And I still giggle about it when I think of it now. The reason I probably found it so funny is that I wasn’t directly involved with this mishap. Okay, I did cause the problem but I was on the other side of the room when it happened and thankfully no one got hurt. So here’s the story. I spilled a little bit of olive oil on the kitchen floor one lazy Sunday lunchtime. Before I had a chance to mop it up (or, more likely, I wandered off to make a cup of tea instead) my husband walked into the kitchen. His bare feet hit the puddle of oil and hubby went skidding across the kitchen floor like a pro ice dancer. He only came to a stop when his big toe got stuck under the oven and he fell to the floor. After checking that we weren’t going to have to head to the hospital with a broken toe, we fell about laughing and I finally got round to cleaning up that oil spill.All of these calamities have led me to take extra caution in the kitchen and are probably the reasons why I love using my slow cooker so much – no troubles there (so far)! What mishaps have YOU experienced in your kitchen? Have you been put off cooking by the number of times that a cake has ended up being burnt? Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’re a whizz in the kitchen or a absent-minded cook like me. And remember to stay safe when cooking – check out Electrical Safety First’s kitchen fire safety tips for more advice on how to do so.