Keep me out of the kitchen for a while

Some families like the bang of Christmas crackers, some look to the pop of the champagne cork or perhaps some boisterous caroling. In my house, the high point of our holiday celebrations is the traditional setting off of the smoke alarm.
As a result, I spent a fair portion of the just-past holidays scrubbing pans like the lowest scullery maid. At one point, I figured I’d better just ask Santa for new ones. It practically took a chisel and mallet to find the shine.
The inaugural beep came as I haplessly agreed to make my daughter’s favorite candy. Anyone who bakes will agree with me that candy is just evil and absolutely the prima donna of the baking world. I have thrown away more bad fudge than Willy Wonka.
With a heart full of good intentions, I combined the sticky ingredients, turned on the burner and went to do one small thing in the next room. That is my most common and deadly flaw. If I step out of the kitchen, I immediately find other tasks and my tiny little brain shifts gears. This prompts me to completely forget the pan full of sugar, condensed milk and corn syrup on the stove until I smell it. Nothing burns quite like that combination and if I ever need to make a boat waterproof, I think it’s what I’ll whip up. I soaked and scrubbed, soaked and scrubbed and soaked some more. Then I had to take after it with a sharp spatula.
My next scrubbing challenge were the remains of just-a-wee-bit-overcooked seven-layer bars. The edges could very probably have been used as bricks to build a weatherproof shed, or at least as doorstops. Adding insult to injury, one child wouldn’t eat the resulting confection because I put nuts in it and the other wouldn’t eat it because I put in coconut. I don’t think there will be any seven-layer bars in our future. Two-layer bars, maybe.
Finally, I lost the rest of my fingernails to a pan of extremely scrambled eggs. In my attempt to hustle breakfast out one morning, I may have cranked the heat up a bit high. That egg residue really did not want to part from its new best friend, the pan. I had to drag out the big-gun metal scrubbing pads and go through two of them to finally coax it all off.
It was a good reminder for me to avoid the kitchen, or at least stay away from the stove. I can usually manage the microwave and sometimes even the toaster oven. It’s those hateful electric oven and stove burners that really have it in for me.
I think my New Year’s resolution might be to whip up lots of salads and then find a good deli that delivers.


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