Sometimes I wonder

Sometimes I wonder about myself.

I can, without even trying, remember volumes of minutia learned before 1989, including but not limited to: insane amounts of Beatles trivia, large swaths of Shakespeare, the Pythagorean Theorem, how to conjugate a French or Spanish verb, and every single word to every song on Guns n Roses: Appetite for Destruction.

However.  There are many very relevant and much more recent items that I apparently cannot retain.  Here’s what happened last week:

Thursday night after work, I was cooking dinner.  Boiling water for pasta, caramelizing onions, roasting cauliflower in the oven.  I pulled the baking sheet of cauliflower out of the oven, turned each golden slice, sprinkled on a bit of sea salt, and returned it to the oven.  It was almost done.  Meanwhile I was talking on the phone.  “I am roasting the most perfect cauliflower,” I said.  “It smells wonderful.”

I assembled my pasta, sat down at the dining room table with a book, and started eating.

About twenty minutes later, I heard that little click the oven makes as the heat cycles.  “Whoops, forgot to turn off the oven,” I thought, got up, turned it off, and finished my dinner.

On Friday afternoon I opened the back door, and smelled something faint, but lingering.  “Why does it smell like cauliflower in here?  It couldn’t be those onions from last night, could it?”  And tra-la-la, I got ready and headed out to meet a friend for drinks.

Saturday morning at about 4:00 am, I woke up with a start and my brain informed me, a couple of days after the information would have been really useful:  “The cauliflower!  It’s still in the oven!

And it was.

I’d like to think I’m not alone here, in this vague, misty place I spend my days, multitasking my brain cells into mush.  So tell me: what is your worst kitchen oversight?

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7 thoughts on “Sometimes I wonder

  1. Robin B.

    How about a flaming bag of microwave popcorn? In college, late night 2am after the bars had closed, I stumbled home with my roommates. I had a sudden urge for popcorn, and threw it in the microwave then promptly forgot about it. I didn’t not press 3:00 on the timer. I pressed 30:00. After about 8 minutes we started smelling something burning. What is that burning? I’m looking around the room dumbfounded and then WHAM! OH CRAP! Ran towards the microwave and the bag of popcorn was on FIRE – I grabbed it and my first reaction was to run towards the window and throw it outside (Like I said – 21, drunk, 2am)… It flew out my window and floated 5 stories down into the parking lot and laid to rest on the asphalt. No one was harmed. Needless to say… that was a big OOPS. :)

  2. jus_wonderin

    I gotta share this. I had a roomie in college. He left for the weekend to visit his parents. I decided to have a bowl of ice cream before taking off to visit my parents.

    When I returned he was laughing and asked “Why did you put the ice cream in the cabinet.” Hmmmm. There is no answer for that.

    Best part. He had cleaned all up.

  3. Pam

    I think my worst kitchen disaster occurred when I placed a clay pot on a burner which was turned on. Suddenly I heard a loud explosion, and the bottom has blown off the pot. Chicken, onions, wine sauce–all over the place. It was a BIG greasy mess. That night I wanted to quietly leave and put a “For Sale” sign on the house!

  4. Victoria

    I have several similar stories but the most recent was last Saturday. I set out to roast two Anaheim chili peppers. Turned on the broiler, set the peppers on the oven rack, shut the door – the way I roast red peppers. Red peppers tell you they are ready to be turned because they emit a wonderful roasted red pepper smell. Anaheims not so much. They emit nothing. About two hours later I remembered I was roasting Anaheims. When I opened the oven door I discovered charcoal in the shape of Anaheim peppers. The peppers were gone. Only a blackened, flaky crust remained. They weighed nothing and crumbled with the slightest pressure.

    Really, Guns & Roses?

  5. Natalie

    You are not alone in this my friend. Only last week I found a lonely sausage in the back of the oven, it had crossed my mind that when I started cooking there were six and when served had reduced to five but I never thought it may have fallen off the grill pan! The dog didn’t mind when he got it as a treat!


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