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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Duck and Cover

What is it about me? Am I a magnet for flying shards of pottery? Glass? Tonight marks the second time a piece of cookware has exploded mid-dinner-preparation, ruining hours of work, and not incidentally, actually wounding my hand. Wah! I'm honestly more upset about the ruined dinner than the shallow cut. I was making a provencal veal stew, which involves tomatoes and garlic and mushrooms and a whole lot of white wine, and I'd spent hours. Ok, fine, not active hours of chopping and stirring and whatnot, there was a lot of, you know, stewing, but still. Significant time was put it, and there were lots of steps, and it smelled really freaking good. But I still ended up having frozen pizza for dinner last night, because when I took the Le Creuset covered casserole out of the oven and attempted to bring it to a boil on the stovetop after I monkeyed around with the sauce, it shattered into an enormous mess.

For a second, I just stood there, dripping with hot veal juice, trying to figure out a way to go back and make it unhappen. Nick came rushing in, asking if I was alright, and I said, "I think it's fine. We can probably salvage at least two portions for dinner, don't you think?" He looked at me a little funny and said, "You want to eat veal stew with shards of ceramic in it?" Oh. Yeah. My only defense is that I was a little in shock (I hadn't even realized I was bleeding yet) and just desperate not to have it all be for nothing.

Nick hugged me, and made me go upstairs and neosporin myself while he wiped up what he could in the kitchen. Most of the casserole pieces were still too hot to touch, so we seized on that happy excuse to procrastinate cleaning. We thawed a pizza and ate it while watching two back to back episodes of House, and I stopped feeling like I might burst into pointless tears over spilled stew.

The lesson here is this. Don't ever, ever assume that a piece of cookware is both stovetop and oven safe, unless it's cast iron. (You'd think I would've learned that when my pyrex container of potatoes au gratin exploded this summer, but no.) And don't assume that everything by Le Creuset IS cast iron, because IT'S NOT. That's actually where I fell down this time. I have several pieces of enameled cast iron, where, you know, the cast iron bit is hidden, so I thought this was more of the same, even though it was only offered in white, instead of the signature Le Creuset red or any of those other crazy, fun colors. Obviously, if I'd taken the time to glance at the tag when Sur la Table delivered it to me this dreadful episode could've been avoided, but I didn't. All I can hope is that I've FINALLY learned this lesson. For real, this time.

What's your worst kitchen disaster?


First of all, kisses on your boo-boo.

Second of all, that sucks about having to ditch the stew, but Nick's right. You can't eat that.

Thirdly, I don't really have kitchen disasters. My disasters usually occur with a car.

Oh noooo! Ugh, Pyrex in our potatoes, and now pottery in your stew. This is why I need a cast-iron dutch oven for Christmas. Martha Stewart has a lovely one in blue, and it's on sale. Hey, it's not Le Creuset, but it's Martha, so how bad can it be?

Okay, I would have cried. I hate cooking anyway. I'm a horrible cook, and if I'd put that much time and effort into that meal as you had, I would have lost it.

I blogged about my cooking disaster. It was grilled cheese -

Jill, that grilled cheese story is heartbreaking. Teflon makes a very nasty sandwich spread.

Kristen, I know you're a domestic goddess, with your fancy knives and all, but seriously, you've never dropped a whole cooked fish on the floor, or accidentally substituted salt for sugar in a cake, or anything? Hats off to you, girl.

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