March 16, 2010


Folks, I've been upfront with you since the beginning.

I mess up. A lot. (Can we just run through a quick list of items—not meals—I have destroyed in the kitchen? Blender, countless wooden spoons, one enameled cast iron Dutch oven, several Mason jars, many glasses, one Pyrex measuring cup, two nonstick skillets, the juicer pitcher...) So today's post is less of a recipe and more of a word of encouragement. Because when you're just trying to make caramel popcorn and you wind up with this:
Well, it's just necessary to take a deep breath, step back, and believe your unbelievably patient fiance when he says, "It's all going to be fine."

With a lot of warm water and patience, the burnt-beyond-belief-formerly-sugar-and-water mixture allowed itself to be removed from the pan.

And last night, during what's quickly becoming routine sushi night (I'm getting better—and faster—at making maki veggie sushi rolls; once I'm a pro I'll post a recipe), I miraculously burned the rice. Did you even know this was possible? Burning of rice? Everyone in the world knows how to make rice. It's arguably the grain most commonly eaten by the human race, and do you know how many people have BURNED IT?

Just one. Me. I carry that proud distinction.

And I'm not just talking that it was slightly stuck to the pan. I'm talking, burned beyond belief, good thing we had the window open, even the visibly uncharred rice has the faint taste of smoke, it's taken 12 hours of soaking in baking soda and the pan is STILL not clean—that burned.

All this to say that in the end, we still have wonderful food. Yes, I mess up. A lot. We never have to intentionally test the smoke alarm; thanks to my cooking endeavors, we know it works. Fin and Ryan eat a lot of burnt bits and stomach a lot of sub-par dinners without complaint. (For this, among many other things, I am ever grateful!)

In the past, these mistakes have brought me to tears, throwing my hands in the air in unconsolable defeat and managing only to eek out the words, "Let's just go to Chick-fil-a." But the last few major mistakes have led me to resolve. That sticky, burnt mess up there? Well, I cleaned it out and started fresh. And we had some rockin' caramel popcorn. And last night's burnt rice? After lamenting that I might have ruined another enameled cast iron Dutch oven (and catching Ryan muttering something along the lines of, "This is why we can't have Le Creuset," only a day after I lobbied to put it on the wedding registry), I salvaged the unburned rice and made rolled my best sushi rolls to date in record time.

So, to all of you who timidly approach the kitchen counter, hands shaking as you tie on that apron, take heed! It's all going to be fine. If you ruin a pot, you ruin a pot. Life will go on.

Just try not to burn the house down.


Suzanne said...

Too funny - and thanks for the encouragement. I've made my fair share of messes! But just out of curiosity, how did you manage to ruin a Pyrex measuring cup?

~Molly~ said...

thank you!!! I let my 9-yr-old daughter make noodles last week and she didn't get enough water in the pot. There are blackened macaroni noodles all over the bottom of the pan that will NOT come off. Will try the baking soda!!


Elizabeth said...

That's the right attitude! :) I too have made many an inedible meal in my time but you learn from them and get better. Keep on cooking!

Anonymous said...

Looks...tasty? Ha! I'm so jealous I missed caramel popcorn! Now that you have mastered it, though, I will visit...even moreso than I already do :) Ryan is going to LOVE me. Ha...