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Archive for the ‘Kitchen Disasters’ Category

Have You Ever…

boiled Balsamic Vinegar into a charcoal-like hockey puck?  Did you even know that boiling Balsamic Vinegar leads to the production of a charcoal-like hocky puck?

I read a comment on another blog’s comment thread that prompted me to think about blogging my mistakes as well as my successes.  This could mean a less-than-tasty pasta dish, an undercooked roasted chicken (which I am an expert at making, by the way) or any number of ways to mess up perfectly well-meaning baked goods.  But, I realized it can also mean those disasters which set of fire alarms, ruin cookware, and cause you to have to replace the vent filter over your cook-top.

To sum it up, over-boiling Balsamic vinegar will cause you to (a) set off fire alarms, (b) ruin cookware, and (c) cause you to have to replace the vent filter over your cook-top.  It will also leave a stench in your home, the likes of which you will not soon forget.

It was the 4th of July last year, and we had recently moved into our new (and first) home.  We were absolutely so excited to entertain since we finally had a nice home and furniture consisting of more than a futon and an old crate.  We invited my brother and sister-in-law over for some roasted vegetables and good steaks.  I had big plans to make a fancy topping for the steaks by reducing some Balsamic Vinegar.  So I poured a bunch of vinegar in a sauce pan…and then the door-bell rang.  I got lost in the fun of showing my family around our lovely home and completely forgot about the ticking time-bomb on the stove until the stinking smoke came billowing up the stairs.

Oh shit.

What I found on the stove defied logic.  The seemingly innocent vinegar had turned into a solid, porous structure, very closely resembling pumice rock, except much blacker, stinkier and more menacing.

Pumice...or is it???

Pumice...or is it???

After I got over the initial shock of it, I ran the pan outside and dumped the vinegar stone onto our back patio.  There it remained for weeks, slowly being whittled down by the Summer rains.

I will say that on the up side, this gave my husband ammunition for making fun of me for months.  Lets be honest, he will probably be bringing this one up at our 50th Anniversary.  My brother also viewed the episode as Christmas-in-July as far as getting to poke fun at my stupidity.

This episode qualifies as my most costly kitchen disaster, because not only did I waste food (which I hate) but as I mentioned before, we actually had to replace the entire filter that is installed in the microwave vent hood over the cook-top.  I was told this ran upwards of $30 and had to be special ordered.  The pan was salvaged, but I am weary of using it to this day, because sometimes when I wash it, I still get a brownish film off of it.  Burnt vinegar, the gift that keeps on giving.

I would love to hear that I’m not alone in my catastrophic idiocy in the kitchen.  Any funny stories?

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