There are cooking disasters and then there are kitchen disasters. My cooking disasters happen a few times a year when I make a bad pot of rice that's either mushy (too much water) or dry and hard (too little water or I forgot to put the lid on and it was tooooo late).
My kitchen disasters are far and few between, except for the times that my friends mistakenly unscrewed the blender bottom and a whole batch of margaritas and banh xeo sizzling rice crepe batter went on the floor. Those were two separate occasions. Oh, then the times when I left the deep freezer door slightly ajar for 1 week or so. Oops. There's a "PLEASE CLOSE" sign on the door now.
This week, I had a doozy of a disaster. I was working on a recipe for a little mung bean dumpling that needed to get deep fried. A number of recipes said to blend it with a minimum of water to grind it up. I did that and the batter was lovely. Or so it seemed. Then I dropped a spoonful of it into hot oil to fry.Things were going well enough –lots of gentle sizzling noises and I had a 5 minute timer on. I stepped away from the stove to jot down some notes and suddenly, there was a loud noise and oil all over the kitchen.
The dumpling had exploded and hopped out of the pan onto the floor. There was oil on the exhaust, cupboard, counter, and floor. I had just cleaned the stove the night before. After waiting for things and me to cool off, I cleaned everything up. My husband encouraged me to go for it again, seeing as how I'd become dejected quite suddenly. He actually didn't believe me, I think.
So I heated up more oil and dropped several spoonfuls of batter in. This time, he was in the kitchen with me. What happened? Another explosion. But I had a witness and also a helper to clean up the mess. Unfortunately, I was standing over the stove observing the frying process when the explosion happened a little oil got on my face. Ouch for a few hours.
I was totally thrown off my game. Slapped in the face by a 1-inch mung bean dumpling. It was an I Love Lucy kind of day. I didn't just make explosive food once, but twice. Indeed, I had my Lucille Ball moment and greasy dirty clothes to prove it.
What happened next? I went off to my office and sulked. Then I read more books, Googled around, and slept on it. The next morning the solution was simple: add water. Duh. If you're wondering, I'm still working on the recipe but there have been no other explosive moments.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July in America and we traditionally set off massive fireworks displays to celebrate. Mine won't be in the kitchen. At least for a while.
Care to share your kitchen disaster(s)?