Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Not to panic!

I am going to tell you a story. A story that involves a lot of pictures. I have to warn you, these pictures may be damaging to your facial/belly muscles, the ones that enable you to laugh.

A word of advice here.
1) Boiling liquids and glassware are not a suitable couple, but you knew that already, I know I did. Some time ago. Back of my mind.
2) When in panic, push camera button first. Like I learned years ago. See above.

Yesterday I had this flowing feeling going, you know when you clean the kitchen, do the floors, shop groceries, tidy the pantry (!), clean the fridge, have a satisfying phone conversation, decide to cook up a storm. I made sauerkraut, cooked bacon bits, peeled potatoes, made a wonderful pineapple surprise pie, made apple sauce, defrosted the last bit of stewmeat to make a Greek Stifado, made a satisfying ground beef/peanut sauce to freeze and use later…. Well you know…flooooow!
All was well.
Took a kid to the hairdresser, had dinner, got two of the kids to soccer practice. Husband returns from work, walks in the door, says: wow, this smells good! That was my stifado simmering away…
All was well.

So this stifado had to simmer and than the liquid needed to reduce. A lot. Say from 2, 2.5 liters to 1, 1.5. Now, of course you can trust your gut feeling but you may also think hey, why don’t I measure this carefully so I know I’m allright. I never, ever measure. At best I do the wooden spoon handle trick where you put the spoon in upside down and take measure. Good method. Strongly advised. By me. Since last night 11.30.
Suspence getting to you yet?

I strained the beef and vegetables, reduced the sauce (wonderful aroma I can tell you!), eyed the pan, concluded it was down enough. Hesitated..I wanted so much to do this right. Decided to measure. My pyrex measuring bowl was in the dishwasher. Grabbed a lemonade pitcher instead. Started to pour in the boiling sauce. Heard a loud, loud crack. Saw the pitcher split.
Watched half of my precious sauce spoil all over the kitchen counter.
In my drawer.
On the stove.

Said some very nasty words. Top of my voice. Another loud crack. My nerves.
Grabbed camera.

Spend the next half hour scrubbing floor, stove kitchen counter, emptied drawer, cleaned some more.

You know what? I did reduce the sauce to exactly the right amount. I knew that.

I rescued half of it. Recipe will follow. When I am sufficiently recovered from shock.

An hour ago....see the sparkle?


  1. This is one time the silence of the internet was really loud with that crack.
    Sparkle! Yes, you always sparkle. and you build the suspense very well. Except I did think when you said pyrex,
    this is not going to be good.
    You did very well with the photos!!!

  2. sigh. They just don't make lemonade pitchers the way they used to. Can't wait for the recipe.

  3. SueCooksWild30/1/07 6:59 PM

    You have such energy! Strange how unforgiving glass can be at times! Your cooking aromas almost made it all the way here!

  4. wat verschrikkelijk, de helft van je saus verdwenen en de zooi op te moeten ruimen na zo'n hyperactieve dag...je hebt toch geen ADHD?
    Soms lijken dagen gewoon té mooi om ook zo te eindigen.
    Sterkte met het verwerken van dit sausverlies en algehele shock

  5. Wat en pech, goede saus verloren gegaan.
    Maar je keuken is weer mooi schoon...
    Always look at the bright side of life!

  6. My first reaction was: WTF! As in , Wow, Tremendously Funny....

  7. I think that you have hit on a wonderful way to diffuse the awful feelings these kitchen events can produce. I find that there is a disproportionate feeling of cataclismtic awfulness that follows shortly on these episodes.
    I mean, they are funny, but it usually takes me awhile before the giggling sets in, and meanwhile, I feel like the star of a horror movie. Taking a photo seems like a really good way to speed up the recovery-plus we all get to share it, and identify!
    I wish I'd thought to take a photo the day I dropped and shattered the glass jar of pomegranite molasses on the ceramic tile floor. I tried to clean/sweep it up while the cats were investigating and endangering themselves and their little bare pawpads. And I couldn't tell the sticky red spill from the blood on my own (foolishly) shoeless foot.
    I actually wept. Should have taken a picture instead!

  8. Wat een drama. Wat een goede reactie om dit in beeld vast te leggen! Je bent de schok inmiddels wel te boven (we zijn inmiddels een aantal dagen verder), maar die foto's zullen dat eerste gevoel meteen weer boven kunnen halen. Gelukkig is de schade met een sopje te herstellen

  9. Oh no! I would have been heartbroken. I hate mess!

  10. Hahaha! Vreselijk! Oooo!

    Even wat reacties die bij me bovenkwamen.

    Wat ik dus echt bewonder maar tegelijkertijd ABSOLUUT niet begrijp is dat je daar FOTO's van maakt!

    Hahaha,ik zou als eerste de hele wereld bij elkaar gevloekt hebben, weggelopen zijn, terugkomen en schoon gaan maken maar FOTO's....! Zouden niet gemaakt zijn ben ik bang.


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