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Old 12-20-2004, 02:48 PM   #1
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Cooking safety horror stories.

So, which are the worse blunders you have made in the kitchen? What would you like to warn people against when it comes to using gadgets and cooking utensils? Here's mine:

First: Never beat something that’s in a pot of boiling water. I was once trying to thaw and stew some chicken pieces for mole and I tried breaking up some chunks that where frozen together with my knife. Yeah, If I could of seen myself from the outside I would of screamed at how stupid that was. Any way’s the pot tipped and went back into place sending a stream of boiling water that left a mark from my neck down to my crotch like one long boa tattoo. I looked like Sagat from street fighter. Worst thing is that the next day I had to go to a job interview in a 3 pieces suit on a super hot day and smelling of lotion… besides the pain and all that. Still got the job somehow.

Second: Hold the pan straight! Not long ago I was baking chicken in a cast iron skillet and accidentally tipped it a little sending some gravy into the oven. After the fireball that singed my arm hair disappeared we spent the afternoon scrubbing the oven so it would stop producing toxic greasy smoke.

Third: Never show off your knives to your roomate. I recently bought in Chinatown a huge meat cleaver which is sharp enough to slice through a playing card as if it wasent there. Even though I treat each and every one of my knives like a loaded shotgun, I’ve caught my roomie using it the wrong way or playing with it. After the most recent scolding I gave him (which feels weird since Im not even family) Im hoping he starts to respect it but otherwise I’ll keep an ice bucket handy.

Fourth: Don’t keep lighters in your pockets if you work a deep frier. It didn’t happen to me and thank god… a guy bent over a deep fryer and his bic lighter fell out and into the oil. Think a loud bang and burning grease everywhere.

Got any valuable life lessons (or horror stories) to teach us? Go ahead and post.

Oh yeah, one last one that I couldn’t have avoided but it’s the biggest scare I’ve gotten in a kitchen. I was working for a Cajun stand in a mall when I first got to the u.s. Any way’s at one point the wiring went up in the display (right after we closed thank god) and shot a ball of fire at me. I kinda ducked and rolled away (all that Kempo I’ve taken helped) but for a good 10 seconds it continued to shoot fire like a roman candle. Now Im sure that would of hurt me pretty bad… as it did burn through the metal surrounding the wires in order to shoot that fireball. The metal was all singed and melted, it was awesome but scary as heck.

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Old 12-20-2004, 03:16 PM   #2
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Lugaru, sounds like you have had an exciting time in the kitchen!

OK, here's my piece of advice. Make sure that your chicken livers are completely thawed before frying them!! Back during the summer of this year, I decided at the last minute to fry some chicken livers. Well, I thought they were all thawed. I was scooping the next to last batch out of the deep fryer & one of them exploded sending hot grease up to cover my thumb. I dropped the scoop on the floor & went straight to the sink to run cold water over my hand. When I got done with that, I went to unplug the deep fryer & stepped on the greasy scoop & fell. Luckly I didn't hit the deep fryer! Well, I got myself up & the fryer unpluged & everything cleaned up. I coated my thimb with aloe & waited for hubby to get home so he could finish cooking the last batch of chicken livers. My thumb only peeled from the burn so I count myself very lucky.
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Old 12-20-2004, 04:04 PM   #3
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Man that's got to hurt like heck. I'll think twice next time I add something juicy and frozen to oil. Btw I just remembered another one and discovered one by accident.

I just made Lunch and well I made spring rolls (cabbage and wassabi omelet filled), some steaks and rice with green curry. Here's some advice... imported spices dont say how hot they are like the american ones do. I grew up in mexico and this stuff still nuked my mouth... my roomate had tears running down his face and quoting ralph "even my boogers are spicy". Next time I need to taste the stuff before mixing it in with rice.

Any way's as for advice I used to work for an extremely cocky and irresponsible chef who was always doing stupid things like leaving knives in soapy water. Any way's one time he was trying to teach me how to sautee (which Im a master at but he was too cocky to notice) and flung a pan full of vodka sauce into his face. I ended up running and closing the station alone that night because I had to send my boss home. In other words, show offs end up in burn wards.
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:36 PM   #4
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I will never forget the Thanksgiving that Dad was carving the turkey and almost amputated his thumb. He did fine removing the legs, thighs, and wings - but when he started to slice of the breast meat he made a major faux pas ... he was holding the side of the turkey with his left hand and carving with his right .... not normally a problem but instead of having his thumb parallel with his other fingers it was sticking out at a 90-degree angle - right in the path of the blade. It took three surgeries got get thumb working again and he never did get more than about 60% of the range of motion back because of the nerve and tendon damage.

My two sons grew up watching Saturday cooking shows on TV with me, and then the three of us spent a lot of time in the kitchen together. I won't say their mother was a bad cook - let's just say she made McDonalds look like gourmet dining - and she had no patience for kids in the kitchen. So, beside the fact they enjoyed spending time doing something with me they looked forward to weekends when we cooked together. I taught them all about kitchen safety ... how to handle sharp knives, how to respect hot items on the stove, that the kitchen was not a place for horse-play, etc. But, since they were too young to fry things in oil I haden't gotten around to discussing that. That was mistake #1, the second mistake was that I didn't have a kitchen fire extinguisher.

After my divorce the boys came to live with me .... and so we got to cook together every night. And, although they were just 9 and 10, they were getting pretty good at simple meals - and a great help prepping and assisting with more elaborate dishes. But, then the fateful Saturday when I had to work and my sons were home alone to watch cooking shows on their own ...

My youngest decided he would make me fried cheese sticks as a suprise for when I got home. He did his prep work and then put the skillet on the stove, filled it with oil, turned the burner on ... and then his mother called and he forgot all about it ... until his brother noticed the flames in the kitchen. They both panicked! They knew enough from cooking shows to know that you put out a grease fire with flour or baking soda ... or to throw a lid on it ... but there wasn't a lid for the cast iron skillet .... and the way they were throwing it the flour didn't smother the flames .. so they moved the skillet from the stove to the sink where they finally extinguished the fire with water, more flour, and beating the flames out with bath towels.

I walked in the door about 5-minutes after the flames were out. My oldest just looked at me and said, "I didn't do it!" - and my youngest was in a panic in the kitchen trying to mop up the grease on the floor ... spreading it all over the place. The cabinet by the stove was charred, there was grease everywhere. I'll never forget the look on his face ... he was white with fear and tears streaming down his face ... his gift to me from the bottom of his heart had turned into his first walk thru hell.

When he got married one of the wedding presents I gave him was a kitchen fire extinguisher. His wife looked at us kinda funny, like I was insulting her, but I assured her it was just an old family joke from long before he knew her - like our joking about Julia Child making rabbit for Easter one year ... long, long ago.
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:43 PM   #5
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Never try to boil an egg in the microwave. Yes my BF tried that and our microwave exploded.
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Old 12-20-2004, 07:13 PM   #6
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I have nothing as exciting as you guys have posted, but about four years ago, my daughter called me asking how I made the taco shells for tacos, so I told her small amount of oil in the skillet and add the tortillas, folded over and fry each side, and so on. About 10 minutes later she called frantically to ask how to put out a grease fire. Mind you she was 800 miles away at college. Speaking of going nuts. We got the fire extinguished, the pan was totaled and she has not cooked them again. Now I am living in the same city with her and have shown her the correct way. I do not know what she did as she does not want to talk about it. Singed the paint around the stove and she had to pay for it.
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Old 12-20-2004, 07:28 PM   #7
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don't wear a sweater with loose arms when cooking on a range.
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Old 12-20-2004, 07:30 PM   #8
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Don't ever fry bacon in a bikini!! One word...OUCH!!!
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Old 12-20-2004, 07:37 PM   #9
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Most ultimate dumb move I ever diod in the kitchen and did it in front of my chef buddy. I cooked a pound of bacon up and drained the bacon. I left all the grease in the pan......then I tossed an egg in it and attempted to flip the egg. I wa cooking with my shirt off. Woweeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Took a few weeks for that to heal and I have permanent scars from it.
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Old 12-20-2004, 08:40 PM   #10
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norgeskog, Michael in FtW... I was once woken up by a grease fire. That really messed me up. I was asleep and the Ex decided to boil some aromatic oils (without any water) in my favorite pan. I wake up in the middle of screaming, toxic smoke and flame like light coming out of the kitchen. For a half asleep dude I reacted pretty much ok... I walked calmly with the flaming pan and threw the burning oil into the bathtub. Then I dropped the pan in there and opened the shower curtain. Normally I would of just cut the air off but you know, half asleep and all.

And yeah, I lost a pan I loved too and our walls where black for a while...
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