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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Cooking

So today I went to heat up some leftover baked beans from our "bar-b-que" dinner the other night, and I learned that after about 33 seconds of cooking in the microwave baked beans explode. It was really cool, but I had to stop before my meal was obliterated (Besides, the beans were more than hot at this point, anyway). After burning the roof of my mouth, I realized that I should probably share my thoughts on cooking mishaps (which of course I did not realize I had such thoughts until right then).

Naturally, today's mishap comes after a long succession of mishaps. When I was about 7 or 8, I received a "Cooking with Chemistry" kit that was supposed to teach me science through cooking. I failed miserably. Being self-righteous and having the attitude that I "didn't need no stinkin' directions," I neglected to read that you must take the homemade gelatin out of the mold before sticking it into the microwave. After about 45 seconds the mold imploded, smoked and bubbled for a brief moment, and then collapsed into a sticky and cruddy mess on the glass plate in the microwave. Half out of it from the noxious fumes, I ran to my mom to get her to clean it up. I should have known better; I scraped every last bit of that mess out while she watched.

More recently, I decided that it would be a novel idea to butter my toast before putting it into the toaster, as we keep our butter in the refrigerator. Doing so cools the butter to the most perfect, irritatingly un-spreadable temperature. My idea would solve that and make a nice type of "butter bread." My sister, who is four years younger than me, warned me against doing so since she said the toaster would catch on fire. Naturally, since I had read Ayn Rand and taken Calculus, I was right, so I went ahead with my idea.

The butter melted, dripped onto the heating element, and immediately caught fire.

Luckily my sister saw this happen and unplugged the toaster before further damage occurred, as I was in the other room reading, being oh-so-confident in my plan that I did not even need to be there. The toaster was trashed, and we had to buy a new one.

Now, where is the learning in all this? The deeper meaning? I think, toasters and microwaves aside, that cooking mishaps, when they do not hurt anyone, can be great ways to experiment and learn. They reveal that hey, we are not perfect - we make laughable mistakes. My mom still makes fun of me for the incident, and I wrote about it in a college essay (I got into that college).

So, experiment! Have fun (safely of course - don't want lawsuits)! Here's a video of some REALLY cool microwave tricks! DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT try them please! Just watch ;)


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