Chicken Soup for the Klutz [PHIL-OSOPHY]
June 13 celebrates the "kitchen klutzes" and indirectly the first aid kits and fire extinguishers positioned in familiar places. When you own a diner, you can't help but have klutz stories to share on a day like that. From burns to cuts and slips galore, I'll scratch the surface of my clumsy mistakes and admit up front that I've turned food into 100 percent pure carbon!
How many times have I turned away just for a second and poof, the crushed Ritz crackers on top of the seafood casserole burnt because I left them under the broiler too long. Getting a slice of bread stuck in the toaster that starts to smoke and then catch on fire. Leaving cheese rolls in the hot oven until it smoked was a weekly ritual. I caused a small fire in the fry-o-lator and set off the Ansil System above the grill and entire length of the line once, and all this white chemical powder covered everything like a blanket freshly fallen snow. We had to close for the day.
Getting burned by grabbing red hot handles of skillets or long metal spoons left in a steaming pot was nothing. I remember filtering the oil of the fryers after a long Friday and forgetting to shut off the drain, causing the hot oil to pour out and onto the floor. Speaking of floors, slipping on the wet floor inside the walk-in cooler, while carrying a large pot of soup, is no fun. Does getting a large salad thrown at me by my wife, in a fit of anger, count?
Oh, that damn electric slicer, the kind you have in a deli. Goodbye fingertips and hello deep gashes on my index finger as I'm slicing the cheese block. You know to never put a half dozen eggs in the microwave thinking they'll be hard boiled in no time at all. What a stink and even bigger mess from the exploding eggs, and the same goes for chestnuts bursting in the mic. We had an old stove whose burners had to be lit with stick matches, but sometimes I let the gas stay on too long before I could get the match lit, and I was treated to indoor fireworks!
Lastly, as a tip for National Kitchen Klutzes Day, if you have an insatiable itch over your eye, don't rub it if you've just finished chopping hot peppers.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.