Cooking is hard, or it’s not. It’s also dangerous, or it isn’t. Really, depending on how competent you are in the kitchen, cooking can be a life-threatening, nearly impossible task, or it can be as soothing as drifting down a lazy river of pancake batter whilst serenaded by James Earl Jones. In my culinary ventures I have injured myself in ways I feel like I could have avoided had I been the type of person to listen to common sense. I’m here to tell you how not to be as foolish as me. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do while cooking.
This can be as simple as knowing which side of the pepper shaker to open: the dainty sprinkler which pecks your food with perfectly portioned black dots, or the zesty hell-storm that consumes you and the only food in your home. I misread the little symbols on the lid of my pepper shaker, and such a wave of black and gray has not been seen since the great Sharpie flood of ‘06. The pepper covered the only food I had: a single egg already frying away in the pan I didn’t want to go to the store. It was just one egg. I could have just skipped a meal. Instead, I blew on the mound of pepper while the egg was still bubbling. What you and I are experiencing right now is called dramatic irony; that’s when the audience knows something the character in the story does not. I know now that blowing on a pile of rapidly heating pepper is a bad idea, and I know that because my eyes are still watering and flecks of black still drift across my field of vision. Don’t misread labels. Don’t blow on piles of hot pepper.
Just don’t. Do you know how many of your jiggly person-bits are fragile and rarely exposed to damage? Probably most of them unless you lead a way more intense life than me. I wasn’t even nude when I learned irrevocably that this is a lesson not to be broken. I had my shirt off because I live in the Southwest and the sun was a comfortable 10 inches from my window. I was also cooking bacon. It was when I flipped the first crinkled morsel of filleted pig flesh that I was struck by either a solar flare or a sizzling globule of bacon grease. Anyway, my chest looked like a constellation for a while, and now I wear a lead apron and a welding hood when I cook breakfast.
Release Live Animals
I have a cat. I like petting my cat. Sometimes I even get to hold her. I also am a huge idiot. I let my little furry buddy hop onto the table where I prepare food which is a mistake obvious to everyone except me yesterday. In summary, cats like knocking things off tables, and it’s easier to throw a rug away than scrub out a gallon of pancake batter.
Watch Engaging Shows
Breaking Bad is an incredible series. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are fantastic artists, and season 5 is a masterpiece. The series finale was particularly engaging, and I know that because I didn’t notice the smoke from my oven until the chicken inside resembled its Jurassic relatives post-meteor.
Touch Your Eyes
Listen, if there’s any lesson you take from me or this blog, then let it be this one. You could be making ice cream out of hugs and pictures of water, and I’d still say wash your hands before you touch your face. I learned my lesson after making salsa. I like spicy foods so I made a salsa out of a portion of a habanero pepper, serrano peppers, and a few jalapenos among other ingredients (ha, like I’d reveal every detail to my world famous super spicy salsa recipe). It was after I had finished blending my delicious liquid fire that I absentmindedly wiped my nose. Immediately, my sinuses were clear as a torrent of flame ripped through my face. My eyes watered, and muscle memory fucked me. I wiped my eyes. The burning was slow at first and kind of like actually eating spicy food. Then I it felt like someone was pouring hot sand straight into my retinas, and I was blind. I stumbled around my apartment screaming, blindly fumbled at the oven until I turned all the burners off, then stumbled to my shower, turned it on, and stepped in fully clothed. I pried my eyes open and stared into the water, treating it like a giant chemical eye-wash station. I screamed some more–imagine being shot by a million bb’s fired by a child you hate. The whole ordeal lasted about 45 minutes. My eyes watered with almost no provocation for the rest of the week. I think I might need glasses now. The salsa was delicious. Wear gloves.