A few weeks ago, I did something that I haven’t done since high school. No, I didn’t stay up all night watching the entire Mighty Ducks series or eat nothing but French fries for all three meals. Either of those things would have been preferable to what actually occurred. No, friends, instead I burned a pot of rice, and not just a little bit. I am still sketchy on what the exact sequence of events was that led to this tragic incident, but upon reflection on my tendency towards distraction, I am surprised that it hasn’t happened more often.
I still have a clear memory of the last such disaster. I was probably about 16, and I was tasked with making Spanish rice from a packet to accompany dinner. I put the rice on, forgot about it, and went to watch TV in the basement. The squealing of the smoke detector was my first hint that something had gone horribly wrong. After shaking her head in pity at my irresponsibility, my mom declared the pot irredeemable and tossed it in the trash.
This time around, the pot was not nearly so expendable. We got new pots for Christmas a mere four months ago, after all. I was determined that our medium-sized saucepan would be saved. I scoured the internet for possible solutions that might remove the blackened starch from my lovely new pot. One person suggested putting oven cleaner in the pot, then putting it in a plastic bag to contain the fumes. That answer sounded worse than the problem. Another suggested a mix of baking soda and vinegar poured into boiling water. Now, that had potential, or so I thought.
The result was visually satisfying in a 7th-grade-science-project-volcano sort of way, but did absolutely nothing to move me toward de-charrificaton. In the end, I traded my internet scouring for the good old-fashioned kind. The pot was (almost) good as new, which lasted for two weeks until my husband repeated my feat of culinary wreckage. I think it’s time we made better use of our kitchen timer, huh?