Accidents in the kitchen can happen at any time and under any circumstance. The phone rings, you answer it and get to chatting. You think to yourself, 'Jeez it's great to catch up with Aunt Kay!' Aunt Kay talks about her recent trip to Greece and you tell you about your trip to Greece. You tell Aunt Kay how wonderfully the girls are doing and she talks about how proud she is of them. (This goes on and on.) You click off the phone and make a note in your calendar to set up a Skype chat call so you don't lose touch again...
Doesn't this sound like a lovely bit of reflection? Doesn't it trigger a sweet memory of your own? Doesn't it make you smile to think about reconnecting with a loved one? The feeling of elation and satisfaction when contact with someone we love is re-established is like a sort of high, right? Right! Of course it is, Dear Readers! We are human and we need connection? As humans we also need to eat. I left a detail out of the above story... I left out the detail this reconnection took place during dinner time meal preparation. In fact, this story took place shortly after the carrots were put on the stove to steam until just the perfect amount of crisp-tender was achieved. Because you are an experienced home chef, you added mere teaspoons of water to the steaming pot. Also because you never get distracted, you cranked the burner to "high." Your brilliant plan was to do another small, quick task while the minuscule amount of water in the bottom of the pot came to a simmer. After it reached a simmer (you know this only takes seconds,) your "plan" was to turn the heat down to "low." ALL of this brilliant plan went up in smoke (just like your carrots) once you answered the phone!
To add to the plot, lets just suppose this phone-anwering, carrot-burning-scenario happened on Thanksgiving Day. Lets suppose this just for $hits and giggles... Are you supposing it? (It's really not that difficult.) Distractions happen in the kitchen, Dear Readers. Distractions happen to the inexperienced and the experienced home chef alike. So, what to do? What to do? Have a Contingency Plan! Dah! Really, Dear Readers, what would you do without me? There are of course tips I could provide for "saving" charred food BUT, the best Contingency Plan I will offer you is twofold; 1. DO NOT panic and 2. DO NOT apologize. Stuff happens. It is OKAY! The world will not disappear and your Thanksgiving meal will be great with our without the carrots or beans or whatever it is you burned. Why? Because you remembered to put in the most important ingredient into your meal, love. Your family, friends, guests, whoever, love, value and appreciate YOU. YOU are who they are there for in the first place. The meal is just an added bonus.
Share your "Contingency Plans" for burned food in the comments section.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor