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Dinner Gone Wrong
5:01 p.m. - 2002-09-04

One of the biggest food disasters I remember involved the excitement of cooking with a pressure cooker in the 1950's. Today these appliances are almost completely tamed and safe, but back then there was an element of danger. I can't remember what my mom was cooking, and it did not matter, because we did not eat it after the lid blew off of the pressure cooker sending the small pressure weight rocketing to the ceiling where it shattered the lightbulb in the ceiling fixture, all of which fell back down into the food.

Most of my own food disasters involve wandering attention. There was a period in my life when all of my fry pans had the burnt-on outline of a grilled cheese sandwich. I have had only two kitchen fires, both in a fry pan, one of which caused the copper bottom of my Revere Ware pan to fall off. So I have crisped two pans. I am not at all in the league of my sister, who was frying tortillas one day and turned away to answer the phone. Turning back around, she observed her whole kitchen ablaze. She got a whole new kitchen out of it though. Thinking about it, I realize that I still do not have the baking soda near the stove...shame on me. I put out the second fire by slapping a lid on the pan, not easy when the flames are shooting up into the fume hood.

What is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten? This is a tough one, because mostly I avoid eating disgusting things. One time I was served a grated carrot salad at the in-laws which I thought would be sweet like the usual kind my mom made and it tuned out to be garlic flavored. I had served myself a lot and had to eat it without gagging since I was newly married, I think. And Big Red is disgusting, but some relatives I know like it very much. I think it helps not to be too picky, because then the whole world is full of opportunities for enjoyment.

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