Sunday, October 31, 2004

Dumb as a Box of Hair

About four years ago, I had an unexpected night off from softball. I returned home, flipped on the television only to find Superman II playing. Clearly, fate was smiling upon me, and to celebrate, I cooked up a little dinner.

I started by making a batch of rice - no minute rice here - chicken stock, onions, carrots and rice. Next came the chicken - browned and crispy on the outside, then I placed the whole grill pan in the oven and let it cook.

Thirty minutes later, I pulled the grill pan out of the oven, and the chicken was perfect - crispy, juicy and fragrant. I spooned some rice on the waiting plate, and eager to see Superman fight Zod, Ursa and Non through the streets of Metropolis, I grabbed the grill pan to transfer the chicken to the plate.

Now, the oven was set at 400 degrees, and my cookware is all nonstick aluminum, meaning it retains heat very well. Which is great, especially if you remember to pick up a pan fresh from the oven with an oven mitt.

Which I didn't do.

My hand blistered instantly and six hours later, I returned home from the emergency room, my hand bandaged and numbed by pain medication. To this day, I still don't have feeling in one of my fingertips. Lesson learned.

Or so I thought.

Tonight, I had a nice quiet evening planned. So I took some chicken thighs, tossed them in olive oil and added salt and pepper. I browned them in a pan, added more olive oil, some garlic cloves, green onions and rosemary, sage and thyme, covered it and tossed it in the oven.

My plan was to add the garlic and onions to the mashed potatoes I was making, and I would saute the green beans in the herb-flavored oil when the chicken finished cooking.

The timer chimed and I removed the pan from the oven. I mixed the mashed potatoes, then I removed the lid from the pan. Without an oven mitt.

Fortunately I dropped it before I suffered any permanent injury. Vowing to pay attention, I mixed the potatoes with the garlic and onion.

Then I grabbed the pan's handle to remove the chicken. Without an oven mitt.

Again, I dropped it before any permanent harm, but I'm thinking that for me, cooking qualififes as an extreme sport.

The meal was delicious, though. So that counts for something . . . doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

Ask yourself this question, when did you kitchen mishaps begin to happen? Perhaps that would be after you laughed heartily at my little kitchen burn incident. All I have to say is Karma is a bitch, and until you make this right by me, your mishaps will continue. I don't know what this will entail, but large sums of money or bottle of beer may save you from further serious injury. Aaron

Anonymous said...

I have never heard "dumb as a box of hair," but plan to use it liberally from now on. And not just for self-description, either! amanda

Anonymous said...


That's nothing - I once burned myself with an iron.

That's right - an ironGordon, who should never be trusted with appliances

Anonymous said...

Bri, I'm thinking it's the chicken. They are out to get you, man. Espcially since they know what happened to the monkeys!!...Paintball?? - Lisa

Anonymous said...

Okay, Bri... I feel I can confess this to you since I know that I'm not alone in the 'stupid' world here..umm...I forgot my log in (yes, username too) to my blog...let's top it off with this...umm... I don't have either of the email accounts that I would have used for this. Any advice?? Call me..anything...HELPLESS - Lisa

Brian said...

Hmm. Let's see.

First, Aaron - there is NO curse. I refuse to acknowledge it. Besides, if this year has shown anything, it's that curses end - the Red Sox? Over. The Redskins and the President? Done. No curse. And I still laugh about you and those cookies. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!! ; )

I'm not sure where the title came from, but it is one of my favorite sayings. Feel free to use it anytime!

Lisa - send me an e-mail: brianmc94 at or give me a call. I'll see what I can do.