What not to do in the kitchen + a PSA

Sorry for my absence yesterday but Sunday turned out to be a bit more exciting than I had planned which left no time for blogging. Don't believe me?

Sunday was not unlike many others before it. In fact, now that football has come to a close, Shaun and I were thrilled to have the day to catch up on food shopping, closet measuring, laundry and other fun adult Sunday things. In fact, I spent the morning planning our meals for the week, followed by food shopping, followed by cooking. I was planning to share all of that with you yesterday, however, when I get to the details of how Sunday went down, you'll understand why my measely meal planning got the bump.

While I was cooking away, Shaun had recently watched Giada at Home, where Giada made some potato chips and decided that he too had a hankering for some homemade chippies. After whipping up Rocco's blue cheese dip (our favorite of yore), Shaun broke out this guy to get his chip on (minus the protective guard). You can probably guess where this story is going.


And if you can't, well...


think about it for a moment...


There it is. I'll spare you the intimate details. Let's just say that there was blood. Some screaming (mostly from me). A lot of orange Gatorade. A lengthy amount of time passing before we made the decision that yes, it was pertinent to get to a hospital stat. It wasn't pretty. In fact, I'm still feeling a bit traumatized by the whole ordeal.

So we left the half sliced potatoes on the kitchen island and hopped in the Prius over to Jersey City Medical (a fine establishment, if you are in need of a hospital, by the by). A little while later, we were home, bandaged, medicated (painkillers for the man and a sedative for me...just kidding...sort of) and relieved that this bloody ordeal (er...pun not intended) was behind us.

Some of us were more relieved than others. At least the latter in this situation got some good painkillers out of it. That made him happy.

The finger in question is just a coincidence. I think. At this point, he did encourage me to tell this story on the blog, though in hindsight, it could have been the meds talking.

So the moral of the story, friends? Don't get a mandolin. We had ours for less than a month before this disastrous incident. While it produced some delectable goodies like this...


...it's probably the most dangerous kitchen tool you could own. And not worth the risk of chopping off the tip of your finger (and fingernail). And so not worth seeing your awesome husband (or awesome self) in so much pain. Take it from me, it's not pretty, it's not pleasant, and it's going to take a heck of a lot longer to heal than a simple bandage.

But if you do own one, or aren't deterred by the bird-flipping man in the photos above, please for the love of Jesus, use the guard it comes with or at least an oven mitt for protection. I'm pretty sure I won't be looking at a mandolin ever again. Of all of our kitchen mishaps, this has by far been the worst one and was a real wake up call to be SO super careful in the kitchen when handling any sort of tool, be it blades, knives, or electrical equipment. It's so easy to make a simple mistake and all it takes is one wrong move. My poor sweet husband has the severed finger to prove it. So please, be super super duper careful when handling this tool.

That will conclude today's PSA.


I'm traumatized.

The Misadventures Part: Top 5 Kitchen Mishaps

I write about a lot of fabulous things on this blog...how to do breakfast in Aruba, feasting on first-class sushi during Restaurant Week, making decadent cakes and cupcakes...but what I neglect to mention most of the time are the mishaps that go on during my culinary endeavors...forcing me to rethink the whole 'in the kitchen' thing and relegate myself to this at all times:

Sushi Lounge in Hoboken, Spring 2009

Not too shabby. But, I love to cook. Do I know a whole lot about it? Nope. But I like to pretend like I do and try to pick up a few tricks along the way. So, in the spirit of inspiring others like myself (that whole if I can do it, you can do it too thing), I'm listing my top five kitchen mishaps (or as Shaun said when I told him about the article, "you mean top five of the last three days?") ...yeah.

1. Slicing my middle finger on a can of dog food. My refusal to use an electric can opener at my parent's house (I'm in the Alton Brown school of thought to not keep excessive gadgets on hand. This goes against all my mother stands for, as she has every kitchen gadget you could possibly think of) lead to this dastardly finger wound and one that I hope never rears it's ugly head again. Putting my middle finger out of commission not only lead to extreme bandaging and underuse, but the constant feeling that I was giving people the unholiest of finger gestures. 

2. Opening a pull can and splattering chipotle pepper sauce all over the wall. Yup it was this past weekend as I made a slow cooker full of black bean soup and it's exactly as it sounds. Did I mention that Shaun had just given this very wall a good scrubbing following my last splatter incident?

3. Burning my thumb on a hot stove grate. Shaun had just used the grate in heating the tea kettle. Rachel thinks she's so smart and getting ahead of the game by cleaning the entire kitchen as things are used (what can I say? Random bits of food just jump out of pans and under the grate). One swift move to lift the grate and I'm left with a skinless thumb.

4. Inadvertently pouring half a can of tomato sauce on my shirt. As I opened the can and pushed up the lid (this was pre-finger slicing as mentioned in number 1 when I carelessly opened cans using bare fingers at any whim), the lid flicked a huge droplet-turned-saucy stain on my fancy shirt. This did, however, lead to my purchasing of a truly fab Anthropologie apron, which ultimately became the color inspiration for my new blog.

5. Sharp knife sticking out of dishwasher decides to slice my palm. I reach into the lower half of the dishwasher, and out of nowhere, a knife sticking out of the utensil basket just does its thing on my hand. Though not enough to warrant a full hand bandage, I have to tell you candidly...it did not feel good.

So it's not all fun in the Humiston kitchen, though even despite my many recent mishaps and Shaun's teasing of said wounds, it still hasn't deterred my desire to learn the culinary arts. And I guess after looking at the above, you'd think I be more interested in reviewing restaurants than cooking food myself, but I guess that's part of the fun - learning as you go along, just like anything else in life. Just make sure you have plenty of bandages, first aid cream, and ibuprofen on hand as a quick cure kit to many kitchen mishaps. Oh, and probably a fire extinguisher, though luckily none of my missteps have warranted this...yet.

But what about you? Am I the only one who's had kitchen malfunctions, causing bodily harm? Please tell me that I'm not alone in my culinary misadventures. Have you ever had a major, yet kinda funny in hindsight, mishap in the kitchen?