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I will never again . . . (Part 4)


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#1 Darienne

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:56 PM

Dipping stem ginger pieces in chocolate and so disappointed that many of them have sprung a little leak. What to do?

So I google the question and guess what I get? The last time I asked the question on eGullet with the answers of what to do.

With luck I won't forget a third time. How stupid can I be? tongue.gif

 

 

 

 

[Moderator note: The original I will never again . . . topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: I will never again . . . (Part 3)]


Edited by Mjx, 16 December 2013 - 05:23 AM.

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#2 Mjx

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:07 PM

When I'm feeling exhausted or run down, I will never [again] do anything in a kitchen that involves equipment more dangerous, fragile, or complex than a spoon.

When I first went off to university, I got a job working at a diner. Originally I was supposed to wait tables, but after half a day of serving families whose children had apparently been raised by wolves, and which left religious tracts as tips (yes, really), I asked the manager whether I mightn't fill the currently vacant position of busboykid. The manager agreed reluctantly (it meant paying me minimum wage, instead of two dollars an hour), and said the position was mine, if no one else came along.

The diner was a busy one, and that afternoon I didn't once stop clearing tables, or loading and unloading the dishwasher until nearly 23.00. Have I mentioned that this wasn't an exciting job? Also, I didn't want too look like a baby or a whiner, so I didn't ask for a break at any point, and after an hour or so, I was running on autopilot, my mind far, far away.

As a result, I brought my first day to a dramatic close when, near midnight, I went into the back, opened the dishwasher, and began unloading it, starting with a full tray of glasses, which I set down on the top of the machine. The problem was that while I was out front bussing, someone had dumped a large heap of plastic spoons onto the top of the unit. I saw the spoons, realized the problem, but was still in Stepford bus-kid mode, and, with my brain saying 'OHnononononononoooo...' somewhere off in the distance, I precisely placed the tray on the heap of spoons, stepped back, and watched the whole thing crash to the floor in an avalanche of smashing glass and bouncing spoons. To make things worse, I reflexively dropped to the floor in a crouch, and brought my hand down on a spike of glass.

The racket brought a rush of staff to the back, and they found me still crouching on the floor, surrounded by broken glass, plastic spoons, and arterial spray, too tired to be upset, or even think of anything more than 'Huh, that's a cut artery, it's squirting rhythmically.'

The lesson about not doing things in the kitchen when fatigued was reinforced (I tend to need reinforcement, evidently) some years later, when I was way too tired to tie back my long hair, but was good to bake bread. Using a mixer... Ouch.


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#3 Darienne

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 06:07 AM

Repeat of September 15th's post only this time with toffee. How stupid can one woman get?

Burnt the upper inside of my mouth just behind my teeth.

I realized the toffee was too hot to taste as soon as it touched my teeth, but did not count on the curling effect as the hot toffee curled behind my teeth and stuck.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. :raz:
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#4 Big Mike

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 02:43 PM

Will never dump olive oil into a insanely hot pan. The stuff instantly ignited and threw a four foot high flame. And my wife and mother-in-law were in the kitchen and started screaming like the house was on fire. I threw a lid on top of it thinking that I would cut off the oxygen and knock the fire out but it just smoked like I've never experience before. Ugh. Took the whole mess outside on the patio to cool off. What a mess, that pan has never been the same.
 
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#5 Paco Nathan

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:47 AM

I'm fine but the house smells really interesting.


One time I dropped by to see a friend -- who's also a cook -- she answered the door wearing SCUBA gear. I asked, "What's that horrible smell?" She was roasting habaneros in her oven, and decided to use her diving gear to avoid the smoke.

#6 alanjesq

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:55 AM

I am the guy who saw u or another ER nurse after trying to split a pre-sliced bagel with the point of my knife aiming at my palm, upon which I scored a direct hit

#7 alanjesq

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:58 AM

Leaving frozen shrimp in the car trunk in a "cooler" side pocket in the heat of summer but remembering to empty out the main section of the "cooler"

Oh my, the trunk stunk for a week. The cooler went to cooler heaven.

#8 robirdstx

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:14 PM

I will not tilt the cookie sheet that is holding newly proofed dinner rolls in a silicon cake pan in one hand while moving stuff around in the fridge with the other to make a place to hold the rolls until I am ready to bake them. The silicon cake pan slid right off the cookie sheet and landed upside down on the bottom rim of the fridge. Fortunately, the rolls were covered with plastic wrap and did not get contaminated, only deflated and mis-shapened. Back they went into the proofing box. They weren't as pretty when baked but at least not a total loss. This explains why I was never a waitperson and never should be!

#9 Chris Hennes

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:20 PM

One time I dropped by to see a friend -- who's also a cook -- she answered the door wearing SCUBA gear. I asked, "What's that horrible smell?" She was roasting habaneros in her oven, and decided to use her diving gear to avoid the smoke.

I usually just use my air filtration mask... no need to go full SCUBA! :smile:

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#10 ScottyBoy

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:17 PM

Take a deep whiff of a Zaterains crab boil pouch.
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#11 Pork Bomb

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:25 AM

Similar story after juicing 2 cases of lemons, limes, and oranges. I washed my hands many times before what has come to be known as "The night of Burning Passion" but I guess there must have been some leftover residue on/under my fingernails. Now on Nights I cook dinner I need to show her a list of ingredients I used before anything possibly happens.

#12 ScottyBoy

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:31 AM

I luckily never have but watching line cooks jumping around crying after using the bathroom is priceless. When handling chilis wash your hands before you go to the bathroom as well as after, hehe.
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#13 David Ross

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:04 PM

We all know that commercial kitchens are a hazardous place--Chefs come into contact with intense heat, flames, slippery floors and sharp knives--all during the fury of service. Yet the home kitchen can also be a hazardous workplace albeit on a smaller scale.

Today when I was painting my kitchen, I was up on a small ladder. To reach a corner in the ceiling, I stepped on top of a butcher block with a large countertop attached. When I stepped on the countertop, it popped off. I lost my balance and fell to the floor, along with all the kitchen tools on top of the counter. The glass jars I use to hold kitchen tools broke, but luckily I wasn't cut by glass. Unfortunately, I had left my portable deep-fryer on the counter to cool so it was full of cold oil. The deep-fryer went flying, but it helped break my fall. When I collected my oil covered self off the floor, I realized I was sitting on top off the deep-fryer. The fry basket is a horrible tangled mess to say the least.

Other than a scrape on my left shoulder and a swollen, bruised, left elbow, I seem to have survived intact. Albeit my back will suffer in coming days. It was sort of funny in a tragic way. Cleaning up a gallon of used fry oil wasn't a pretty sight.

While my foible was due to using poor judgement while painting my kitchen, I imagine some of you have suffered similar spills, trips, falls and the like in your kitchen.

#14 kbjesq

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 05:08 PM

Not a slip or fall, but one time I decided to attempt to put the very last bit of a red pepper through my mandoline, and unwisely removed the guard. I reasoned that the very high price of the red pepper justified the risk of exposure to the sharp blade. A poor decision, I'm afraid!

I'm still missing part of that finger . . . and the cost of the emergency room visit made it a very expensive mistake.

#15 rooftop1000

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 05:32 PM

There are some moments in life when you wish you had the video....
So far all my injuries have been at work - the usuals, tip of the finger into the slicer, splash from the fryer, grilled nuckles on the flat-top etc... One thing that was funny was during a weekly visit to my Chiropracter she asked what the heck I had done to myself and I knd of counted days back on my fingers and remebered that I fallen onto my hip in a puddle of lemon sauce the weekend before



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#16 heidih

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:45 PM

My worst was a burn. I made a simple "pizza" in a half sheet pan with lots of cheese. Foolishly, as always, I used a pair of oven mitts that had seen better days to take the heavy awkward pan out of the 500 degree oven. Yup- I felt the heat and sort of tossed the pan up and it landed on the tender underside of my right forearm. It was really painful and I probably should have gone to the hospital but I felt so stupid. I "re-assembled" the pizza and served it to those in another room and tried to suck up the pain with the help of ice water. It was months before it healed and the scars are still (10 years) later detectable. Have I learned my lesson, nope - I love to go at that hot oven with just a kitchen towel......

#17 David Ross

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:13 PM

My worst was a burn. I made a simple "pizza" in a half sheet pan with lots of cheese. Foolishly, as always, I used a pair of oven mitts that had seen better days to take the heavy awkward pan out of the 500 degree oven. Yup- I felt the heat and sort of tossed the pan up and it landed on the tender underside of my right forearm. It was really painful and I probably should have gone to the hospital but I felt so stupid. I "re-assembled" the pizza and served it to those in another room and tried to suck up the pain with the help of ice water. It was months before it healed and the scars are still (10 years) later detectable. Have I learned my lesson, nope - I love to go at that hot oven with just a kitchen towel......

I do the same thing. Have all kinds of oven mitts and gloves rated to protect one from intense heat but they just sit in a drawer and don't get used. I use stupid little kitchen towels to open up the oven and dearly pay for it. I tried to take a Cuisinart casserole dish out of the oven the other day--with my bare hands. I was quick enough to pull back and didn't suffer any burns.

#18 Mjx

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:45 AM

I get nervous around pointy and hot objects, so I'm fairly careful, but at any given time I'm likely to have at least one minor, cooking-related wound somewhere on my hands/forearms. A lot are related to scale issues: I'm not remarkably small, but significantly smaller than the so-called 'average', so things are bigger and higher up than they ideally should be, which affects my leverage. The open wounds are usually from pushing against something too hard (compensating for decreased leverage), then having my hand lose purchase, and slam into the counter or wall, which usually opens a knuckle. Also, the angle of my arms relative to the tallish edges of the large frying pan we have is just right for me to burn my wrist when I'm flipping something. I try to remember to grab a potholder (I made a point of hanging then on the wall between the oven and stove), but they're encumbering, so I usually chance it. I got an impressive burn over the winter holidays, when I flaked, and grabbed the handle of the cast-iron pan I'd just removed from the oven and set on the stove, forgetting to use a pot-holder. Everything ended up on the floor, which was depressing end to my crepes Suzette.

No crying out, but a lot of swearing in several languages.

Edited by Mjx, 14 February 2011 - 01:56 AM.

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#19 nakji

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:29 AM

Today when I was painting my kitchen, I was up on a small ladder. To reach a corner in the ceiling, I stepped on top of a butcher block with a large countertop attached. When I stepped on the countertop, it popped off. I lost my balance and fell to the floor, along with all the kitchen tools on top of the counter. The glass jars I use to hold kitchen tools broke, but luckily I wasn't cut by glass. Unfortunately, I had left my portable deep-fryer on the counter to cool so it was full of cold oil. The deep-fryer went flying, but it helped break my fall. When I collected my oil covered self off the floor, I realized I was sitting on top off the deep-fryer. The fry basket is a horrible tangled mess to say the least.


Thank heavens it wasn't full of hot oil!

And some injuries just make you shake your head. I just sliced two fingers across washing a wine glass that snapped in my fingers. I don't know how many kitchen towels I've lost to blood compression.

No gloves to finish washing the dishes with, either.

#20 harrysnapperorgans

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 03:11 AM

When I was studying performance guitar at university, I badly sliced my middle finger of my left hand dicing potatoes. I was only about a week out from my final exam.
I had expected a solid B, maybe even an A. I spent a huge amount of time re-learning pieces using only 3 fingers, and I got 30% in the exam.
Along with the rest of my course work for the year, I barely scraped through with a C. I've been much more carefully since.

#21 ChrisZ

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 04:03 AM

While the worst I have done to myself is simply slicing off the end of my thumb, the injury that haunts my mind was described to me by an apprentice when I was doing work-experience in a french restaurant. Apparently the instructors had been drilling into the young apprentices the importance of tasting the food as you cook it. Unfortunately one of them was too eager and stuck his finger into a saucepan of boiling caramel. The stickiness of the caramel and the difficulty in removing it from his finger made a very bad burn much much worse... Twenty years later and I'm still especially careful around caramels...

#22 Shelby

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:06 AM

On Valentine's Day night about 5 years ago I was slicing French bread with a knife that I've since named "The Biter". I dropped the knife and (stupidly) tried to catch it. I sliced the end off of my middle left finger. I didn't go to the hospital, but I guess I should have. That's the closest I've ever come to fainting. I still have no feeling in it. My husband doesn't let me touch that knife any more. :unsure:

#23 nakji

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:09 AM

On Valentine's Day night about 5 years ago I was slicing French bread with a knife that I've since named "The Biter". I dropped the knife and (stupidly) tried to catch it. I sliced the end off of my middle left finger. I didn't go to the hospital, but I guess I should have. That's the closest I've ever come to fainting. I still have no feeling in it. My husband doesn't let me touch that knife any more. :unsure:


Some knives, once they taste blood, never lose the taste for it. My microplane has a similar predilection.
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#24 Shelby

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:10 AM


On Valentine's Day night about 5 years ago I was slicing French bread with a knife that I've since named "The Biter". I dropped the knife and (stupidly) tried to catch it. I sliced the end off of my middle left finger. I didn't go to the hospital, but I guess I should have. That's the closest I've ever come to fainting. I still have no feeling in it. My husband doesn't let me touch that knife any more. :unsure:


Some knives, once they taste blood, never lose the taste for it. My microplane has a similar predilection.


Maybe we should introduce them. :laugh:

#25 xxchef

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:37 AM

I've had lots of cuts, strains, and burns, of course, but only one sent me to the emergency room.

It was the tiniest cut you can imagine, but in just the wrong place. I was Frenching the bones on some lamb racks and made a little wrong flick with my boning knife, poking myself on the inside of my left wrist. I hardly noticed the poke and was only made aware of it when I got sprayed in the face by a stream of my own blood. Yup, poked a vein or artery.

I put the knife down and gave it a minute of direct pressure followed by a tight bandage with a gauze ball to keep the pressure on and went back to work. A few minutes later the bandages were soaked through and dripping. Took off the wraps and tried ice and more pressure but the darned thing continued to spurt. Reluctantly, off I went to the hospital (do injuries ever happen at a good time, when your not in the weeds with a huge night ahead of you?.)

The emergency room team was busy so I sat there for quite a while. When I finally got in to a cubicle a nurse asked what was wrong. I told her I'd stabbed myself at work and couldn't stop the bleeding. She gave me a once over and asked "Where?". I nodded to my wrist where my right thumb was covering the cut.

"You're kidding me, right? she asked, obviously irritated that I was wasting her time. I assured her I was not. She hrummphed and told me to move my thumb so she could look at it. I warned her - I really did, but she pushed my right hand away. Predictably, the wound opened immediately and send an arc of blood about 18 inches into the air, making a red stripe across her uniform front as she bent in to look at it.

Startled would be an understatement. She grabbed a gauze pad, put it on the wound and told me to hold it while she got the doctor. He put a quick cross-stitch across it and I was out of there in about 10 more minutes and headed back to work - back into the weeds.

Edited by xxchef, 14 February 2011 - 09:39 AM.

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#26 judiu

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:38 PM



On Valentine's Day night about 5 years ago I was slicing French bread with a knife that I've since named "The Biter". I dropped the knife and (stupidly) tried to catch it. I sliced the end off of my middle left finger. I didn't go to the hospital, but I guess I should have. That's the closest I've ever come to fainting. I still have no feeling in it. My husband doesn't let me touch that knife any more. :unsure:


Some knives, once they taste blood, never lose the taste for it. My microplane has a similar predilection.


Maybe we should introduce them. :laugh:


Good Lord, NO! They might breed! :shock: :laugh:
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#27 nolnacs

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:59 PM

My microplane has a similar predilection.


As does mine... it took a surprisingly large chunk of skin off of my middle finger on Saturday night. It's still bothering me too - typing is awkward and uncomfortable.

#28 Shelby

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 04:53 PM




On Valentine's Day night about 5 years ago I was slicing French bread with a knife that I've since named "The Biter". I dropped the knife and (stupidly) tried to catch it. I sliced the end off of my middle left finger. I didn't go to the hospital, but I guess I should have. That's the closest I've ever come to fainting. I still have no feeling in it. My husband doesn't let me touch that knife any more. :unsure:


Some knives, once they taste blood, never lose the taste for it. My microplane has a similar predilection.


Maybe we should introduce them. :laugh:


Good Lord, NO! They might breed! :shock: :laugh:

*shudder*

#29 kayb

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:47 PM

I was testing a mandoline for a local manufacturer/importer of sharpeners who is expanding into edged tools (not knives, but everything else). He warned me -- repeatedly -- not to use it without the guard. I was entranced with cutting 1/32 of an inch slices of tomato, and removed the guard; somehow, I managed to slice a dime-sized piece of skin and flesh from the underside of the middle finger of my right hand, between second knuckle and palm. Bled like a sonofagun. And my finger was stiff for two weeks while it healed.
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#30 abooja

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 06:23 AM

That's it. I am *never* buying a mandoline. My mother offered to buy me one years ago, and I turned her down, wanting to save her money, but the real savings was in flesh and blood -- my own. Misshaped potato chips are far preferable to misshaped fingers. :shock: