Culinary Adventures: Kitchen Mishaps

You may have figured it out by now (or not, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to tell you) but I enjoy a good meal. I also have a really healthy appetite and my family and some close friends will gladly back it up! This means one of my favourite channels is food network…goes without saying right? With all this I guess you also won’t be surprised to know that I love to experiment in the kitchen.

It’s always interesting to see how ‘strange ingredients’ are used in cook-offs. How ‘the usual suspects’ are introduced in new ways and given new expression. I simply love it when common items like okro, tete (a.k.a. spinach) plantain, etc are used by oyinbos. It helps me see what else I can get up to with them to make meals more enjoyable.

Despite my love for eating, mixing and watching food cooked I’m sad to say I’ve also had many ‘incidents’ in the kitchen. These were by no means pleasant and their memories still make me cringe. Sometimes others bore their brunt but more often than not yours truly took the entire weight. A slight miscalculation with the salt, at different stages (i.e. in pepper, meat et al) has made some dishes less than savoury!

Instances where the sodium chloride didn’t quite cut it have also featured. Ever used too much garlic or onions? What about not enough oil in your pot of stew? Did you ever think you’d look at your soup and see your reflection because of the palm oil? Have you ever had too much water and not enough garri in the mix, what about the reverse?

Often times these errors in judgment can be corrected…except when they can’t. Adding more tomatoes, taking out meat and rinsing, grilling certain items can avert some cooking disasters. Quick consultations with food enthusiasts be they mothers, sisters, brothers, girlfriends etc really helps. It’s really chronic cases that may end up in the bin or as the dog’s dinner…

The kitchen is a very dangerous place and if you don’t believe me take give it a second look. Knives, cleavers, graters, blenders and other appliances line up to process food. Since cooking is a hands on sport most people have had close encounters with one or more of these tools. It’s not just the hands that get in the way either, eyes, faces, feet and even hair have felt the heat in the kitchen.

Now if you want to chop off any body part I highly recommend you don’t hack the thumb. If you happen to make this grave mistake, then you’ll understand why that digit is probably the most important on the human anatomy. The day you accidentally put the thumb out of commission is when you’ll realise it practically rules your life. To your cost you’ll discover its importance is not just relegated to kitchen related activities but every aspect of human endeavour!

Hot water, cooling (or heated) stove burners, extremely frozen water or food the list is practically endless of what can cause grievous bodily harm! Everybody knows this and this is the primary reason the cooking area is usually off-limits to children. With the dangers than lurk in it adults must also take heed how they tread since it’s not practical to keep off permanently. The only way to minimise accidents and injuries in this environment is to be cautious, alert and take adequate precautions.

Despite these measures accidents will happen and my prayer is that it’s of the food-related variety that can be amended and not physical injury. What was your last kitchen hiccup?

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