21 February 2010

Finding a metaphor in the mundane

The correct tool for the job turned out to be steel wool. Worked like a charm. Scrubbing that burned-on residue from the bottom of the soup kettle was relatively quick work once I got the steel wool engaged.

Yesterday I made corn chowder and started by boiling pearled barley with some onion and celery. Barley gives the soup texture and makes it taste chowdery. But in my poorly managed multi-tasking frame of mind, I neglected to keep watch on the barley and consequently the water boiled out too quickly leaving the starchy grain to burn. And stick to the bottom of the kettle.

After discarding the contents, I tried an old remedy that has always proved successful for me in the past – boiling soapy water in the kettle. I think I read it years ago in a newspaper column. Probably Hints from Heloise.

But it didn’t work. Usually that technique makes the job of cleaning so much easier. No scrubbing even required. Not this time.

So this morning, as I was physically scrubbing the pan with my steel wool, I found my brain casting about searching for someone, something to accept the blame for the situation I was in. I landed on Heloise. Damn that tips column. Load of baloney!

Then the scrubbing was over and I almost had to laugh. So ridiculous that I would be trying to escape responsibility for something so insignificant, a minor inconvenience. But I was. Yeah, I’m human. Give my idiot card a punch.

Coincidentally, this is precisely the topic that one of my favorite bloggers recently presented in a very humorous way. Karal, at the orange chair. Check it out.


  1. It's so much easier to blame someone else! At first, I didn't know who Gloria that Karal was referring to in her post. She emailed me the footage since it apparently only aired in LA and then put it on her post. I could not believe that Gloria Allred was trying to get a public apology from Tiger to the woman who chose to have an affair with a married man...and it makes one wonder how many millions they are after! It was a hilarious post Karal wrote!

  2. Love it. You know, I am a notoriously messy cooker..if I even make it to the stage of actually preparing a meal. I'm just terrible at it. But I can tell you, the satisfaction of cleaning something to perfection---ahhh, it feels good! On a completely unrelated topic, how is your pooch? Saw a photo flashing on your slideshow & wanted to check in to see how he/she is doing.

  3. Been there and done that! Including the 'who can I blame' bit! LOL!

    Tip for the future. Burnt pans are a doddle to clean if you boil up, not soapy water, but passata. Any tomato sauce will do, of course, but why waste a good jar of pasta sauce? Use half a jar (or carton) of plain old tomato puree, or sieved tomatoes (passata). Bring to the boil, simmer for five to ten minutes and leave to cool. The acid in the tomatos will have loosened all that nasty black stuff for you and you'll be amazed at how easy it is to clean. ;)

  4. I'm totally flattered to have been included in your blog. As I absolutely get grossed out at soapy water filled with crumbs and slimy ooook, I can say I see why you would want to find someone else to blame. I"m on my way to listen to Jamelia now. Thank you!

  5. sounds logical and I always have a can of tomato sauce on hand. excellent tip, muchas gracias!

  6. Jackie is good, minor aches and pains notwithstanding. He got a fresh haircut this weekend and looks a tiny bit choppy, but I like to think the prefers the chose cut look. Edgar is hanging in there too, getting a little rickety on his hind legs, but doesn't seem to be in any pain. The little ones were busy this weekend chasing squirrels and pestering the cat. Standard animal antics. All good!!

  7. I thought so too, it was almost like a poem. She's so creative with language.

  8. For what it's worth I would have procrastinated too!