Home Tomagrams Kitchen Wisdom and Pantry Proverbs

Kitchen Wisdom and Pantry Proverbs


roasted red peppers burnt

Am I a multi-tasker? Not so much. My early attempt to prove I could chew gum and jump rope at the same time ended with an hog-tied third grader sporting a cowlick caked in bubble gum. I know my limits, so in the kitchen I try to exercise caution and focus on the task at hand. After all, it’s a room where liquids boil, edges are sharp and flames prevail.

Trouble is sometimes I get sidetracked (Oh look, a corkscrew!) and distraction leads me down the wrong path. (You’ll recall my first attempt at making ketchup.) So I leave you with a couple pantry proverbs. Learn from my mistakes; roast, bake, broil and saute’ without fear. Just pay attention for…

He who answers the phone while using the broiler, will return to a dish flavored with distraction. 

tray of burnt roasted peppers

and…He who overlooks knobs and gauges will leave his mark in unlikely places.

cutting board and tomatoes

What I was blogging about:

One year ago: Summer Harvest Begs an Extension

Two years agoApple Jelly Recipe: Flavorful Chameleon


  1. Someone I know used to have a set of four matching tin covers to hide her stove burners. That’s the worst idea EVER. I’m not sure why she never did this, but I immediately turned on the wrong burner and then walked away.
    You are very lucky you did not start a kitchen fire.

  2. Haha…I used to live in an apartment where the vinyl floor in the kitchen had a pair of those burns…apparently, some people don’t learn their lesson the first time 😉

  3. Tom – I once pulled an apple pie out of the oven (sargent’s guy town pie) and in my rush to set it down (ouch, oooch, damn…rule 6 never underestimate heat resistance of stuff lying around the kitchen or…rule 2, different rule book, your own manliness..) put it on a damp towel. The pyrex pie dish immediately cracked ruining what would have been one of my better efforts (rule 27 never wait until midnight on thanksgiving eve to bake pies). I think your readership (disciples) should send you their wisdom generated through experience and you will then catalog these for our edification and entertainment. Tom you try real hard you can only screw-up so much you know.
    love, bri

  4. brion, you’re crackin’ me up. And I do believe I need to know more about sargent’s guy town pie. I love the idea of a contributor list of kitchen mishaps. Consider it in the works.

  5. Tom, this wasn’t in the kitchen, but back when I was in grad school I was ironing some clothes when my dad called. We had a great talk that led me to want to share something I’d read, so I put the phone and iron down on the ironing board, got the book, flipped to the page I wanted to read to my dad, went back to the ironing board and picked up the… well I’ll let you figure out the rest….. Needless to say my classmates and profs had a good laugh when they saw me the next day.

  6. I must confess, I have burned more burner covers than I care to admit. When we purchased a flat surface stovetop, I thought “i’m safe”…. Within days of the purchase, I proceeded to sit a plastic bowl on the hot flat surface to make a sticky guey mess…..

    Great proverbs……

  7. now we’ve got something started.. have you ever reached over a pot on the stove with your hand wrapped in a towel to say adjust a pot lid or some innocent thing not noticing that the towel loosely draped has been touched off by one of the front burners? this usually happens when you are trying to impress someone that you are a responsible person and can fix your own food…of course you don’t notice until that “not so impressed anymore” person jumps on you to keep you from wnadering around aimlessly lighting stuff on fire… this happened to a freind of mine once

  8. Oh, Tom!

    Here’s my contribution: I once made an apple-and-onion tart. Lots of slicing and fanning of slices. It looked pretty. Okay, it looked beautiful. I slid it under the broiler so its sprinkling of sugar and coriander could caramelize ever so slightly. That’s when a bird hit the kitchen window and I ran out to minister to it. I returned to a smoky kitchen and a ruined tart.

    I just gave you a little shout-out at my place, ironically for your amazing catsup and its prelude of disaster.

  9. I can relate! this is one area where multitasking is not a good idea; not even done in starred restaurants where every station does one thing and one thing only. Consider yourself lucky, it is only a bunch of veggies not your entire farm!


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