Distractions and Cooking Don't Mix

Right after I posted this Blondie cartoon, this real-life story came across my desk:

I was trying so hard to not miss the show I was staying in the kitchen near the radio so I wouldn’t forget. I realized I had enough time to put the laundry in the dryer before the show started. I had put the tea pot on the stove. My husband always reminds me I should never leave the room with the stove on. Well he wasn’t home and I thought I could make a fast trip the laundry room. When I got there I thought I might just turn on the watering system to be efficient. I remembered I had never tried to set a new watering pattern myself and thought I would give it a try. When I got back to the kitchen the tea pot had boiled so dry it totally warped the bottom. The good news was that the glass top stove did not crack and I did get back in time for the show!

Boy, can I relate! I have boiled my kettle dry on several occasions. Because of that, I now heat tea water in the microwave. If I forget my tea water there, all that happens is that the water gets cold!

A more spectacular story for me is I once forgot about a tamale I was steaming for lunch. I had (notice the tense) a favorite non-stick pan I used to cook just about everything in. Because it was non-stick, I’d found a plastic steamer basket to use with it so I wouldn’t ruin the finish. Well, I put in the water, the steamer basket, and the tamale, turned on the heat and went back to my desk to knock off a few more emails. By the time I remembered my lunch, it was a stinky mess of scorched masa corn meal on a bed of melted plastic in the middle of my now ruined pan. It looked like one of those gags you get in the joke shop…

So that was the end of my pan. And I now have a personal rule that I don’t leave the kitchen while I’m cooking my breakfast or lunch. Dinner isn’t a problem because when I’m cooking dinner I have hungry family members asking me when dinner will be. It’s hard to forget about the cooking with that kind of automatic reminder at my elbow!

What’s your story?

2 thoughts on “Distractions and Cooking Don't Mix”

  1. I can really relate – my girlfriend’s 9 year old has ADHD and he is all over the place. At first I found it really annoying, but over time have come to realize that it’s not his fault. He and I have now become good friends. Any suggestions on how I might help him along.

  2. I have found a way that I can leave the kitchen to quickly do something. FlyLady.net advocates use of a timer and has a nice little one that can be set for up to 90 min.

    There have been times that I would run upstairs to the computer, telling myself I would just do something quick, but one thing would lead to another. But one time I needed to do something quickly on the computer while I was cooking dinner. I used the timer, setting it for 5 or 10 min–can’t remember exactly–and it reminded me to get back down there before it was too late.

    She actually recommends it for attacking tasks 15 min at a time, but it can be used for a number of things.

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