Friday, February 11, 2011

Darwin Awards: Yelena Edition

I don't know if any of the chefs I apprenticed with ever read this, but if they did, they could attest to the fact that I was not the neatest cook in the kitchen. Flour on my face was frequently cited, and mocked. Devoted partner can comment, extensively, on the unique places I could get melted chocolate. Like my butt. Even though my butt is not exposed when I make chocolates.

I am in the process of making a bunch of confections for an event at ye olde alma mater and as I was stirring my molten caramel, it occurred to me that chefs wear those long jackets for more than just fashion. I was in a tank top, my limbs exposed to 2nd degree burn inducing hot caramel, when I realized that tank tops are my frequent top of choice in the kitchen. Part of that is surely due to the fact that in 2004 I bought pretty much every color tank top available at H&M, but the other part is that cooking is hot work. And yet, the bare arms do dare my chemical experiments to leap out of their pots and do me permanent damage. Which is also funny given my burn aversion.

Even as I deftly step away from the pot of caramel after the cream has been added, causing the cauldron to bubble dangerously, I don't think to put on more clothing. I don't think this has anything to do with a) a propensity for risk-taking or b) innate exhibitionism, but it does give me pause. I've seen some unpleasant kitchen accidents and their aftermaths, and I'm not entirely sure I would welcome a caramel welt on my tender arm skin.

I once thought that it would be a great idea to do youtube videos of myself in the kitchen. I think I'm pretty good at speaking extemporaneously; I'm not camera shy; and wouldn't everyone like to see a confectioner who gets chocolate on her butt? Now I'm glad that was one of many plans I never executed. My kitchen garb is simply not telegenic (devoted partner's sweats and natty H&M tank), and I generally wait until confectionary is over to wash my hair. Vanity aside, I just don't think it's fair to the public. Then there's the bad example I set for the children as I tempt the fate of grievous bodily injury which, should it occur, would result in additional bad-for-the-children language. And I'd have to keep my kitchen far more glimmery than I am wont.

So, I have no exciting video of myself hovered above a pot of boiling sugar - you'll have to use your imagination. When the inevitable happens, I won't whine about it because I will have well deserved it, but I'll definitely have pictures of my wounds for all to ogle.

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