In Which mrpeenee Raises a Stink

Grisly remains.  RIP, dear little rice pot.

O dear god, I just got distracted (not by porn, oddly enough.) and burned a pot of rice, the stench of which is so bad I’m considering abandoning ship.  The whole sad affair brought to mind the only kitchen tip I was ever handed before I moved of my parents’  home for life on my own.  Of course, it was not produced by my mother, who assumed I would have some little wifey to handle all that domestic stuff and thus didn’t need to be equipped with any.  Hilarious.  Instead, the mother of a friend came across with this:

If you’re cooking something in a pot with a lid and you smell it burning, do not take the lid off. Instead, fill the sink with cold water as fast as possible and carefully put the pot in.

The pot will make this terrific and scary hissing noisy, but if you’re lucky, you can often salvage the contents.  Not tonight, since what I have is some kind of carbohydrate-based charcoal now, but sometimes.  Also, pay attention to the part about “do not take the lid off.”  Your first reaction to the stink is to think “Is that burning?” and want to look to check.  Do not fall for that.  If you can smell the smoke, it’s burning.

I can’t tell you how many times that little gem has come in handy, although possibly more handy would be the one that goes “Do not leave the fucking kitchen when you’ve got a pot on the stove, idiot.”

About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

24 responses »

  1. That is indeed a useful tip, although my worst burnt-food situation usually involve a situation so dire (along the lines of going out after forgetting that I was boiling eggs for egg salad) that I fear I may never have the chance to use it.

    As for the lid, Diane, I think it's rather along the lines of why one doesn't open a door on a fire – a sudden influx of fresh air is a good thing only for the fire…


  2. Actually, you can save the pot. Fill the pot about halfway with water and bring it to a boil. If the pot is steel, add three heeping Tablespoons of baking soda. Dissolve the baking soda into the water and let it boil for about five minutes, uncovered and with the exhaust fan on. Check the crud in the pan – it should begin to soften. Reduce the heat to a simmer and give it another five minutes. The stuff should be lifting and ready for a gentle cool down, scraping and cleaning. IF the pot was aluminum, or an alloy, do the same process with cream of tartar. It'll brighten the pot as well.


  3. Well Heloise, you're handy hints are helpful. You would think that in San Francisco you could find cooked rice on every corner. But then the DIY portion of the program would be lacking.


  4. Hmmm. Why is it everything that used to be okay is now suspect. Eating leftover rice will poison you? Really? Cause I've done it every time I've made rice. You always have leftovers.


  5. Well, now you will know for the next time. Cookie is loaded with household hints. The husband just this evening got ballpoint ink on the cushion of the davenport. He comes into the room with a spray foam cleaner and I shrieked “NO! You'll set the stain!” Instead I ordered him to the bathroom for rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips. Just a smidge of rubbing alcohol on just the ink, and gentle blotting with clean Q-Tips got the black ink off the upholstery. Hairspray will do the same thing, but only use it on things you can launder. No one likes a crusty couch.


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