Last week I was baking bread. Before slipping the pan of dough in, I wanted to make sure the oven was hot enough. Was it 400 degrees yet? I opened the oven to check the thermometer- but the dial was at an angle. So I reached to turn it towards me and-
Yowch!You idiot! I thought, running the kitchen tap over my fingers. What were you thinking!?
What was I thinking? I used the stove and oven all the time, handling hot cookie sheets, pans, cast iron skillets etc.. with an oven mitt and common sense. How did I slip up here?
My theory is people do a lot of routine cooking on autopilot, unconsciously following basic rules. For example Use oven mits when taking stuff out of the oven as opposed to thinking Gosh, I bet that thing in the oven is hot, thus I'll use oven mitts to insulate my hand.
When I couldn't read the dial, it probably activated the same part of my brain that habitually turns the alarm clock for a better look. Whoops.
I mentioned my blunder on a message board and people responded with similar stories.
Everyone remembered to use oven mitts when removing hot pans. The problems started when the still-hot item was out of the oven. People would grab handles and lids and get a surprise. Autopilot.
One person caught themselves using a oven mitt to take a pan out of a cold oven.