Monday, January 04, 2010

Was it 400 Degrees Yet?

I'm to be struggling with the hot objects are, in fact hot concept.
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-
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.
That autopilot!


Linda said...

Great illustration and I love his one red eye.
I'm waiting for you to do a picture of that auto-pilot!

Namowal said...

Hey thanks, Linda.
I'm pretty sure I've seen the eye gag before, but for conveying "That smarts!" nothing else will do.
Now you've got me wondering what the auto pilot looks like. A few years ago I blogged about something similar, but then I called him "Frogbrain"

stray said...

Fun illustration!

Namowal said...

Thanks Stray.

The one good thing about my "you idiot!" moments is that they're entertaining.