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Bad day, drink now

Ugh. I let a pot of turkey broth boil dry this afternoon. I mean *really* dry — I didn’t notice until I spotted the smoke pouring out of the kitchen window. Had to have all the windows and doors open for the rest of the day, which was bad because it’s cold.

And also because one of the hens has gone broody (yes, same daft bird as last year). I shut her out of the henhouse to keep her off the nest, so she kept wandering in the open doors complaining about being shut out of the henhouse. She spent the day zooming into the livingroom going “squa! Rarr! Nyer!” Which is like the chicken equivalent of that old lady pushing the shopping cart going “titties! Knickers! Assholes!”

Enough. Me for booze, bath and bed.

God, it stinks of immolated turkey carcass in this place.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 10, 2012, 10:05 pm

Man killed to death.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: April 10, 2012, 10:21 pm

I try to cheer you up with Excitable Ferret and JIF peanut butter jar…


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 10, 2012, 10:28 pm

Oh, man…I want a ferret so bad!

Chickens and ferrets – bad mix.

Comment from Nina
Time: April 10, 2012, 10:49 pm

Is there any other way to kill a man?

Jes’ askin’.

And I’ve boilt all the water out of a pot before too. Once I had to toss the pot in the trash because that sucker wasn’t coming clean. Carbonized animal and vegetable matter was bonded to the pot, for life.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 10, 2012, 10:53 pm

This is my good (read: expensive) pressure cooker. I’m’onna do what it takes.

It’s not my first boil-it-dry experience, either. Really, I’m too much of a space shot to be allowed to play with fire.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: April 10, 2012, 11:12 pm

Why can’t you let her stay on the nest? Obviously, not forever but does it harm them? Or is it a matter of her disturbing the others with her moaning and gnashing of teeth?

Comment from Kilroy182
Time: April 10, 2012, 11:34 pm

Had a roommate do that once, fell asleep while boiling a pot of spaghetti. Came home to find smoke roiling out of the pan on the stove. threw the pan away, banned him from the kitchen.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 10, 2012, 11:35 pm

Well, she’ll stop laying and stay on the nest all day. She’ll probably lose weight and muscle tone. Plus, whenever anything gets anywhere near her, she puffs up to twice her natural size and screams “Y’AAAAAAAIIIIIIIIII!!!!!”

Comment from Deborah
Time: April 11, 2012, 12:34 am

Boiling dry is my speciality. I keep the folks who make cream of tartar in business. It’s on my permanent shopping list.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 11, 2012, 1:02 am

Deborah–I find a paste of baking soda and water works well to soften the blackened stuff; how do you deploy the cream of tartar?

Comment from Redd
Time: April 11, 2012, 1:52 am

I was watching some old Brit series and I noticed they had this big cast iron contraption on the stove. I assumed it was a pressure cooker. It looked like a giant cast iron bee hive. I was impressed!

Comment from sandman says nothing to see here
Time: April 11, 2012, 2:06 am

what’s happening is the proteins in the meat are bonding to the surface of the pan, like a leaf boding to your car paint. The proteins are reactive, as such things are, and make removing them from another surface difficult. Same goes for glues, most are proteins, not all but the glue made form natural materials, and turkeys is natural ain’t they?, well those are proteins.
Not sure how that helps, but something that might loosen bonded proteins is what you need to remove caramelized yard bird from your beloved pot, it seems to me.
I admit it has been decades since protein chemistry darkened my doors but there must be someone who reads your blog and has the requisite knowledge: Ric, Some Veg, maybe the Kiwi Sheep Shagger, someone.
Sorry, kiddo, all I got. Not my strong suit. Doesn’t have neurons and gray matters.


Comment from Pablo
Time: April 11, 2012, 2:14 am

Boil some water with a healthy dose of baking soda. But don’t boil it dry, doofus.

Comment from Pablo
Time: April 11, 2012, 2:16 am

Then do it again. Patience is key here.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:04 am

If the stuff is REALLY stuck to the sides of the pan, what’s it really hurting other than your pride? Just scrape out what you can and then get some more turkey broth and start cooking again. Isn’t that what’s done with them there legendary cast iron skillets? Never washed in 40 years and nobody dies.

Oh, and helpful hint from the experienced forgetter: whenever you put a pot to boil, set a timer for 30 minutes to remind you to check on the pan. After you check it, don’t forget to reset the timer.

Finally, I’d like to reassure you that -almost- no one dies from a pressure cooker accident anymore, unless it’s been damaged somehow.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:21 am

Can you get hold of hydrofluoric and nitric acid? They will de-aminate proteins rapidly, hydrolyse grease, remove corrosion and clean stainless steel like new. Side effects include full thickness burns, neurological damage, calcium leaching from bones, pulmonary oedema and death, but you will have clean pans.

Comment from Deborah
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:33 am

Can’t Hark—Cream of Tartar is much easier than David G’s method! One tablespoon per quart of water in the damaged vessel. Brought to a boil, then allowed to set overnight. That should loosen all the stuck and burnt bits, and leave the innards nicely shining. This assumes that your pressure cooker is cast aluminum. Wait—wait—I meant aluminium.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:35 am

Weasel- a few too many minutes after my original post I decided that I over-snarked and minimized my concern. To wit:

This is a PRESSURE VESSEL that we are talking about. Part of that vessel at the point where it meets the burner has been heated to a very high (red hot?) temp. Metals often respond differently after that has happened. In addition there are seals and pressure valves that have gotten very hot. Rubber, and some synthetic materials don’t take to that well. I am no cooking, pressure vessel, or metallurgy expert, but I am a bit hesitant about you using it again after it’s been stressed like that. Perhaps I’m over-reacting, but there aren’t many bloggers I like. Were it a mere pan, I’d say press on. However the ideas of taking this thing and filling it with pressurized water pushed well beyond the boiling point….well let’s just say there’s enough energy to push a train around in there…and it wants OUT

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:54 am

Stoatie – Take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the ONLY way to be SURE…..

Comment from Nina
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:56 am

I’m with the veg. I might come to see the kids this summer and if I do I want to go down to meet the Weasel, the Badger, the cat, and the chickens. If you blow yerselfs up I won’t be able to do that, so…

…don’t blow yerselfs up.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 10:00 am

The lid wasn’t anywhere near it, so the seals and pressure valves haven’t been stressed at all. The only reason I used it, it’s my largest pan and will take a whole turkey carcass. I can’t see the metal weakened enough to blow the bottom out under pressure.

You’re welcome down to the coast, Nina. Kind of a pain to get here from London, though.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: April 11, 2012, 11:00 am

Speaking of pressure cookers, I remember when I was a kid, and was visiting my grandparents’ place, my grandmother was making sweet & sour beef in the pressure cooker.

As Some Vegetable indicated, seals on these things can become… old. Apparently that had happened here as the emergency pressure release plug decided that today was the day.

While everyone was (thankfully) out of the kitchen, there was this horrific BANG, followed by my grandmother hastening herself to the kitchen and saying, “Oh dear.”

Sweet and sour kitchen.

The oily/beefy/pineapple mist had covered everything. It took her a the better part of three days to clean the kitchen, and we were still finding random hidden spots months later.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 11:51 am

I have a similar story about my grandmother, a pressure cooker and some spaghetti.

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Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 11:52 am

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Spammers are getting awfully oily these days.

Comment from orabidoo
Time: April 11, 2012, 1:43 pm

Serves you right, you mustelid, for trying to look all human.
Turkey au naturel, exsanguinated while still asleep on the branch somewhere. No smoke, no stink, no drama, no exotic chemicals.
Eat the tenderest choicest cuts, leave the rest to your honey, badger.

Ferret ownership is like maintaining friendship with transvestites because the trannies write interesting blogs. We see right through this scam.

Barruck Ahmed Bababoonga Abake Assonga is a stuttering fustercluck of a miserable failure, soaked in marxist sauce with bobbing racial turdnuggets.

Comment from steve
Time: April 11, 2012, 2:22 pm

Whatever it is….keep cooking it till the smoke alarm goes off.

Then it’s done!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:16 pm


Ah! Thank you, although I mostly don’t cook in aluminum. So it’s back to a paste of baking soda–or possibly Pablo’s method. And, Some Vegetable, the problem with continuing to cook with the burnt stuff stuck to the pan is that it. . .flavors everything you cook thereafter. Not for the better. Trust me on this one, this is the voice of experience speaking.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 3:29 pm

I’m pretty sure mine is stainless steel, but I’ll try some cream of tartar anyhow. Mostly because I have a very old container of the stuff and it goes off quickly for baking purposes.

Lately, I’ve mostly used my pressure cooker to boil eggs, so smell is probably not going to be a problem. Thanks so much to TwoDogs for that AWESOME tip. Makes the best boiled eggs EVER, and they peel like a dream.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: April 11, 2012, 4:16 pm

I burnt rice onto a pan once. 6 years later, still a lacework of black carbon.

Comment from Redd
Time: April 11, 2012, 5:20 pm

I never cook artichokes anymore. I’ve ruined every good pot I’ve owned.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 5:24 pm

Nuke ’em. Takes a while, but it works a treat.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: April 11, 2012, 5:52 pm

recipe for wax-coated kitchen

1 kitchen
1 Engineer Father
1 blowtorch
1 candle mold used previously to make the cool lace *outer* candle by dumping ice cubes in a hollow cylinder with wax, now used to make the inner *solid candle*, and extra points if you noticed no mention of drying the inside of mold to remove remains of melted ice cubes aka water.

Said Engineer Father noticed solid candle was not coming out of mold and decided to “help” it by using the blowtorch to loosen it up a bit. Instead, created steam pressure chamber and melted wax resulting in amazing explosion. The candle wax was red, too. We found globs from the Great Candle Massacree behind built-in cabinets years later when we remodeled. They must have tunneled like electrons to get there.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 8:58 pm

Heh. In my first apartment, the stove was broken, so I decided to make myself a thingummy for heating cans o’ stuff. So I rigged this thing up out of coathangers and an alcohol burner, put a can of refried beans on top and wandered off to do something else. Next up, sound of roommate screaming hysterically.

The refried beans, being a solid mass that didn’t let air through, overheated at the bottom and then began to rise majestically out of the can in one great glistening cylinder, like a big brown lipstick.

My roommate squinted at me and said, “you’d do this even if you had all the money in the world, wouldn’t you?2

Comment from Nina
Time: April 11, 2012, 9:50 pm

We wouldn’t be coming from London, they live in Hull. And they have a car. Whoo hoo!

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: April 11, 2012, 10:13 pm

Pressure Cooker + Spaghetti + “BLAM”. Yup. I can imagine how bad that was.

Apparently the modern pressure cookers are … better. However, I’m still finding Youtube video evidence that they can fail spectacularly and unexpectedly.

I think I’ll just avoid buying one. 🙂

Comment from Nina
Time: April 11, 2012, 10:34 pm

I guess I’d better not tell the story about a former acquaintance who tossed a road kill poodle in his so he could assemble and mount the skeleton for display, eh?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2012, 10:40 pm

Hull. Oh, dear. That’s quite a haul.

Still, you can go via Scunthorpe — the little English village consistently censored off the map by AOL.

Comment from Frit
Time: April 11, 2012, 10:52 pm

A.G.Tiger: Thank you for that ferret gif! I used to have ferr…er, ‘North Alaskan Snow Lizards’ – I lived in Kalifornikatia, after all, where ferrets are illegal to own. Ahem. 😉 They are awesome critters, kinda like energetic kittens – that have been ‘lowered’. (Conversely, kittens are ferrets with a lift-kit!)

Stoaty: Another potential cleaner for that pot is, surprisingly, ketchup – aka tomato sauce. Spread over burnt on stuff, let sit overnight. The acid in the sauce eats the burnt on organics, leaves the metal shiny. Might still need a little scrubbing, but not much. I used it once to clean a brass threshold plate that hadn’t been cleaned in decades. Shiny!

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: April 12, 2012, 12:39 am

I burned a hard boiled egg once. It stunk, it smoked up the whole house and I had to toss the pan. Don’t trust myself with hot things and no timer….Oh shiny….BOOM!

Comment from Looking Glass
Time: April 12, 2012, 4:33 am

Finally, an excuse to post this link. The Caramel Pie Story at the Whited Sepulchre.

This is the definitive version of The Caramel Pie Story, a tale that has been spreading throughout north Mississippi (and beyond) for at least 35 years….

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 12, 2012, 8:33 am


Comment from Bill (the .003% of your traffic from AfStan)T
Time: April 13, 2012, 10:50 am

My first ex could — and frequently did — burn soup.

Amusement value was her only redeeming quality…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 13, 2012, 11:35 am

That was an AWESOME story, Looking Glass. But it raises a delicate point of international conflict.

See, that recipe — with the healthy option that includes banana slices — is banoffee pie, down to the letter. The cooked condensed milk, the graham cracker crust…the whole bit. And banoffee pie — let me remind you, my new favorite thing in the whole wide world — is supposedly a recent invention. From Sussex.

Comment from drew458
Time: April 13, 2012, 4:44 pm

“squa! Rarr! Nyer!”

Perhaps you should rename her Mrs. Tachyon.

Millennium hand and shrimp!

Comment from Looking Glass
Time: April 13, 2012, 10:45 pm

S. Weasel,

Argue with the Whited Sepulcher about the origin of Caramel Pie, if you like. Might be fun pinning down the history to date of the dish.

I’d probably not like it now, expecting duck pin feathers in every bite.

And if you like that story, try
Dogs in Elk. Put down your coffee, get the cat off of your lap first. Don’t read it at work unless your boss likes a good laugh, too.

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