Kitchen "Duhs"

After over 40 yrs of home cooking, I still find myself realizing things I’ve overlooked or done wrong all along. The latest was the other day when making 3 quarts of soup. It cooked down too far, so I added some water to the bowl before eating the first portion. Later, I was just about to pour a few cups of water into the cooled pot before portioning out freezer containers when I stopped myself. Freezing it as is would save always-needed space. I grew up on cans of condensed soup but the concept just never made it past the blood-brain barrier. :wink:

I rarely use more than one oven rack at a time. The surplus on used to be in the topmost slot, so that I routinely burned one or another of my forearms when putting things into the hot oven or removing them. It took me probably 20 yrs of cussing before I moved it to the bottom slot.

Anyone want to share confessions?

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Putting off buying decent knives! Geez, what was I waiting for. Could never understand how people could “enjoy” chopping and dicing.

Ditto: buying and using an oven mitt. ?? And waiting till now to store those pesky extra oven racks when not in use. I, too, have stripes on my hands and forearms.

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/Sometimes I’m too lazy to pull out the normal sized chopping board and using the OXO meant for lemons for everything. Really a dumb thing to do!

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my dumb thing is ALWAYS using too small a bowl for whatever, or pot, or casserole, the first time around, and then realizing it and having to transfer whatever into a bigger vessel, thereby dirtying two things to wash instead of one.

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Not buying quality cookware! Had the same pots and pans for 35 years and didn’t think I needed anything else. Started buying copper pans and wow! Live and learn.

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For years i would try to defrost and rewarm things straight from the freezer. And this was before i had a microwave (which is fairly recent). It took about as long to defrost and rewarm something stovetop or in the oven as it would to just make a quick soup or meal in the first place!
At some point after giving up on freezing much of anything ever i realized i was actually an idiot and that i could put said frozen thing in the fridge the night before or morning of and i would a) not die of food poisoning and then b) be able to reheat the now defrosted food rather quickly.
Duh.
I now use my microwave on defrost and then still rewarm things stovetop for the most part but it’s really embarrassing that i would stand there trying to melt and heat a frozen brick of tupperware soup for so many years

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Bringing chicken into the death zone before grilling . It’s so much better .

Been there. Not to mention not knowing that putting said container into a pan of cool water thaws it surprisingly quickly.

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About 30 years ago I was given a stick blender, It looked great on the TV ads but was totally useless and was never used.

Fast forward to 20 years of my wife saying “we should get one of those stick blenders everyone uses in cooking shows” and me saying " been there done that they don’t work" instead I wrestled/manhandled the industrial food processor onto the bench…

Then a couple of years ago we had some store vouchers we needed to use and we got a modern stick blender. The food processor is rarely used but the stick blender has used frequently as it works so well, is easy to get out or the drawer and is simple to wash up.

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Same thing, PhilD. The new one is much better, although I have arthritis so it’s still sometimes hard for me and I end up whipping out the blender.

Me too! That’s why all my recipes eventually have a note such as “use medium bowl” or “use large pot” (where I know that “medium” or “large” refer to specific items I have).

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Interesting. It has never occurred to me to take a second rack out of the oven when I only need to cook something on one rack.

For me, I have 3 racks. It is always the third one that gets in the way. It lives in a cupboard now and only comes out when I need it.

I used to plan to have dinner leftovers for lunch the next day, but invariably finished off the dish before I packed lunches. Now I pack the lunches BEFORE I serve dinner!

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In restaurant kitchens, gas burners and ovens have usually been the norm but of course they produce soot and smoke as byproducts of combustion. After years of melting chocolate in a bain marie over a gas fire, I decided that this may be contributing to off flavors, so I’m switching to induction for this task and hope the flavor stays clean and pure. I doubt many here can relate to this, but it was a recent a-ha! moment. Just because you’ve done something one way for years without really thinking about it doesn’t mean there’s not a better way!

I am with you on the defrosting. A fishmonger once mentioned to me that I could easily thaw vacuum-packed or well-sealed frozen fish by putting it into a basin of cool water for about an hour. No idea why I did not think of that on my own.

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I use microwave for melting chocolate, recommended by restaurant chefs these days.

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Oh, well that makes sense! I have two in each oven, a third would probably get in the way unless you’re cooking many trays of cookies or something but then heating would likely be very uneven.

Naf, oh yes. But for those of us who have burned a chunk of chocolate (to a smoking charcoal): we’ll only do it once! :wink:

Not so popular in the Keurig era, but chocolatiers alo recommend putting chocolate (in a heat-safe bowl) on the warming element of a drip coffeemaker.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold