All great cooks have those moments that make them wonder how in the world they can consider themselves “great”. I know I have, and today I'd like to share the first of many of them with you (I'm holding off sharing all at once, don't want to scare everyone off so soon).
Recently, my son shared a video with me where the hosts experimented with soil and heat. First they added soil and water to a pot, boiled it, and waited until the water and organics evaporated to reveal the salt left behind from the soil. Sounds simple right? Now I'm a mom who loves my boy getting his hands dirty doing experiments and learning more about the world around him, so I figured we can do that!
Being excited about getting our science on, I sent my son out back to dig up some soil, mixed it with some water in a pot, and brought it to a boil. After about 15 minutes I suddenly realized I have just used my nice pot (that I feed people with) to boil DIRT! At this point the dirt is a gross muddy muck, that still very clearly resembles dirt, and not the pile of salt I was promised. We pulled the plug on science and I promised that once I get an old pot from a yard sale or a thrift shop we can try again.
Fast forward a week or two, and I have forgotten about this fun science moment. I decided to make some rice for supper, get everything up to a boil, put the lid on, and walked away to do a few quick to-do's. When I came back to stir the rice, I noticed some black spots running down the lid, awfully close to my rice. “Hmm". As I lifted the lid to stir the pot I realized what those black spots are...
When I cleaned up from science time, apparently I didn't get in all the cracks and crevices of the lid. As the water boiled away, the humidity and warm air loosened the hidden bits of soil, and it oozed down the lid and came within inches of my rice. At this point I probably should have thrown it all away, but it was a weeknight and my family were starting to get restless and hangry. I grabbed a new pot, transferred the rice (removing the top layer as a precaution) and let it finish cooking. I spent the whole meal waiting for someone to tell me their rice tasted "dirty", but thankfully nobody did.
Moral of the story, we are all just going from day to day, doing what we can and nobody is immune from making mistakes--and sometimes almost feeding their families dirt! Be kind to yourself, and when you have your inevitable food fail, don’t give up. Just scoop out the dirt (if it makes it in there), get a new pot, and carry on!!