Sunday, December 03, 2006

the frying pain

I got up around 9:00am and decided to make myself some pancakes, as I had some leftover pancake mix, eggs, and milk from Friday's foodfest. Because I wanted to practice the gentle art of flipping flapjacks, I greased up my pan, poured some mix in, let one side heat up, and flipped away. The first three pancakes were successes; I've done this before, you see. Flipping is a bit like riding a bike: hard to forget once you've learned the basics.

The fourth pancake, however, didn't work out so well.

I was using a gas range, and the gas can had burned itself down to almost zero with the third pancake, so I removed that pancake when it was done and simply let the tiny flame gutter out. I placed a new can into the range, cranked up the flame, greased my pan, and poured in some batter.

At that point, I made two fundamental mistakes: (1) I decided I had time to check email quickly, so I stepped away from the kitchenette, and (2) I had put too much oil in the pan. The gas flame was much stronger than before because this was a new gas can, and I had left the heat on high. Normally, that's not a problem if you're watching the pancake process carefully. But in leaving the pancake unattended for thirty seconds, I had issued that trickster Loki an invitation to come play havoc. My pancake, as a result, was starting to smoke. I rushed back over to the gas range as soon as my nose had alerted me to the situation.

I decided to flip the pancake. Seemed to be the best way to stop the burning, and I wasn't sure the pancake had been burned beyond edibility.


The pancake whirled with ponderous elegance in the air and slapped home... then, in the slow-motion perception that comes with dawning horror, I saw a clear tongue of oil leap out of the pan toward my hand.

There was little I could do. I let the oil hit, and sure enough, it stung. I couldn't let go without dumping a hot frying pan and its contents onto my rubberized floor, so I held on as the tongue of oil licked across my right index finger. In the long second that followed, I got the pan back onto the range, turned off the range, and immediately began running cold water over my finger. "That's gonna blister, dammit," I muttered.

For the first hour or so, there was no blister-- just an angry red patch on my index finger. But by the second hour, yup: Sister Blister had arrived to scold me for my stupidity.

Here's the blister, hours later:


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