Sunday, October 10, 2010

Disaster Dinners and Cleaning the Pot

This week has been one of disaster dinners.  I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can't seem to cook anything worth eating lately.  It all started a couple weeks ago when I tried to make some risotto for a recipe group I'm in, and it burned really, really, really, terribly.  After a few days of work, we got the pan cleaned out (thanks to Karen's baking-soda and vinegar trick!), but I guess it just burns easily now (that's my excuse, anyway).  After that, we burned our first batch of apple-sauce (it still tasted okay, so we went ahead and canned it anyway), and I almost burned tortilla soup earlier this week.  Then, I tried a new recipe for some enchiladas, and it turned out horribly.  We couldn't eat it, it was so bad.  A total waste of avacados and cheese.  Then today, I tried to make potato soup, and it burned.  At first, I didn't think it was that bad, so I put it in a different pot really quickly, but it was too late, the burn flavor had infected the whole pot.  So, we threw that away and Clint helped me make some spaghetti sauce.  Anyway, that's my sad, sad, tale of disaster dinners . . . Well!  To make up for having to hear my sob story, I'll tell you about how we triumphantly cleaned out our burned pot!

First thing you do is put some baking-soda and vinegar in the pot (or pan or baking dish, what ever it is that has suffered your cooking mis-haps) and make a volcanoe, as Clint puts it.

Burned pot with baking soda in it.

Adding vinegar.
 Then, over medium-low heat, heat the baking soda and vinegar solution until it gets warm.  There's not really any science to this part that I know of.  I just know the smell is awful, so beware.

Heating the pot.
 Then, while the pot is warm, scrape at the burned-on stuff until it comes off.  This might take awhile, as it did with my risotto burn.  It took a few days in fact; the burn and vinegar fumes would just get to be too much for us and we would have to stop until the next day.

Scraping the pot with a metal spatula.  See the noxious
We also used steel wool to clean the pot out.  I wish I had a picture to show you of our nicely cleaned-out pot, to prove that this method actually works, but I don't (because it is currently covered in burned potato soup).  So, you'll just have to take my word for it.  But, I will say beware, because after this initial burn I have burned almost everything I've tried to cook in this pot.  So I don't know if I'm just getting worse at cooking or if the pot is now cursed for time and all eternity.  Its a mystery to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment