Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Stunning Moment of Monumental Stupidity

Yesterday at work, I received one of those rare e-mails that make you squeal: You have a package at the front desk. I didn’t even have to unwrap it to find out what it was; the heavy-duty shrink-wrap showed me it was the rice cooker we’d ordered last week.

If you’ve ever cooked rice on top of the stove, you know that while it is not rocket science, it can be tricky and tends to take a long time. With a rice cooker, the process is fast and the rice is perfect every time. The newer ones come with steaming baskets so you can do veggies or chicken or fish at the same time, and the bowls are nonstick. For households with South Asian residents, they’re an essential piece of equipment.

Our old one had an aluminum bowl that had to be soaked and scrubbed after every use. I was convinced we were eating Alzheimer’s-inducing particles along with our rice and dal. It did work perfectly though, right up until I killed it.

It was a Sunday, I think, and I was making lava cakes, which require a lot of butter. I had used all the refrigerated butter for the cakes themselves and needed one more hunk to grease the ramekins. I was also steaming broccoli in the microwave and assembling a salad for the next day’s lunch, so I was going at full speed, confident in my ability to monitor, stir and chop.

I grabbed a stick of butter from the freezer and picked up a knife. I put the butter on the counter, ran the knife under hot water, and cut through the butter, leaning forward to put more weight on the knife. Then there was a loud pop and a gasp from the living room.

“Did you just cut through the rice cooker cord?”


I wasn’t sure. I had been in such a hurry, I had to look. On the counter, a few inches from the stick of butter, I saw the two neatly severed ends of the cord. I held the knife up to get a better look at the blade. Here’s what I saw:

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I just did.”

My husband had been lying on the couch, watching TV, and had had to sit up and turn 180 degrees to see what I was doing. He had seen me going to cut the butter, had seen the flash. He still doesn’t know why he turned around at that precise moment.

For whatever reason, I was not even mildly shocked by the incident – not physically, anyway. And even though I had cut the cord before the end of the cycle, the rice was as perfect as ever. I'm still using the knife -- it's a good one, and it's a good reminder.


  1. cool! i guess butter is a non-conductor

  2. I had a good laugh! Thanks for the "medicine"!
    Mango Mama

  3. Yikes-- glad you weren't hurt. My hub (electrical engineer once saw me stick a knife in the toaster, and I thought HE'D die of a heart attack. I got no shock, because I made sure that the knife didn't touch anything but the toast, but he was hysterical! "Leah! They'll revoke my degree!" Note his concern for my health and welfare! =^)

  4. Well, Leah, as long as you can laugh about it, it's all good!


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