Thursday, April 1, 2010

In Which I Melt a Stainless Steel Pan

I wish this were an April Fool's Day joke.

It's not.

Many women like to boast about their 'multitasking' skills. Newsflash folks, there is no such thing as multitasking, there is only jumping rapidly from one task to another. Some people jump more rapidly than others, and some people do it with more grace than others, but nobody really does more than one thing at once.

Unfortunately, while I often jump rapidly from one thing to another, I do not always do it with much grace, because I tend to forget about some of the multiple things that I'm in the middle of.
Such was the case this week when I put some water on to boil (Bear and I were going to have some oatmeal). I measured the water, put it in the pan, turned the stove on high, and went to do something else for a few minutes. Something turned into another thing and within a couple of minutes I'd completely forgotten about that water on the stove. I guess at least 15 minutes elapsed before I went back into the kitchen and realized that the pot had boiled dry. This was not the first time I had boiled a pot dry (embarrassing though it is) so I turned off the burner and grabbed the pan to put some water in it and cool it down. I intended to use hot water, so as to not stress the metal so much. I was holding the pan in the air above the sink waiting for the faucet to warm up when I noticed something in the sink.

What the...?!?!

Then I noticed this
Apparently my stainless steel pan had an aluminum core (which makes sense, since aluminum conducts heat well). Apparently I had sufficiently overheated the thing so that the stainless steel bottom split on the seam and the liquid aluminum poured out.

I am grateful that it poured into my sink, and that I had very little in the sink at the time, and the only real victim (besides the pan) was one plastic-handled spoon.

I collected quite a nice little pile of aluminum blobs. (If you look just to the left of my ring here you can see the reverse print from the 'good cook' logo of the spoon.) I have no idea what to do with them, but it seems a shame to just toss them out...does anybody know what to do with a bunch of aluminum? I don't really want to heat it to the melting point again.

8 comments:

Krystal said...

Believe it or not, I have done this. I, too, have melted a stainless steel pot and there are burn marks on the floor of our old home from where the melty aluminum fell and promptly hardened. I'm glad to know that I am not to only one with enough talent (ahem) to do this! ;)

Mallory said...

That is too funny. I'm not sure what you could do with the melted aluminum. I would turn it into art, probably, 'cause I like abstract artsy stuff. (It is very pretty!)

This story reminds me of the time that my little sister burnt spaghetti AND a bamboo spoon (which are probably just as hard to burn as a stainless steel pot! lol) I remember the kitchen smelling like an Italian sauna for a day or two!!!

Raspberry Leaf said...

Can you possibly recycle or get "scrap value" for the aluminum?

nicole said...

Wow, that's crazy. I've gotten distracted in the kitchen too many times to count. Luckily no one has ever been hurt by my distractibility! Glad you're all ok!

Khourt said...

Ive done that a few times (the water thing.. not the pot thing) :) I would also suggest trying to recycle it. Its worth a try.. Otherwise the art idea sounds nice!!

But there is such a thing as doing more than one thing at once :) Today I was suctioning my childs trach when I noticed the stroller behind me rolling away with another child so I grabbed it with my foot (while still suctioning) and then in the middle of that my other child yelled at me to look at what he was doing, which I did all while still suctioning and holding a runaway stroller!

Brandi (Maxfield) Morstad said...

wow... I never knew that would happen. I could see myself doing that someday though...

Courtney Coulter said...

I did this just today. I thought I was the only one to ever do this, so glad I found your post about it, not I don't feel so stupid. I not a a very intricate burn design on my 1975 hardwood floors.

Bonnie Jahncke F said...

I did it too, but I carried mine toward the garage door, dripping the hot metal onto my floor, which I then stepped in, with my stocking feet! I am still paying the price for that one! One of the spots that got burned on the bottom of my left foot, is sensitive and cracks if I let it get too dry.

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