Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Definition of Crazy

They say the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If this is true, then please fit me for my strappy white coat pronto.

My friends will tell you that I am a wiz in the kitchen and that’s because I manage to shovel passable tasting food in their mouths whenever they come over. But what they don’t see, in the hours of pre-party prep or the daily grind of cooking for my family, is that I am more of a spaz in the kitchen than a graceful gazelle of
gastronomy. Sliced fingers, broiler burns, spilled fluids of every possible kind are the order of the day. Generally speaking, I need to leave three hours of bumper time between prep and service just to clean up in my own disastrous wake.

Of all my kitchen catastrophes, the biggest repeat offender is my tendency to overflow things. Being that my tolerance for distraction is on par with a five year old boy on behavioral meds, I can’t get through the act of filling a pot or cup without creating a kitchen tidal wave. Catching the glint of almost anything from the corner of my eye is enough to get me to walk away from a filling pot with a glazed expression, muttering “Ooooh shiny.”

The other appliance that I have to break out the water wings for is the coffee maker. It is a weird Dutch variety that my husband searched out in attempt to satiate my insane coffee lust. Selected for its ability
to get to the optimal temperature for brewing burr ground, shade grown, free trade, French Roast beans, its design gave little thought to usability or practicality. My poor mother would sooner go coffee-less or worse, drink 7-11 coffee than try to figure out the complex, multi-threaded process of brewing a cup of coffee in the “Dutch Master”.

The Dutch Master has a removable coffee funnel that has two settings on it – open and closed. Presumably, the closed setting is for impatient souls that cannot wait for the coffee to complete brewing before pilfering a cup of ill-gotten brew. I am loath to do this because, the first drippings of coffee are far stronger than
the last drippings of coffee, but when mingled together in the carafe, they create the scientifically perfect level of strength and heat and deliciousness (Neurotic. I know. I’m seeking help.). So why would I ever pull the pot prematurely? Well, never, would be the answer. However, once completed, there is a possibility of
post-brew drippage (Sounds like an STD, right?) falling on to the counter upon removal of the thermal carafe that sits below it. Because I hate cleaning up the drippage, sometimes I slide the funnel setting to closed. Big mistake.

Never and I do mean NEVER, do I ever remember a time that I have set the coffee funnel to closed and remembered to slide it back to open the next time I brewed. The result of this memory lapse is lumpy brown puddles of coffee and grinds spilling over the top of the funnel to the counters, cabinets and floor below. My overflows have gotten so bad that the family knows, upon hearing my shrill screams for help that I have flooded the kitchen once again. They generally arrive in the kitchen already armed with a thirsty bath towel, to sop up what no standard paper
towel has the fortitude to handle.

I could get rid of the coffee maker, but it does make a damn fine cup of coffee. And let’s be honest, I can and have created similar disasters with a Krups or a Mr. Coffee. The problem at the core of the coffee isn't the oddball coffe maker, it's the same problem that causes my spaghetti pot over flow – me. It’s operator error in its purest form. And as sure as the sun will rise again tomorrow I will brew another pot of coffee and overflow another pot. That’s just the way it is. It’s a good thing that I drive past a mental institution on my way to work every day, because based on the definition of crazy, at some point I’ll probably have to check myself in.

19 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

Wendi said...

That's it. I'm sending you a Starbucks gift card so you don't wind up in a special place.

Amy said...

I loathe, and mean LOATHE, to make the coffee. For years my angel of a husband dragged his sleepy hiney out of bed to make it every morning. For Christmas last year I bought him an automatic coffee maker...a shiny stainless steal model. I know, I know...I'm so thoughtful!

If he's out of town, and I have to "load" that thing the night before, it totally ruins my night! I simply abhor dealing with the whole mess!

Now, your fancy Dutch model? That sounds like some good java!!

kyslp said...

I can handle the coffee pot because it is a low-brow Krups but I am accident prone in the kitchen. I dropped a baking pan on my foot and broke 2 toes a few months back. Oh, and spilled sizzling olive oil on my toes recently.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Wendi - That would be lovely because when I am not busy flooding my kitchen with coffee, I can be found at Starbucks spilling my Venti drip on an unwitting barista.

Amy - The coffeemaker is ok, but having someone make it for you, that's awesome.

Kyslp - I have a blister on my thumb at this very moment due to an olive oil sizzle. I am also very prone to broken toes, though I seem to break them in the back yard or the bathroom.

linlah said...

Sticky note above the coffee maker that says CLOSED, you know just a reminder.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...


Oh pshaw (or however you spell that). There is no reason to do something sensible and logical like that. That would not be true to my person, my essence, my general zeal for life. And I never thought if it before.

peewee said...

Oh How we are twins separated by a mere continent.

I finally caved and got a "nespresso" machine. WHICH I LOVE even though I was SO against it. But I also rotate espresso mornings with coffee mornings...Coffee beans I order from My favorite coffee guy in NY, and my Nespresso Triple Mochas with whole organic milk that is ONLY to be used for my mochas and NOT the cereal which just gets regular plain milk...

Wait, where was I...oh yah. this is like some of your best writing EVER! Too bad you already read my blog otherwise I would be in a mad fury of cut&paste plaigurism (I can't even spell the damn word....but I sure can DO it!) I am crying laughing at many many parts.

Don't you sometimes wish you could drink coffee ALLLLL DAY LONG?

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Pee Wee - thanks, that was mighty kind of ya to say. I rarely expect anyone to read this stuff, no less to be inspired to steal.

And yes, if there was a way to just drink coffee all day without needing to be peeled off the ceiling, I'd do it. Please drop me an e-mail when you figure out how to do it and to make money at it.

Aria said...

Oh my dear DG, I too have suffered from this memory lapse issue... let me let you in on the cure: Post Its. They're God's way of saying, "I know, I totally screwed you in the memory department. Sorry."

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...


I am hearing that advice a lot. Problem is, I'll forget it.

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