Kitchen Incidents


The kitchen and I have an interesting relationship. Most days, we’re fine. Some days, it’s all I can do to not have a mental breakdown. All thanks to the fact that “artsy” and “practical” do not mix.

Has anyone else experienced this? I can do the most innocent sounding thing in the world in the kitchen—like making toast—and something happens. Like boiling the teapot so dry that it half-melts on my stove. Or dumping an unused egg white into the sink with hot running water, never expecting to later find the egg white perfectly poached onto the underside of my sink drain.

I know my artistic-ness is the cause of this. As long as I have a timer set, or my husband Justin is home and can remind me about something, I’m fine. If I’m immersed in a project, however, there’s no telling what will happen. Inspiration strikes at the worst time.


Probably the best kitchen mishap I’ve had to date is the Sourdough Starter Incident. It started out innocently enough. Justin loves sourdough bread, and because he’d taken over quite a bit of the housework since I’ve been going through the first trimester of pregnancy, I thought I’d make some sourdough as a way to say “thank you”. (Edible thank-you treats never go wrong around our house.)

So I mixed up the starter. The recipe said to put it in a quart jar, so I did. It filled it pretty close to the top, but I thought, “Hey, this is what the recipe said, so it’ll be fine.”

Ha. Now I remember why I always go by my first instincts—they generally serve me better than my second-guesses.

I put it on the microwave, next to the fridge—it was a nice place to keep it out of the way of my day-to-day kitchen chores—and wandered off to write. A couple of hours later, I came back to the kitchen and smelled a very strong, yeasty smell.

Man, is that the sourdough starter? I didn’t know if I could handle that smell for the next couple of days as it fermented, so I went to check it.


The sourdough starter had bubbled out of the top of the jar (I only had a paper towel over the top), down the side of the microwave, fridge, and cabinet, and puddled into a big, gooey mess on the floor—partially under the fridge.

Normally, I’d grumble and growl, wrestle the fridge out into the middle of the kitchen, and mop it up immediately. But I’m three months pregnant. And a wrestling match with the refrigerator that weighs more than I will at nine months pregnant really doesn’t sound like too bright of an idea.

So I waited until my husband got home. He’s tired because it was a hard day at work and sore from a snowmobile trip that he and his friend went on last Saturday. I felt sorry for him, so I delayed telling him that we have to haul the fridge out and instead let him unwind with one of his favorite TV shows.

And, because it was warm inside and freezing outside, and we were both wrapped in comfy blankets on the couch, we fell asleep. At eight in the evening. (You can tell we don’t have kids yet, right?) 😉


I woke up at two in the morning and was unable to get back to sleep. So I wandered into the kitchen for a drink. And I smelled a very strong, yeasty smell. Huh. Must be the garbage he forgot to take out—again. Then I see the goo-monster. Only this time, it looks like it has dried into a paste monster.

Great. Well, nothing I can do about it now. Might as well go back to bed. If I can sleep.

I finally managed to fall asleep about five in the morning. I woke up at noon to find Justin gone to work hours ago, the house a wreck, the goo-monster percolating under the fridge, and—oh great! Today’s Thursday! We have company coming.


Of course. Because in the Titus household, even sans kids, it always works out that way.

It’s also the day that we meet our friends at the indoor sports arena and work out together. That starts at four. Which is also when my husband gets home from work.

I texted my friend and told her we’d definitely be late. As the afternoon passed, I started feeling pretty sick, so I got almost nothing done around the house. Justin got home at four to find dishes still stacked in the sink, laundry not finished, and the paste-monster slowly solidifying on the kitchen floor.

So we got to work. I was so overwhelmed between not feeling well, trying to get supper ready, and cleaning up that I ended up having a “hormonal moment”. So Justin made me sit down with a coke while he finished cleaning up. He shimmied the fridge out into the middle of the kitchen floor and used a spatula to scrape the gluey starter off the floor. We didn’t make it to working out.

And when the company arrived, supper was in the oven, the apartment was clean, and there were only a few dishes sitting in the sink. It wouldn’t have happened without Justin, who as it happens is the perfect practical counterbalance to me.

And by now, you’re probably thinking, “Yikes, woman! Stay out of the kitchen!”

Yeah, that’s what Justin says some days. 😉

The incidents are getting fewer and further in between. Honest. I think that my artistic side and my practical, must-have-food-on-the-table side are finally coming to terms with each other. As long as I don’t set anything on fire, I can handle it. Mostly.

Just the same, don’t be too surprised if another post titled “Kitchen Incidents Part 2” pops up sometime. And if I’m suddenly on the news as the woman who went nuts trying to clean her kitchen…you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that either. 😉


About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

10 comments on “Kitchen Incidents

  1. lol, woooow. I think I’ve had a couple incidents. Never so big as that though. 0.o In fact, I’m out today as i have to get more pudding mixes and peanut butter to finish the peantu butter pie I began for my sister’s Bday. How was I supposed to know they stuck cook and serve pudding mixes in the middle of instant? I just got the big ones cause they were cheaper than the small ones, but the serving size demanded 2 big boxes and 1 small box if I was to get the big ones, so I mixed the two. didn’t turn out so good. -.-
    Justin seems pretty cool, btw. 😉 gotta say though, this was a funny read. 😀
    most the crazy things happen when i’m out on errands and under a time crunch. Actually, most the crazy things happen when i really need to get things done. 0.o huh.

  2. LOL…Heather, thanks for the morning laugh. I am not at all graceful in the kitchen most days. It’s always nice to be reminded I’m not the only one.

  3. Boiling water till it’s gone because I forgot to check it, burning (fill in the blank) because I walked off and forgot I was even cooking, forgetting to turn the oven on, forgetting to turn it off….all in a days work over here! I hate cooking. I never thought of it as artistic vs practical, though. I like that hypothesis!

    My biggest kitchen disaster wasn’t cooking, though–it was a result of a science thing my son was doing. We were opening a pine cone by warming it. We decided instead of heating the oven we’d just set the pine cones on some aluminum foil on top of the toaster. Er, yeah, we melted the plastic outside of the toaster where the foil touched it.

  4. Hahahaha! I laugh because I can SOOOO relate! Wait till the kids come, it gets even better!
    I’m very glad for you that you have such a wonderful hubby! Hang on to him! 🙂

  5. […] is a bad idea. How many demonstrations of it do you need? How many teapots do I need to melt? How many gooey spills need to be on the floor? Not to mention the weird flavorings I’ve shaken into soups and casseroles while listening to […]

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