My son came home from college for the weekend and like any good mom, I was determined to cook his favorite meal and host a sit down dinner. Realizing that we are a generation of drive-thru diners and often eat meals while standing, sit down meals are not as common as they should be. My mother helped to lighten my load by providing twice baked potatoes that she had prepared in advance. All I had to do was heat them in the oven and serve them with dinner. Thinking ahead, she made extra that I could freeze for another meal.
Not wanting to miss a minute of quality time with my child, I let time slip by and suddenly dinner time was upon us. I had to throw things into high gear to get everything ready. As I dredged chicken through flour, cut up veggies, and boiled pasta, I tried to stay engaged in the nearby conversation. Time was ticking and I stepped up the pace. Unfortunately, I've realized lately that when I multi-task, something peculiar happens to my small motor skills and I begin underestimating my strength and speed, both important factors when working in a small space. It doesn't help that my depth perception isn't what it should be, either. I overreach for things and knock items over, hoping nobody notices
As I was slowly destroying my kitchen, my mother pointed out that the potatoes would never be done in time. I cranked the oven up to 400 degrees and kept cutting and chopping. Still worried about the potatoes being ready in time, she suggested that I stick my finger in one to see if it was hot. Not only should I have steered clear of such a suggestion for obvious reasons, I should have remembered that I never told her I turned the temperature up. As I retrieved my finger from the now screaming hot potato, I instinctively stuck it directly in my mouth without thinking. It didn't take long to realize that the 400 degree potatoes were not only ready, but were, in fact, now searing the inside of my mouth. Moving in quick jerky motions, I grabbed the pan out of the oven and slung it towards the counter, sending all of the hot potatoes crashing to the floor.
My mother never said a thing as she took the remaining potatoes out of the freezer and we tried one more time to cook twice baked potatoes. I was able to finish the meal without further injury or loss and the entire family sat down for Chicken Marsala, Thrice Baked Potatoes and a large bottle of much needed wine for the cook.