Haste Leads to Waste… And Pain

Baking and cooking can be many things to many people; A way to relieve stress, get out aggressions, or soothe sadness. The simple act of slowing down and creating something from scratch with your own two hands can just be such a catharsis in this busy, maddening world. It isn’t, however, something to plow through, rushed and uninterested in the process itself, eyes only focused on the end result. Baking is less about the cakes and the cookies that come out of the oven, but more about the sifting of the flour, careful measuring, and skillful work with the knife. Or in my case, disastrously clumsy and painful use of the knife.

Waking up late and hastily throwing together the base for my Passover dessert to be served at seder later that night, everything was going as planned… Until I pulled out those fateful oranges. Without thinking, I began hacking away, paring off strips of zest when the blade slipped and… Well, I think you can guess what it began paring after that. This was quite possibly the worst injury I’ve sustained in the kitchen yet, and yes, it was all from a careless mistake.

Things kept going downhill from there- The crust for my tartlettes fell apart in the oven, and my iSi cream whipper refused to work in more than spurts and splats, making for a rather Picasso sort of presentation. Taking a deep breath, slowing down a bit, and thinking things through more was the only way out of this mess.

The orange curd meant to fill my tartlettes went into the bottom of some clear glasses instead, to be topped with chopped strawberries and strawberry mousse. Much simpler than my original plans, but working with only one hand definitely limited my options this time around. At least there will still be a dessert to serve tonight… And I don’t think I need stitches, I consoled myself at the time.

Thank goodness those verrines were so well received after all of that drama! It’s one thing to be able to think on your feet, but another to think ahead enough so that you don’t need to. Just in case you’re thinking about speeding through your next culinary endeavor, consider how much less time and pain it may take if you go about it mindfully in the first place.

45 thoughts on “Haste Leads to Waste… And Pain

  1. Wow, what drama you’ve endured in the kitchen today. After all of that, though, your dessert looks fabulous. Talk about being a real champion and fighting through the pain :)

  2. Ouch! So sorry to hear about your hand! It looks like you managed to make the best out of a bad situation though!

  3. Ah, sorry about the injury. I had a garlic chopping mishap a couple months ago and had my hand elevated above my head for a good few hours. Your resulting creation still looks insanely delicious, though!

  4. The very best of wishes with the healing process — hopefully you’re back to two good hands in the kitchen in no time! And everyone is right — your dessert still looks amazing! The flowers are the cutest touch :)

  5. As someone who sliced half their fingernail off just the other month (but like you, thankfully didn’t need stitches, although it pained for a number of days) I feel your pain! I hope the finger feels better soon and your dessert turned out beautiful despite the incident and change of plans.

  6. I’d settle for what you’ve got in the end ANY DAY :) Send me some of that. i’ll be happy to pay shipping and handling :)

  7. Ouch, I am really sorry! I hate it when things like that happen. You are amazing, I love how you adapted and changed the dessert to save it. Looks beautiful.

  8. Oh no Hannah!! Ouch, sounds painful. I cut myself on my food processor blade last weekend, while cleaning it. It still hurts :(

  9. I knew you would still end up with a fantastic dessert. I’m so sorry about your cut. I know every time (there have been many!) I’ve gotten cut or burned in the kitchen it’s because I was impatient. So I guess I will be cut and burned many more times…

  10. I hope your finger heals soon–deep knife cuts are killer. The dessert you came up with on the fly certainly looks fabulous though!

  11. Oh goodness! I’m sorry about your hand! Just the other day I was stabbing a sweet potato before microwaving it and I stabbed my hand instead.. ouch! I feel your pain!

  12. Oh, I’m so sorry about your hand. That sounds awful. Your dessert still looks beautiful and delicious.

  13. OH yikes!! I’m glad you don’t need stitches! Uggg :( I always have some kind of mishap when I rush. Plus it takes the fun out of what you are doing in the first place. Sometimes John needs to stop me and say… slooowwww down, why are you rushing?? it’s all good!


  14. Hannah,

    First off, I just saw your Easter post- what adorable vegan peep bunnies you’ve created, if only I had a marshmellow kit! Second, I am sorry your passover food didn’t turn out the way you planned- but it seems like you made the best of it! I am trying now to think of Easter ideas- (My family is multi-cultural like yours) I saw a “cinnamon roll lamb” on Bryanna Clark Grogan’s website, but I am nit 100% sure yet… any advice would be much help. Thanks! :-)

  15. Ouch! I hope your hand heals up soon… I also hope your guests were grateful!! I always feel like I only injure myself when I’m cooking for other people, and most of the time they say something like, “It’s alright for vegetarian food…” :grumble:

    Anyway, congrats on making these work after all of that happening! They still look gorgeous, and I’m sure they tasted great!

  16. Oh no! I hope your fingers are ok. In the end, your dessert turned out wonderfully, even if it wasn’t what you had hoped for.

  17. Yikes, I’m sorry about your knife-wielding mishap! I still bear scars from a similar carrot chopping incident which resulted in the sight of blood and fainting. But how gorgeous your treat is after all that!

  18. Sorry about the cut. Just did something similar a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad you didn’t need stitches. On another note…the strawbery mousse looks wonderful!

  19. I’m so sorry you hurt yourself :( I hope it heals quickly! I’m clumsy in the kitchen so I’m always burning my hands or nicking myself with a knife. You still managed to pull out a show-stopper!

  20. I hope you’re okay! I’ve had to cook with one hand before, so I understand how challenging it can be. Either way, the dessert you made looks delicious and I’m sure it’s as good as what you originally planned.

  21. Oh, Hannah — I am scared for your injury. I had a similar one several years ago involving my thumb. I didn’t get stitches and wish I had, as it healed funny. Valiant you for going through with your dessert plans and as always, creating a beautiful end product. Take good care!

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