EXPRESSIONS #8: A WATCHED POT WILL BOIL – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s February Expressions #8


A watched pot never boils?

Did the speaker of this statement not cook? Because I  guarantee that if there is a fire — electric or gas — under the pot, it will boil. Not only will it boil, but it will also burn, stick, and if you forget about it long enough, be ruined for further use. After this, you can make a terminal decision: Is this pot salvageable or officially trash?

I have forgotten pots long enough to have them burst into flames. I’ve ruined enough pots to make up a set. I didn’t even have to leave the room. Moreover, a husband being IN the room didn’t guarantee that the pot that was in the process of being cooked to death would be seen, stirred, or have the heat reduced or turned off. Of, for that matter, have water added.

Use low heat, but don’t count on it saving your food. Distractions are the death of dinners around the world.

Also, don’t get involved in writing a post, taking a long phone call, feeding the dogs, refilling bird feeders, or vacuuming the living room carpet. It not only will boil, but all the other end-of-the-line events will occur faster than you can imagine. Really, no kidding.

I’ll bet that expression was written by someone who doesn’t cook!

18 thoughts on “EXPRESSIONS #8: A WATCHED POT WILL BOIL – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. About 2 years ago, I put some potatoes on to boil. My daughter arrived and said hey, blah blah blah something I’d been looking forward to doing. We left and I forgot the pot on the stove. Luckily my son was over and came racing into the kitchen, the house half-filled with smoke. Goodbye potatoes and pot. sigh. We have one of those stovetops that has a little red light that says it’s still hot though it’s off. I can’t get used to it and I end up checking 10 times. When you turn it off, it would be really helpful if that little light went blue or orange any other colour indicating it is in the cooling down phase.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guilty. I boiled a pot dry just last week. I was boiling eggs and got distracted by something more interesting. At least I didn’t set the kitchen on fire as David did once. He called me at work to tell me he’d left a pot on the stove and had a lengthy call of nature. Not much damage except to the pot but I did end up having to repaint the kitchen ceiling.

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    • For me, it’s either the computer (was only going to answer ONE email), a phone call, or someone calls me and I get into a conversation and lose track of time. Once, I really did fall asleep. Oops. Those were flaming cookies!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve ruined my fair share of pans due to inattention or ignoring Murphy, who does cause that rapid boiling effect if one is distracted. I’ve never had one burst into flame though, but I did broil my one ‘good’ frying pan because it lived in the oven and I forgot to take it out whilst making cheese toast. O_o Well now I have an excuse to buy that cast iron skillet I’ve been wanting for a long time. … Husbands are mainly useless if one expects them to help with the cooking. (apologies to cooking men everywhere) My hubby could cook, and cook well IF he were motivated and interested in doing so. If he wasn’t (a 90/10 split) well heck. Things would go up in smoke literally!

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    • Garry can’t cook or at least, WON’T cook. And he gets very huffy if I ask him to help in the kitchen. Usually, he just stands there, with that “deer in the headlights” look. When I say “Stir that” he wants to know what spoon, how fast, ad nauseum until I give up and do it myself. Which I’m pretty sure was the point.

      Moreover, I swear the moment I turn my back for a few minutes the heat under the pot goes into hyperdrive and INSTANTLY burns.

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  4. I do things like that on a rather unnecessary regular rate – I blame it on having too many ‘fires going’…. Even managed to burn my wonderful (once!) tomato-herb-sauce I put to defrost on low heat, went to the basement, saw the tons and tons of stuff to sort out, pack up, and managed thus to burn my former frozen brick of sauce to a crust in the pan…..

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  5. I just burned a pot yesterday, put some coconut oil in to melt, walked away and forgot it, my house filled up with smoke, had to rush open all the windows, put the smoking pot outside. Still trying to get the burned oil that seemed to now be a permanent bottom of my good pot.
    This is what happens when we have too much on our mind, it overloads.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This has happened twice in my apartment building. Once the person left a pot on the stove…no fire but a lot of smoke. The second time new parents were heating up a bottle on the stove and fell asleep.

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