Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Burned rice and other offerings


I burnt a pot of rice last night. Yup. I burned rice.

Now, you may think I’m revealing this to demonstrate my lack of culinary skills but it wouldn’t be true. I’m a good cook. In fact, at moments, I can be inspired in the culinary arts. It’s just, when doing the mundane, I sometimes forget to pay attention and in my lack of focus, accidents happen. Like burned rice.

It’s not that I burned the pot dry. It was dry to begin with. I hadn’t yet put the water into the pot. Just the rice. And then, I turned on the heat and remembered something I needed to do in my office. Left the kitchen. Got distracted by the piano, which still sits in the hallway since I rearranged the living room a few weeks ago. Slid sideways to get through the gap between the piano and the wall, which lead to the inevitable rumblings in my mind about my poor planning on moving it out of the living room in the first place (though the living room looks so much nicer without it!) which lead me to think about the email I need to send to check-up on the woman who is receiving the piano once she gets finished cleaning up and restoring her flooded home.

Right. Two things to do in my office. Call my bank to order new cheques (something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks now) and mail the friend of the piano woman. Oh, and I should send that application off to the University where I want to take a course. Oh right, gotta write the letter to go with it first. I really should make a list. Where’s my iPad. I’m trying to teach myself to keep track of my To Do’s on my iPad. Oh right. I left it at the office downtown. Pen? Paper? Is there not a single pen in this house that writes?

Forget it. I’ll just check my email. Oh look. A cute video about a cat thinking it’s a dog. It’s only a couple of minutes long. I must watch it now. If I don’t, I’ll forget and I could use a good laugh right now. And there’s always time for laughter. Laughing, I watch the video and think about sending it off to family and friends when I see my daughter’s car pull into the driveway. Oh good, she’s home just in time for dinner.


The rice!

Too late.

Smoke is billowing down the hallway, into the dining room, living room… everywhere.

Note to self. Check the batteries in the smoke detector. The fact it didn’t go off during that conflagration is an indication of its non-working state.

Do you have any idea how acrid and clingy burnt rice smoke is? Or how it sticks to the bottom of the pan, adhering to the metal surface like a barnacle to a whale. Ain’t no removing it. Which means, I not only burnt the rice last night, I lost the use of one of my favourite pots.

Which also means, we didn’t have rice with the delicious shrimp sauce I made with tomatoes, onion and Pernod and leftover Squash soup I’d made for C.C. the day before in an effort to appease him for having given him my cold while we were on holidays.Β Instead, we ate pasta. It was already cooked. See, I’d made the pasta when I made the shrimp dish and then decided rice would be so much better with my sauce. More delicate. More able to soak up the flavours. So, I’d put the pasta I’d already cooked aside and set the pot of rice on the stove, only to end up eating the pasta I’d begun with. It tasted okay, but you know, rice would have been so much better!

Note to self. Plan ahead. Stay focused and don’t let dogs who want to be cats fool you. A cat is a cat. A dog is a dog and never the twain shall meet.

I never did get my cheques ordered nor did I send off that application. I really should make a list. Now, where did I put my pen? Are there no blank pieces of paper in this house? Oh wait. I’m trying to teach myself to use my iPad for list-making. No. Wait. I’ll have to do it later. I forgot my iPad at my office downtown.

Oh well. It wasn’t all a disaster. My daughter loved the shrimp sauce with pasta and I did get to enjoy a few moments with her before going off to a community association meeting with a co-worker. When I walked into my co-workers house where I was picking her up, she asked, “What’s that smell?”

“I burned my To Do List,” I replied.

Yup. Burned it right onto my retina’s so that I at least don’t forget to order new cheques and get that application off. Deadline’s coming up and I don’t want to forget about the course I want to take.

Maybe I should write myself a reminder on my iPad?

Now where did I put that silly thing?

Oh well, in lieu of finding my iPad, here’s the video I watched!

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

15 thoughts on “Burned rice and other offerings

  1. It’s possibly a form or ADD … or early old-timer’s disease, but I find myself forgetting things on the stove from similar distractions, usually when I need to warm up some soup for 5 minutes. I’ve started using the time on my iPhone .. with a loud squack when time’s up. The one that gets me, first thing in the morning, is putting the coffee on without filling the coffee maker with water – so I come to get my first morning cup to find nothing brewing …

    you are not alone!


  2. Haha Mark — that would be devastating! to come to the coffee pot with nothing to drink! Oh my.

    Now — to remember to turn the timer on my iPhone on! πŸ™‚

    Thanks — glad to know I’m not alone — and my house still smells of burned rice. 😦 πŸ™‚


  3. Oh my hahaha! I don’t feel so alone in my head now – thank you! How did they make that video??? The cat with a stick, chasing a car – jumping into WATER!!


  4. Welcome to another Senior Moment! I’ve done the same, which is why I can joke about multi-tasking. . . but only if the smoke alarm is working.


  5. “There’s always time for laughter, right?” Wonderful writing! You had me laughing so hard – at myself as well as you.


  6. Delightful!!I sit here giggling, and I haven’t watched the video yet! πŸ™‚ We all have those moments… one thing leads to another and the next thing I know I’m telling the boys to open doors and windows and I’m desperately trying to silence the smoke detector! (Have you put batteries in it yet?)

    I may have something that can rescue that pot… Even just soaking in baking soda & vinegar might help… sometimes boiling soapy water helps… I’ll do some research and send you an email. πŸ™‚


    • No to the batteries — that’s on my todo list for tonight — as long as I remember my iPad… πŸ™‚

      And I’ll have to try the baking soda & vinegar! Thanks Sarah — sounds like you may have had some practice with the ole’ burned pot remedy….. πŸ™‚


  7. This morning I partly burnt my hash browns because I had to tend to Summer, as for burnt rice well I haven’t burnt the rice but I have let it boil dry and stick to the bottom of the rice cooker but got to it before it burnt……………….So many things distract me now days not just Summer but other things but on Wednesday and Thursday it is usually Summer


  8. haha!! You are living MY life, Louise! I actually got a pen out one day and wrote all over my arm. I still burned the beans in my favorite cast iron pot. You can save your pot though. Drill a hole in the bottom and use it for geraniums next year.

    AND, I loved loved the video! Best laugh of the day. Thank you!


  9. Ha ha. A much needed belly laugh to start the day. And the most frightening thing is that it was all so familiar!!


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