Jen Bingham


Follow the recipe – or don’t

Think Kit Day 14: Did you get any good advice or learn a valuable lesson this year? Was it expected or unexpected, easy or tough?

Say you’re baking bread. Say you’re using this no-knead method from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day. Say that the recipe calls you to place a pan in the oven while you preheat it. Then you pour water into the heated pan when you put the bread in to bake on the baking stone. Don’t swap out the metal pan specified in the recipe for a glass lasagna dish!

The reason for this is that the glass dish will explode in your face when you pour water into it. Fortunately, it’s made of some weird glass so it explodes in a relatively civilized fashion. And you wear glasses that protect your eyes.

Still, the noise is loud. It’s like a gunshot. And the glass goes everywhere. You have to pull the oven out from the wall to clean behind it. This in a house built in 1885. You didn’t want to see what was back there. And then you have to unscrew the bottom of the oven and lift it off to find the glass that weaseled down into the vents. It’s all so intimate. And you’re so tired. You haven’t been sleeping.

The noise, though. That exploding dish. The crack. It was such a shock and it stays with you for days — along with a feeling of lightness. It’s like the explosion took a part of you and destroyed it. The part that believed you were a monster. It blew up, it blew up. And then you cleaned the oven and made some bread.


  1. You and the Special Lady Friend will have to swap stories about this over our breakfast on whatever day that is. She also was responsible for a gun-shot like blast and the untimely shattering of a glass lasagna dish.

  2. Love this blog.

  3. So I made enchiladas once, and I’d made the sauce in a little pan on the stove, then poured that over the enchiladas which were in a glass pan and put it all into the oven. It was all going so well, and then I took the pan out to serve the enchiladas and left it on the stove, not realizing I hadn’t turned off the burner from, like, an hour before.

    I finally realized it was still on when smoke started rising from the pan, and I ran into the kitchen to move the pan to a cooler surface. I was inspecting the damage, wondering if there was anything still edible, when the pan answered by exploding.

    It was a very tough day to be my enchiladas.

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