I'd like to interrupt my usual flow of posts about mostly edible food, to bring you a small culinary disaster.


This is an un-Photoshopped picture of, believe it or not, a pan of wine reduction sauce. I'd poached a couple of pears (post to follow) and was reducing it over a low heat. Well...let's say I forgot about it for, err, a few hours. There it was quietly morphing from liquid to this spectacular jet black, crystallized formation. It looked and felt like a pile of pyrite. It was so interesting looking and feeling (sort of...crunchy) that I played with it for a bit before the smell got to me. Quite an amazing thing to emerge, considering the original substance was plain old wine, water and sugar. I felt rather humbled by nature.

This happened two days ago. The burnt smell has finally disappeared this morning.

Proof that having a food blog doesn't mean you are a perfect cook. Nooo no no no no. Next time you have a cooking disaster, please remember this picture and console yourself with the thought that it can't get much worse than producing a pan of alien monster.

( Yes, I shall remember to set timers from now on. Amazingly, the pan survived. Hooray for Swiss stainless steel.)

Update: the pot did recover!

Filed under:  offbeat disasters

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You are too funny! I can't believe that pan survived. I want an after picture to prove is...and the brand name.

I did the SAME thing the other day...but just water in the pan, or lack there of, later. It looked like the sole survivor of an space shuttle crash.

Love your blog, BTW :)

The pot is still soaking (but looks ok, except for the burned bits clinging). I will try to scrub it clean tomorrow and post a pic :P

I think the brand is Sigg...a well known Swiss stainless steel kitchen ware maker. Their pots are expensive, but really durable. (I actually inherited that saucepan, so it's at least 25 years old!)

Wow. I am amazed that the pan survived. I wonder how long it took to clean it out. It's amazing what a little heat and chemical reaction can do.

I've done my fair share of kitchen oopsies as well. In fact, I think I am the world's foremost authority on blackened potholder. :P

This is amazing, the before and after shots show the swiss know what to do with pots. Soaking is a good idea, because my wife would have gone nuts if I did this to one of here pots. What did you soak it in?

Paul, we took off the worst burned parts, then just put water with a bit of dishwashing liquid in the pot for several days, changing the water every day and giving it a scrub. I'm impressed by the durability of this little saucepan myself...it's gone through some hard times in the past too. :P