IS Something Burning? Part 2 — Timing is Everything

A Survival Guide for the Hyper Focused

I know more than one writer who has boiled kettles or saucepans dry, burned things in the oven, or cut off a fingernail chopping vegetables. As an expert at trying to injure myself, I am offering up a few suggestions in basic kitchen–and writer–survival.  (Readers, I’m talking to you, too!)

Brookstone Mug Warmer with Auto Shut-off!

Brookstone Mug Warmer with Auto Shut-off!

When I talked last time about electric kettles, I mentioned the value of an auto shut-off.  It’s absolutely essential.  Well, how about one for your mug warmer?  This Brookstone model not only has two different heating temperatures, it has an auto shut-off after two hours.  Now, I would still shut it off if I got up for more than a moment or so, because I have cats, and papers.  Right now I shut off my mug warmer every time I walk away from my computer.  But this would be a lovely backup feature, and I’m looking at this for my next unit (I’ve killed a couple of mug warmers.)  It’s not for reheating (not that powerful) and it’s not dishwasher safe, but otherwise, it looks great!

Timers are everything.  But before I mention timers, may I ask if you have a system for saving your work?  Ideally, this is a program that automatically backs up continuously.  But if you can discipline yourself to ALWAYS save every time you stand up, your work life will become less complicated.  When a timer goes off, I save and stand up – always.  You can make do with two separate timers, the one on the oven and one at your hand.  Two different sounds are a bonus.  Remember, too, that your cell phone has an alarm system, and you should become familiar with that tool.

But you might want to put that second timer just out of reach.

The idea is to get you out of that chair.  Once you’re out of the chair, there’s a fighting chance you will remember what you were cooking, and go after it – or alternately, can decide that you can always reheat the water, but you have to finish this dialogue now.

Need a new timer?  Here’s my next one, or something along these lines: the Rosle kitchen timer.  Easy to read, easy to set, two timers, stands or has a magnet to attach it to things, and functions as a digital clock when not a timer.  It’s going to be worth every penny.

And yes, I’ll still set a third timer – one that goes off somewhere else.

Do you have any timing tricks you’d like to share?  I’m always looking for more good strategies!

Next time, I’ll talk about cook top safety, because I don’t know about you, but my cook top is always trying to kill me.

 

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