I’ve been scarred, sliced, chopped, splattered, burnt and scalded over the years through cooking.
Builds character I guess.
I say cooking generally but really it’s mostly through machismo and sheer stupidity.
You see I grew up thinking that real men don’t cry. They sniffle a little and blame it on influenza.
I also believe that if it’s still attached and is dangling, then it’s only a minor flesh wound and should be ignored.
I’ve done stupid things in my life and have gotten away with it so guess I shouldn’t be surprised with the mishaps in the kitchen.
Like the time I tried to stare down my friends dog. I say dog but he’s more like a lion monster sort of creature.
My Friend has a Kangal which is a Guardian dog originating from Turkey.
Wikipedia has this to say about the Kangal
While the Kangal Shepherd Dog is often referred to as a sheep dog it is not a herding dog, but rather a flock guardian that lives with the flock of sheep to actively fend off predators of all sizes.
Typically used as protection against wolves, bears, and jackals in its native Turkey, the breed has been exported to African countries like Namibia and Kenya in more recent years due to its intimidating size and capabilities as an effective guardian, where it successfully protects local herds from lions, cheetahs and similar indigenous big cats, which has had the benefit of not only protecting livestock, but ensuring the continuity of endangered predators due to reduced cullings by local farmers.
Protect against wolves ? Other wimpy animals like lions and cheetahs I understand but this guy can take on a wolf ?
I was intrigued.
And I wanted to dominate it.
Oh and by the way, this is what a Kangal looks like.
So my friend greeted us at his front porch and his Kangal was sitting next to him eyeing us. My friend escorted my kids into the house thinking I would follow.
But I didn’t. Cos I was mesmerised by his Kangal who was sitting very upright eyeballing me.
I could feel the wolf rising.
We looked deep into each other’s eyes intently for a long time.
I inched closer. And yes the next thing I wanted to do was this.
I was shaken out of my stupor by the sound of my friends voice. He said:
“Don’t move. He’s in attack mode”
And I was quickly ushered into the house while my friend gripped onto his dog.
It was later explained to me that the Kangal doesn’t like being challenged, and a stare down was not advisable.
Ok so we’ll call it a draw.
So I must admit reluctantly I do have a healthy dose of sheer stupidity so not all my scars can be blamed on the process of cooking.
Oils and burns
I can always buy longer spatulas and thongs I guess but come on, oil splattering is inevitable.
And frankly if you immediately wash it off and spread toothpaste or aloe vera on it, those burns can be lessened.
But I tend to ignore it.
So I’ve built up welts and scars over the years.
Boiling oil Splattering
Again, bursting oil
Boiling soup. Ok this one was excruciatingly painful.
And this one across the forearm was collected by contacting the side of an intensely heated cast iron pot.
Much like Caine in Kungfu
Cuts and chops
One of the superstitions about knives are as follows:
#8: Some knife owners believe that you never truly own a knife unless it has “bitten” you (tasted your blood). Once a knife has taken its owner’s blood, the owner will never sell or trade that knife with anyone. A similar superstition states that a knife that has “bitten” its owner will stay sharp longer and is less likely to accidentally cut its owner.
It of course helps that the owner is a little dumb.
My knives have claimed my blood many times. Which is why I’m always nervous when I buy a new knife.
Shun Ken Onion 8 inch
I was excited when this knife arrived. I have read the reviews and how incredibly sharp it is.
So when this guy arrived and I took it out of the box, I had to feel how sharp it was and tested it with my thumb. And my thumb opened up like a flower and Blood was literally Everywhere.
You will forgive me if I didn’t take contemporaneous photographs.
Global XL Chopper
I actually felt scared when this guy arrived and I felt the weight.
I used it immediately as I needed to chop up some minced pork which I had taken out of the freezer.
It was not quite defrosted but I was impatient. And generally not very bright.
So the chopper skidded as I whacked it down and almost took off two of my fingers.
And yes this time I had the presence of mind to take pictures to prove my stupidity.
I wasn’t going to stitch it initially because it was just dangling and I felt it was fine. But the blood continued to spill even after 4-5 hours and I was travelling the next day.
And I continued cooking lunch – right hand cooked.
A doctor friend of mine called me that evening when he knew of my travelling plans and insisted I should go to his clinic to get stitched.
I’m almost certain this won’t be the last of the scars and burns.
For as long as my IQ remains the same.
My dear friend Kuan kindly gave me a nice gift yesterday.
It’s a beautiful Laguiole corkscrew wine opener.
But I’m afraid to pick it up and open it.