Boiling Over

We were cooking dinner and the dang potatoes just kept boiling over.  It didn't matter how low we turned the burner, every time we tried to put the lid back on the steam pushed it off again.  All over the nice clean stove.  Gross starchy potato water.  Eventually there were three adults involved in the mess.  One was being accused of having chosen the wrong size pot - too small.  Another was insisting to a resistor that the burner could be turned down even lower than low.  And the third was the accuser and the resistor.  I was the third and it wasn't my finest hour, but it did make for some comedy in the kitchen.

It reminded me of a kitchen version of Abbot and Costello, once I moved from accusing and resisting to laughing.  Adult One had put the potatoes in a pot that was too small, filled the pot nearly to the brim with water, and placed it on high.  A sure recipe for boiling over and I wasn't gracious when it happened.  I quite emphatically let Adult One know they had screwed up.  Apparently things that boil over cause me to boil over too.

Adult Two watched from the sidelines and finally stepped in to defray the tension, which was escalating.  He suggested that I could turn the fancy red knob to the simmer function and it might resolve the boiling over issue.  Well.  I have used that stove for three years, and read the manual.  I was equally insistent that the burner was as low as it could go.  Adult Two shares some genetics with me, and he wasn't backing down just because I was ramping up!

With potato water continuing to spout out the edges of the pot, Adult Two finally did what a reasonable person in the teaching profession would do.  He offered to show me, which was met with witty sarcasm.  Patiently, he pushed the offending dial in and voila there was a further setting available.  A low, slow simmer.  It's really hard to remain self-righteously angry with everyone in your path when you have been so clearly shown you were wrong.  The only thing to do was laugh, hard and long.

We laughed at the ridiculousness of having read a manual and missed a key point.  We laughed because it was all really silly, it was just potato water, and no one was hungry or dying.  We laughed at the insistence that I knew my stove when in fact I didn't.  We laughed because it was a tiny little life scene where it was safe to be wrong, to be so loudly wrong, to have that dawning realization that you were wrong, and to know unequivocally that you were loved even when you were wrong.