Even those of us who think we know better make mistakes.
I show you this picture of my foot, not to show off my bunion, as impressive as it may be, but to show you a burn made by boiling water and to demonstrate the stupidity of cooking in bare feet. Things–knives, pots, hot water, carrot peels–fall to the floor. And that is where your feet are. And so I offer you this cautionary tale.
One day I was steaming-braising some beet tops. When I was small, my mother could not force me to eat spinach. But when she cooked beet tops, I stood by the stove until they were ready. Such are the incomprehensible sensitivities of the human palate. Now where was I? Ah yes.
I opened the pot on the stove and stirred. Sloppily. Boiling water sloshed out and right onto my foot, dressed only in a sock. I was surprised how much it hurt. As you might guess, the water burned the top of my foot. Wearing shoes was a pretty good trick for the next week. And burns heal slowly. Thank goodness, here in San Francisco we rarely see barefoot weather so the evidence of my stupidity stays under cover.
Here are the kitchen clogs I should have been wearing. They are so sturdy (thick soles with good treads and stiff leather uppers) that the pots, crockery, and even falling knives would have left my feet unaffected. I bought them to recipe test in the Fleur de Lys kitchen in San Francisco for Hubert Keller’s new cookbook, Souvenirs (Fall 2012 from Andrews McMeel LLC). I tried every other pair of shoes in my closet and nothing but these prevented slipping on the freshly washed floors–or on the freshly spilled milk, custards, and oil I managed to splash around so liberally.