What's the dumbest thing you've ever done while cooking?

Also: Pretzel-ized pierogis, noisy rhubarb and boxed curry

Back before I knew you had to be a little careful when making a bechamel sauce, I decided to heat up the milk I needed for the recipe in a tea kettle.

And then walked away to watch some Battlestar Galactica.

I returned to find a graceful arc of boiling hot milk shooting out of the whistle hole, streaming across the kitchen and hitting the side of the fridge, dribbling down into a pool of dumbness and regret.

Thankfully, my friend still lets me cook in her kitchen (because of course it was somebody else’s kitchen — why do something this embarrassing in your own kitchen when you can make sure there are WITNESSES) but it’s not the first time I did something epically stupid while cooking, and it won’t be the last.

Friends: I’m asking you for a list of kitchen fails — small, medium or LARGE fails — for a later issue of The83K — not just so we can all laugh together (and yes, I can post them anonymously if you like) but so that, if said catastrophes are preventable, I can ask kitchen professionals I know how to help you prevent them in the future.

Feel free to email me at the83k@gmail.com. We’ll get you forgiveness. We’ll get you closure. We’ll get you help.

And send pictures, if you can.

— Theo.

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Things you should make:

  • If you’ve already scooped the guts out of a pumpkin this October, or are about to — Kenji’s got some great pumpkin seed recipes for autumnal snacking. The soy-glazed one looks particularly scarf-able.

  • Pretzel-ized pierogis:

    It only takes one hour in the oven for baking soda to transform from fridge deodorizer to powerhouse pretzel powder—one which you can dilute in water to pretzel-fy whatever you please. In this recipe I used frozen pierogi, as they’re relatively easy for most of you to find in your local supermarket. If you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where fresh pierogi are readily available, or patient enough to make your own, feel free to use those instead! It doesn’t matter what flavor you use, either—follow your bliss. If you’re making these for a crowd, you can also multiply the recipe as many times as you’d like, bake ahead of time, and then warm up when your guests are ready to eat.

  • One of the things you learn when you realize you’re lactose intolerant is you have to stick to dairy-free soup recipes that don’t use heavy cream, unless you wanna have a really bad time. That doesn’t mean you can’t have creamy soups — you just have to get creative. Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Mushroom and Hazelnut Topping:

    This nourishing bowl is like the cashmere throw of soups — cozy and comforting, in the most luxurious, stylish way. Made with cauliflower that gets simmered with shallots and potato, in broth, until softened, and then blended until smooth, the soup is ultra-creamy and filling. (The potato gives it an extra layer of satisfying body.)

More food stuff:

Things you should watch and/or listen to:

  • Bon Appetit’s Making Perfect series is taking on Thanksgiving, and if the turkey episode is any indication, everything will be delicious and NOTHING WILL GO WRONG, EVER

  • Ivan Orkin knows what a lot of folks who like simple, at-home Japanese cooking know: boxed Japanese curry is delicious.

  • I assume everyone in Halifax, Nova Scotia is covered in donair sauce, sleepy and happy — or at least as excited to be alive and eating donair as Matty Matheson:

That’s it for this edition of The83K newsletter. If you have any tips or suggestions for things you’d like to see here, please drop me a line at the83k@gmail.com