My grandpa grew up in Eureka, UT.
Ever since I was little I've been enthralled by the countless stories of Eureka as told by my grandpa. First and foremost, it was a mining town. My mental picture of that town in the 1930s is eerily similar to the town where Adam Pontipee meets Milly in 7 brides for 7 brothers....small, rough, and filled with men. This is probably not accurate, but that's what I've had ingrained in my mind. Thanks a lot, unnatural love for musical theater.
My great grandma was the cook for the mining camp. Talk about a tough job. Cooking up food for all the miners who probably weren't the most genteel of diners. I don't remember ever meeting my great grandma, but the one thing I know about her is this: She could take hot pans out of the oven without any mitts! And not get burned!
A genetic trait I wish I had.
Last night as I watched the opening episode of my beloved Top Chef I gently cradled my burned hands in my lap. As I excitedly noticed that not one but TWO of the contestants are from my hood I cried out in joy and pain. As I thought that since I'd probably eaten something that a contestant on my favorite show had made that pretty much means that I am PERSONALLY experiencing TOP CHEF I glanced down and saw the all too familiar shiny marks that indicate seared flesh.
And then I realized that I really shouldn't have grabbed the red hot handles of my big shiny stock pot earlier that night. It seems that every time I put a pan that is traditionally used on a stove top into the oven to broil or braise I almost always end up trying to pull it out with my tender, fleshy bare hand. I never learn that a handle that's been in a 300 degree oven for an hour will probably be approximately to temperature of the sun. And it will surely not bless, but burn my beautiful hide.
And that is not what a top chef would do. Or my great grandma.