Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Another Pot Slaughtered in the Name of ADHD

Another Victim of ADHD

I may need to change my name to Douglas Cootey, Pot Assasin. I’m not sure who drew first blood years ago, or why we battle in the kitchens of my life, but for decades we have vied for dominance. I must admit it is not usually the fairest of fights. The pot is striving to fulfill its destiny, sitting on a burner, heating the contents inside. Then I come along and slay it.

The worst incidents usually involved ramen or eggs with smoke detectors going off, but the absolute worst was the time when I set water to boil, became distracted in my studio, and came out of my reverie when strange pinging sounds began to irritate me. The water had long boiled away and nothing was left but for the pan’s bottom to return to its molten state on my burner. In every case, Adult ADHD was totally at fault, I promise. I set out to cook, then became woefully distracted.

This stuff was ancient history, though—far back in the 90s. I’m not a clueless tweenager anymore. I am conscientious and careful when cooking. I cook and bake everyday with no disastrous incidents. Well, except that one time soon after the divorce where I boiled eggs so long the water evaporated and the shells popped off the toasted eggs, but that was six years ago. And who doesn’t overbook eggs after a divorce‽ If failure is the furnace in which we are made, then I am the world’s greatest chef!

Then ADHD struck again. I was making pudding for the next day. (See? I’m super organized!) The ingredients were lined in a chronological row, the measuring cups and cooking utensils were set neatly by the stove, I turned the burner on, placed the pot on the burner with the confidence of a surgeon lifting a scalpel, then became distracted talking to somebody in the other room. Just like that, another pan slaughtered.

Look, I know what you’re thinking. I am likely a candidate for eternal takeout, but that sounds like defeat. Besides, burning a pan once a decade means that there are 3649 days of brilliant success in between disasters! I also console myself that I removed the pan before the nonstick coating heated to ash. After a rigorous scrub, the uniform heat coating on the bottom was only burned away in a few places. Although it is true that I had to replace the pan since it wasn’t mine, and now I have a shiny new pan with a blackened bottom—all the rage this year—nothing caught on fire, no smoke detectors went off, the house wasn’t burned to the ground, and the next pan helped me make the most delicious batch of tapioca pudding. That every bite of the pudding had the smallest aftertaste of failure was only the merest of setbacks.

Generally speaking, I make light of these ADHD glitches because dwelling on them invites depression and low self-esteem. This time, however, my ego felt bruised afterwards. First of all, there were witnesses, which never helps, but also, it wasn’t my pan to ruin. So I made a new batch of pudding, added “Replace Pan” to my ToDo list, restored my good graces by following through on replacing the pan the following day, then wrote this blog. Consider this article my confession. My ADHD sins are now absolved.

With ADHD, mistakes are going to happen. We don’t need others chastising or mocking us. We put ourselves down enough when we screw up over and over again. Such stupid mistakes, baffling gaffes, and flamboyant stumbles! Sometimes it seems as if no amount of preparation and caution will prevent them. My best advice is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, make restitution, and move forward. ADHD may be a life sentence, but it doesn’t have to be a punishment.

If you dislike Lemon Pledge, you should read my books. They’re odor free.