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My Greatest Fear: Part 2

November 19, 2008

I’ve already discussed my first greatest fear: potato eyes. I haven’t conquered that fear. In fact, at this very moment, there’s a bag of potatoes in my fridge that may or may not be trying to kill me. I don’t know. I’m afraid to touch the bag, lest it reach out and grab me, so all I’ve done for the last month is nudge it further towards the back of the fridge with the edge of a carton of juice.

So while the potatoes plot their revenge, I have other fears to worry about. The fear I mention today is not to be taken lightly. It has caused my heart to miss many a beat. The fear?
Opening canisters of Pillsbury dinner rolls.
Oh yeah. Big time fear. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. To open one of these canisters, you unravel the thin cardboard sheath until a hidden line is exposed. Then you’re supposed to press on that line with your finger or a spoon until, basically, the canister explodes (I won’t go into the physics of it, but there’s a surprisingly large amount of gunpowder inside of each of these canisters).
I am never on edge more than in the waning moments before a dinner roll container is about to pop. I usually keep it at arm’s length, my eyes closed, every muscle in my body tensed for the impact. Sometimes, not always, I let out a little scream when it finally pops. Then a sigh of relief.
The worst thing about it is that you don’t know when it’s going to pop. When you’re opening a can of soup, you know exactly when it’s going to open. There’s no surprise. But with these dinner rolls, you just keep pushing until a little bit of air escapes. It could happen at any time. I once spent an entire evening slowly pushing down on the hidden line. Eventually I just gave up and cooked rice. I couldn’t take it any more.
Special Note: I’ve decided to field questions from readers in some of next week’s entries. If you have any questions for me–literally anything–send them to me at jamey.stegmaier@gmail.com or post them on the comment board (prefaced by “Question:” so I know it’s a question you want answered). If I don’t get any questions, I’m going to make them up and pretend that readers sent them in. I already have a few backups from “Julie S. in Topeka.”
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. NQL permalink
    November 19, 2008 11:07 am

    Similar fear – champagne cork. But I have such a sense of accomplishment and badassedness when I do it well (controlled pop, no fizz over) that it’s well worth facing my fear.

    Good luck, my friend. And if you still can’t face it, consider biscuits from scratch: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/11/biscuit-baking-recipes.html

  2. Jamey Stegmaier permalink
    November 19, 2008 11:15 am

    I applaud your badassedness (that really shouldn’t be a word). Champagne corks have a similar effect on me.

    That biscuit recipe looks really good. Indeed, I do make biscuits from scratch from time to time, and they’re generally better than their canister counterparts (two parts lard, one part Bisquick). But sometimes I’m lazy too.

  3. Rebecca permalink
    November 20, 2008 7:17 am

    We knock the pastry canisters against the counter-tops. We’re quite pleased by the “pop”, though. As for the potato eyes, I don’t mind them – you can remove them easily and still have a good, edible potato – but rotten food in my Frigidaire is n’est-ce pas okay.

  4. Jamey Stegmaier permalink
    November 20, 2008 10:49 am

    That’s a brilliant strategy that I’ll have to try. As for the potato eyes, I’m not going to risk it. I’m sure the potato host is fine, but those eyes look directly into my soul.

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