Crayons have absolutely nothing to do with this post, excepting the fact that I never claimed to be the sharpest one in the box.
Dinnertime. Last week. Beans and rice were on the menu. I turned on the burner on HIGH. Put water and rice in the pot. When they came to a boil, I was supposed to turn them down to a low temperature and leave the lid on 'til they were done. Easy.
Whilst the water/rice combo came to a boil, I turned my attention to the other half of the meal. Beans. Great-Northern beans, to be precise. I wasn't sure how long I was supposed to pressure cook these babies, so I turned to my favorite source: Google. My computer is downstairs. Downstairs is not within smelling range of my kitchen. If I am not perfectly vigilant Google can carry me to a fantasy land where neither time nor rice exist. Google did just that on that fateful night.
As I was carried away searching for a pressure cooking timetable I thought to myself, "I"m sure glad I already put the rice on... THE RICE!!!" I bolted up the stairs and, as my nose came within range of the kitchen, I smelled the disaster before I saw it. I pulled the smoking rice off of the red-hot burner and opened the lid a fraction. Smoke began to pour out. With a spoon I moved the rice aside to assess the damage. Bad news greeted me from the bottom of my pot. Black covered everything I could see under the rice. Trying to avoid MORE of the smell of char in my kitchen, I headed outside to purge the pot of the befouled rice.
With haste to get the smoking pot outside, I encountered the closed outside door that I could not open with both of my hands holding a pot. For some insane reason (most likely having to do with previous crayon comment),I set the pot down... ON THE CARPET. Too late I realized what sort of physics project was happening under the pot. I might have set a record for the fastest opening of a door. Sure enough, I picked up the pot again and strings of melted nylon came up with it like hundreds of spiders had built their homes between the pot and the carpet. Perfect.
With wisps of melted carpet dangling from the pot, I took it outside and scraped the rice out. Inside the pot, the bottom was black except for the perfect outlines of rice. It reminded me of maggots. Eww.
Fortunately, this story has a fairly happy ending. If you can count as happy the several hours of elbow grease required to remove most traces of the charred rice and melted carpet from the pot...
The pot is still in action today, boiling merrily with whatever I'm scrambling to cook for dinner each night. I never cared about the carpet. The perfect melted circle left by the pot stands as reminder to sharpen those proverbial crayons and use them to defend myself against the lure of Google and stupidity of thinking before I set a scorching pan onto nylon carpet.