Have you ever had one of those moments when you think, "How did I not know that?" I'm not talking about "How did I not know that all of humanity could fit in a sugar cube?" I'm talking about day to day, practical things. The first time I shaved my legs, I took a layer of skin off of my shin from ankle to knee. When my mom came home and found me covered in blood and I explained, she said, "You don't press hard and drag it!" But, I didn't know that because no one had ever told me.
We learn from others and we learn by trial and error but how do we learn something if there are no real consequences of not knowing?
I know you're wondering what the hell I am talking about and I'm going to tell you and you are going to be horrified.
I didn't know you had to clean your oven.
I thought you only had to clean your oven if you spilled something in it. So, when I would hear about people cleaning ovens, I would always think, "Those people are so messy!"
On Monday, I made a chicken pot pie and it overflowed in the oven because I forgot to put it on a cookie sheet. I thought, "Damn! Now, I have to clean the oven."
I got some oven cleaner and read the instructions and it said to leave it on overnight if you had a seriously dirty oven and I thought, "Well, that's a pretty big splotch of goop there in the middle so I'll leave it on overnight." While I was spraying, I thought, "I'll just spray the whole inside of the oven even though it doesn't need it because I'm nothing if not thorough." I sprayed and hummed a little tune as I thought about how proactive I was being about the rest of my oven.
Today, I got my sponge and my water and opened the oven to clean out the goopy spot and then just "wipe down" the rest of the oven.
I made a swipe across the oven door and was shocked.
And that is how I ended up spending my Friday night wearing a headlamp and cleaning my oven. Yes, I wore a headlamp because it's dark in my oven* and, once I had realized the error of my ways, I was determined to clean that oven like it had never been cleaned before! Because it hadn't ever been cleaned before!
I know I shouldn't admit this but it was an innocent mistake. I have spent my entire adult life thinking that I had superior oven management skills because I've never spilled anything in my oven and thinking the rest of y'all don't know how to put a cookie sheet under a casserole.
Yes, I am embarrassed and disgusted and I feel stupid but I am telling this story because, if I didn't know this very basic piece of information, how many other lessons have I missed? WHAT ELSE DON'T I KNOW?!
So, tell me everything.
I'm terrified to find out but it can't be any more terrifying than looking in your dirty oven with a headlamp.
*Note: My oven does not have a window and does not have a light. I have been in the dark literally and figuratively.