Removing Melted Plastic
So what else went wrong for me, culinary-wise? Let’s see. I baked a lemon-olive sourdough quickbread, which usually doesn't give me any trouble but this time came out looking like loaf-shaped regurgitated matter—and, much to my unease, seems to feel and taste the way it looks; though, rest assured, I’m not positive of the latter, having never had first-hand experience with such. Though, thanks to Edward, I have *seen* my fair share of regurgitated matter, as well as the re-eating of said matter, if I don’t move fast enough). Okay, so I think I've established a suitably gross mood to match the foul quickbread I had somehow brought forth into this world, and which I have been dutifully eating with the help of *loooong* toastings, bits of melted cheese, and other disguises. I don’t throw food away ever, unless I suspect an extreme reaction upon ingestion, like my death. I have some sense.
Then the other day, I was trying to tip out some of the thin fluid that inevitably separates from the yogurt (I don't remember this happening with yogurt in America, but then I never ate plain yogurt in America either)--even though a food scientist on TV reassured me once that this liquid is full of some nutritional element that in Japanese becomes a word I could never hope to retain in my memory or translate into even a semblance of English--when the entire mass of yogurt shot out of the carton and hit the floor. Thankfully, I happened to be sitting on the floor at the time (long uninteresting explanation) and the yogurt didn't have very far to fly. Also, plain yogurt in Japan is quite firm, and thus it didn’t spew everywhere so much as glop en masse. Still, surprise and dismay caused a chilling screech to issue forth from somewhere within me, startling Edward and traveling out the window to effectively silence a group of children frolicking below—have I mentioned how nothing hurts me more than wasted food?
But the pinnacle of all my kitchen trials began with an innocent, bonny blue Tupperware top forgotten in the microwave. And it is really this final story that prompted me to write this post, because—yes, that’s right, children—I have a fresh cautionary tale to share, as well as more of those priceless gems of wisdom that come only upon my committing the truest acts of asininity.
It’s funny that a piffling moment of forgetfulness could have the potential to lead to brain damage, possible sterility, and/or a finger-scalding blue gel puddled on the floor of my microwave. Have I mentioned that my microwave is also an oven? It’s one of those neat space-saving inventions that are practically a basic necessity to the average Tokyo resident, who would never have room for a toaster, microwave, *and* oven—absurd! Little factoid: In the cheapest apartment buildings, there isn't even room for a communal bathroom, which is why you will sometimes see Japanese people walking along the road with a towel around their neck and toting a little basket of toiletries as they head to/from the public baths.
Anyhow, as much as I dearly love my oven-microwave, there are certain unavoidable setbacks. For example, after using the oven setting, the microwave quite staunchly refuses to operate until the oven’s interior has cooled down to an acceptable temperature. Well, another example would be if, say, some idiot leaves a Tupperware lid in the microwave and then later decides to pre-heat the oven to a very high temperature to bake what will later turn out to be painfully salty bread, never seeing the plastic lid (somewhat excusable if this idiot were short of stature and the oven was set quite high up, like on top of the fridge) as she walks away and buries herself in work until 20 minutes later, when she opens the oven door and is greeted by a grey cloud and stinky fumes, which she suddenly realizes have begun to permeate the room and whose origin is a Windex-blue puddle that the idiot slowly realizes was once a forgotten Tupperware lid.
But now you are caught, you are intrigued by this example I have supplied. Your mind is abuzz with questions, namely: What would be the best way to remove melted Tupperware from the floor of a microwave?
How to remove melted Tupperware:
- Do a frantic Google search.
- Following the instructions of some guy on the first website you come across, snatch up a wooden spoon and try to scrape up the mess.
- Observe that the mess is a lot more liquid in consistency than it first appeared and that the wooden spoon has done nothing but paint pretty swirls through the blue goo.
- Note grimly that you missed the part where the guy breezily tells you to throw away your now-ruined wooden spoon. He doesn’t know how much you hate throwing perfectly good things away; it's not the wastrel's fault.
- Realize that as the plastic cools, one of two things might happen. The plastic might turn into a malleable sheet that will easily peel off the oven floor. Or, the plastic will fuse itself to the oven and will have to be re-melted, meaning: more toxic fumes, additional brain damage, and further increased chances of sterility (not that you're absolutely dead-set on having children, but, you know, burning bridges and all that).
- Scan kitchen utensils and triumphantly seize meat cleaver.
- Wield cleaver like car windshield squeegee thingy, carefully drawing melted plastic toward the edge where you hold a wad of paper towels to sort of scoop everything up—careful, that stuff is hot; not that I burnt my fingers or anything, but this is what I as a sensible person would assume.
- When the majority of the plastic is scraped off, finally, use a pot scrubby thingy to buff of any remaining residue.
- Proudly examine floor of microwave, which is now looking cleaner than it has in a very long time.