Cooking knowledge applied elsewhere

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Cooking knowledge applied elsewhere

Postby New User » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:26 pm UTC

I thought I'd ask people to describe some area of your life where you were able to apply your experience with food and cooking to a non-food task.

My cooking lesson from my mother: When baking cornbread, you have to preheat the skillet. She makes cornbread in an iron skillet, and she taught me to leave the skillet in the oven while it's preheating. When pouring the batter into the skillet, you should hear it sizzle so you know the skillet was hot enough. This apparently makes the golden, crunchy crust on the cornbread properly. Sometimes, my mother's cornbread didn't turn out too well. I suggested to her that she leave the skillet in the hot oven for a while longer, even after the oven alarm says it's been preheated. My reasoning was that the air in the oven might be hot enough, but it might take longer for the skillet to absorb enough of that heat to be hot enough to transfer the proper heat to the batter. She tried it, and the cornbread turned out better.

Now, I have job vulcanizing rubber in a factory. This means I cook the rubber in a series of ovens. There are many variables in the vulcanization process, but the most significant factor I deal with on a daily basis is heat. One day, the rubber wasn't turning out quite as expected. It seemed that it wasn't getting enough heat. The oven control panel indicated that the ovens were heated to the correct temperature, but they had only reached that temperature a few minutes ago. The rubber moves through the ovens constantly on a series of mechanized rollers, just like a pizza in a Domino's pizza kitchen. I was working with another technician, and his idea was that the rollers weren't yet hot enough, so the heat from the rollers that would normally be transferred to the rubber wasn't there; the rubber was only getting heat from the hot air inside the ovens. So I told him, "it's like cooking cornbread! You have to preheat the pan, not just the oven." But he didn't get it. He said he has no experience cooking cornbread. I haven't noticed any other technician comparing this process to cooking food, but it makes a lot of sense to me. This is especially odd since my mentor claimed to have been a chef.

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