The Day I Zested my Finger, and Other Sick Visions to Remind Us to Be Careful in the Kitchen

If you have a weak stomach, don’t read this!

Today, I was making a new recipe that entailed juicing several limes, and peeling a couple clementines. When I had the recipe blending in the vita-mix, I decided it would be a nice touch (pretty and zesty) to add some lime and clementine zest to the recipe.  Since I gave my Mom my microplane grater, I was trying to zest a lime using a regular four-sided grater….it was frustrating, and for some reason I was in a hurry.  Short story: I zested my finger tip.  It didn’t bleed too much, but enough.  Now the tip of my finger looks like grated cheese, and it doesn’t feel too great either.  I tried to take a picture of it, but I’m sparing you from seeing it because it didn’t come out very clearly.

It reminded me of some things I’ve seen on TV regarding kitchen accidents.

Remember on Grey’s Anatomy when Lexi Grey heard that McSteamy’s newly found daughter was pregnant and going to stay with them for a while?  She was slicing veggies in the kitchen, and in a moment of distraction, she sliced off the tip of her finger. Of course, this medical-based drama felt the need to show the chopped finger.

Then there was that one episode of Heroes I watched a few years ago where the girl stuck her hand in the garbage disposal when it was on……and then pulled it out looking like a cross between ground beef and mutilated flesh. After that, I never watched the show again, just for the principle of not supporting gratuitous gross-ness!   

Another kitchen nightmare that sticks in my mind is regarding my Aunt Carol.  My relatives had moved to California when my cousins were about 7 and 8 years-old. They were home alone with their mom when she dropped a glass milk bottle on her foot.  It severed a main artery on the top of her foot and not only caused a lifetime of foot trouble, but a serious emergency requiring her kids to call 911 and get a neighbor to help as blood spurted all over the kitchen and ceiling.

The last example I can think of wasn’t on TV either, but was a story I read about someone trying to open a young Thai coconut with a cleaver. She had one hand on the coconut (as opposed to the common recommendation of placing her free hand behind her back), and as she swung the cleaver down to strike the coconut, it bounced off and chopped into her wrist. Big scar.

For some reason, the thought of kitchen accidents gives me serious nausea.  It is those kinds of visuals that stick in my head, and I think it’s important enough to take note of them as a reminder to be careful.  We don’t think about risk of injury very often when we’re just going about our business in the kitchen, but things can happen unexpectedly, and a certain level of healthy fear can help us to be more cautious.  My zesting accident was a nice little reminder, and I’m glad it was really not serious!

107 thoughts on “The Day I Zested my Finger, and Other Sick Visions to Remind Us to Be Careful in the Kitchen”

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