Cook’s Crypt: The cooking will kill you, unless the food gets you first

The symbolic face of death:  detail from an 18...

Food Fright

For me, the kitchen is a scary place with sharp, jagged  knives, fire-breathing stove top burners, and a refrigerator door that beeps incessantly when open, driving the most rational person insane.

Even the sink is a slippery slope with a maniacal soap spout that kills innocent bacteria spores frolicking in an ocean of suds. Beneath the suds, the malevolent garbage disposal waits in the shadows to ingest discarded bones and food debris. When it feeds, it makes a horrible grinding sound while devouring its prey into dissolvable bits, until the remains easily slip down the drain.

Demon chefs conjure up diabolical recipes to daze and confuse me. After studying their uninspiring prose for hours, the writing blurs before my eyes. I shut the cookbook and begin spouting intelligible phrases, as if I had succumbed to an evil spell cast upon me by Betty Crocker.

The oven, a combustible chamber of horrors, tries to lure me toward its fiery concave, but I evade it by never using the baking and broiling functions, instead utilizing the safer warm setting for takeout Chinese food.

On Sunday nights, I pay homage to the takeout-food God, who connects me to the houses of foodship. They send their disciples to my door with pungent containers of pre cooked sustenance to ward off the kitchen ghouls. After the food has been consumed, the plastic containers in which the food arrives can be used again-and-again to keep other takeout fresh long after the desire to feed has gone.

Kitchen shelving and drawers are designed for the criminally insane. Carousel devices spin forever in an everlasting rotating hell, harboring containers and tops that never match and inevitably jam in the door or fall and disappear into the black hole at the bottom.

In drawer purgatory, unwanted items, like pet food lids, corkscrews, and bag twists get lost beneath larger plastic ladles and wooden spoons, while the silverware lies oblivious in its frame of invincibility.

The refrigerator, a dark icy tomb, contains different height shelves to delude and confuse. As I attempt to place tall and short food items on appropriate shelving, I panic. I wonder if I can place tall food on a short shelf by laying it on its side next to the smaller defenseless food, i.e., cream cheese and yogurt, which gets forced to the back of the refrigerator where they linger for months, die, and then are reborn again into zombie food that feeds on other refrigerated items during the middle of the night.

As I write this, I lie awake in bed listening to the open refrigerator door beeping. More kitchen DOAs to retrieve in the morning. Likely, one of the timid, temporary foods, celery, tomatoes, or shredded cheese, have tumbled to their death, as they tried to escape the crushing weight of the hardcore longer-lasting food: Ketchup, Mustard, or 24-oz bottles of Diet Pepsi.

The only solution is to purge the kitchen of its evilness by demolishing the walls and converting it into a takeout food memorial, only keeping the tame, docile microwave that exists to please, and purrs while heating food from the houses of foodship.


Do you have a scary kitchen story you’d like to share?

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15 Comments Cook’s Crypt: The cooking will kill you, unless the food gets you first

  1. Dr. James

    Great post. Germs are the thing that raises my fear factor. I bleach the life out of everything. I sanitize the skin off my hands. We cook the life out of our food. Eating-out is out. Great job. Thanks so much.

  2. Bonehead

    Great post! Love the photo too 😉

    As someone who can only make reservations for dinner, I applaud anyone who can go beyond simply opening up a can to create a meal, so fear not – I’m sure your efforts are most appreciated.

    Terrific line … “The refrigerator, a dark icy tomb”
    I’ve never quite read a more vividly frightening description of a major appliance!

  3. kys

    You are so talented. Who else could write such a thing about the kitchen? Seriously, very good.

    My only horror story is spilling sizzling olive oil between my bare toes. Ouch!

  4. Will

    Hi Lauren .
    Great post!
    You just got me glued on that kitchen story .
    It's really amazing what you can do with words ,you sound like the high priestes of some ancient cooking cult .lol
    Have a great day !

  5. Tawnya

    I love to cook. I learned young how to because I lived with a single mom and if I did not I had to wait until she got home. I have so many cookbooks, I collect them now it seems. Maybe start with something easy?

  6. Lauren


    I've gotten better, actually, since I've been unemployed. I now understand the benefits of adding spices, sauteed onions, and wine to simmering spaghetti sauce. The sauce tastes so much better.

  7. L Avery Brown

    Oh this is a jewel of a blog! I, too, have paid tribute to the fast food and take out gods and have thusly been blessed with mighty thighs.

    I cannot wait to come back to read what other musings you've written.

    L Avery Brown

  8. Lauren

    Thank you for stopping by, L.Avery. Can I call you, LA? It's so nice to meet other members of this "ancient" and often misunderstood "cooking cult," as Will wrote.

    I really appreciate what you wrote about my blog. Thanks again.

  9. Silent Poet Klaus

    I should have not read this article, now I am afraid of the kitchen ghouls..I will probably starve to death and its all your fault:D

  10. Lauren

    Klaus: Just order take out like I do. : ) Really, I do cook, although it's pretty bad. Evil forces prevent me from succeeding.

  11. Pingback: Lauren Salkin

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