I was preparing a dish to bring to a party when the knife slipped: It sank into the pad of my middle finger.
I screamed a great slur of curse words and rushed to the sink, leaving a trail of blood everywhere … except, remarkably, on the cutting board. Shortly after the blood started gushing, an incredible pain struck, and I was racked with sobs. I was afraid to look at my finger, thinking I would be looking at exposed bone and have to get down to urgent care for stitches. When curiosity outweighed the pain, I saw I had cut a nice flap in my finger, but not as bad as the pain would indicate.
Eventually I switched from running water to direct pressure, and the pain morphed into a throb. With incredible speed, the bleeding stopped. Yippee, no stitches.
As I sat there with my finger up in the air and tears drying on my cheeks, I was filled with admiration for my mom.
I remembered the time she tried to teach me how to cut up a whole chicken. As I’ve mentioned before, it was my mom that started me down the frugal path, and buying a whole chicken is cheaper than pre-cut versions.
My mom was showing me how to separate the chicken leg from the thigh when the knife slipped and ripped open that tender spot between the thumb and index finger of her left hand. The blood was everywhere! Considering how long it bled and how it kept breaking open again, she really should have been stitched up but wasn’t. Despite all that, there was no profanity and no tears. In looking back, I don’t know how she did it. She even tried to resume her chicken cutting lesson, but I refused.
That home ec lesson’s effect was the opposite of what she had intended: I didn’t cut up a whole chicken myself for more than a decade after seeing the carnage in the kitchen. It did teach me to have a healthy respect for knives … which unfortunately has to be relearned periodically.
Have you ever needed stitches from a kitchen accident? or Did your parents ever had a teachable moment that went horribly wrong?