the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Exhibit A

I just want to point out that I’m paying attention, UNIVERSE. And that by stubbing my foot on one of Marlo’s more hefty toys last night and breaking the third toe on my right foot was your way of saying WOMAN. WAS YOUR TAILBONE NOT LOUD ENOUGH.

So what you’re saying is that I have to walk around the house wearing shoes and a helmet at all times. I mean, is it that literal? Or is it more metaphorical? Am I supposed to slow down, is that the message? Anyone suggesting that someone with two kids and two dogs should slow down obviously did not take physics. Universe, are you single? Do you even have kids? Because if you get to sleep in on Sunday morning I CANNOT TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.

Apparently it’s trying to talk to me about cooking as well. In fact, I bet the Universe has Child Protective Services on speed dial and gets an itchy finger every time I look at the stove. I will admit, I’m just winging it in there. I’ve watched other people cook, and I’m good about picking up on details. I mean, I can make a mean pot of rice. And when a bowl has “dishwasher and microwave safe” stamped on its bottom, you can bet I think it’s telling the truth. Who am I to doubt the bowl?

You guys. That bowl was lying. At least, that is the defense I used when, after successfully cooking seven strips of bacon, I poured the leftover grease into this bowl:


At least I know you’re not supposed to pour the grease down the drain, AM I RIGHT!? Give me some credit! I picked up on that detail! PLUS TEN POINTS FOR ME.

But I guess “microwavable safe” does not cover the temperature of bacon grease. And I should have immediately sensed trouble when I heard the plastic of the bowl popping as the grease filled its sides. Nay, I trusted the bowl. I believed in the bowl. I rooted for that damn bowl. GO BOWL GO.

And everything looked fine as I transferred the bowl to the countertop next to the sink. I could see the grease cooling, congealing a tiny bit, and I might have thumped my chest with my fists and yelled WHO’S IN CONTROL NOW, BITCHES!

And then not a half second later that bowl disintegrated. And hot, sizzling bacon grease pooled all over the countertop down into the sink. And into the drain.


My reaction was not unlike that time when I was a freshman in college, and my sister had asked me to babysit my two-year-old niece, the cutest, blondest little thing who suddenly started projectile vomiting the goldfish crackers I had given her for lunch. And I was all, STOP! DON’T! GROSS! Thinking that those commands would put an end to that orange volcanic eruption. And five minutes later when it was over I was all, WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP?! WERE YOU NOT LISTENING?

That’s called Quality Babysitting.

I just stood there watching in slow motion as the bowl melted into a puddle, not knowing what to do, so I just screamed STOP! DON’T! Because a four-year degree from BYU taught me nothing.

Jon came running in to see what the hell was going on, and I physically obstructed his view from the mess. I didn’t want to hear it. I could envision the tone in his voice as he shook his head and muttered HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER. The same tone he used when I attempted a back hand spring on a trampoline after two huge glasses of homemade wine.

That was a fun trip to the ER.

But I couldn’t hold him off, not if I wanted to make sure that the sizzling bacon grease didn’t melt the pipes under the sink, so I frantically turned on the water and and started blowing air with my mouth. Surely that would help cool things off.

And once he started to shake his head, I was all, dude, I didn’t take a class on microwaves. How was I supposed to know that bacon grease is hotter than a meal you zap for five minutes? I mean, I know you’re not supposed to put tin foil in a microwave, and it’s not a good place to store cats. I’ve got the basics down.

Oh! But get this! Jon is old enough that he DID take a class on microwaves. Because when they bought their first microwave the store offered the whole family a free class! I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Come on. It does not get more Renaissance Man than that.

I headed toward the recycling bin to throw the bowl away, but Jon was quick to stop me. Oh no. There would need to be a written record and photographic evidence of this event. Because ten years from now when we’re fighting over who is right, he is going to pull this up and go THERE. THAT’S WHY.


  • 1greenblogger

    2010/03/02 at 10:06 am

    Microwaves can boil water. How much hotter can bacon grease be??

  • Ells

    2010/03/02 at 10:07 am

    Oh, come ON, Jon. Melty-plastic-bacon-bowls are the new black.

  • Curiosity

    2010/03/02 at 10:07 am

    Beautiful. Bacon grease is okay in the pipes as long as it’s coated with orange plastic. …Right?

    I did hot tea in a reused plastic water bottle once. They do not offer classes in that. This is because it does not require classes to know that is a BAD IDEA. On the plus side, the wooden kitchen stand that we were too lazy to put a finish on is now laminated.

    And high in antioxidants.

  • cris

    2010/03/02 at 10:09 am

    You did it. You actually did it. You found plastic allergic to bacon. There should be a prize for that.

    Also, my captcha is “in jumpsuit” which reminds me of my thoughts during your first two paragraphs: you should look into bubblewrap jumpsuits. They may help.

    But you probably should test bacon on a small portion of the bubblewrap jumpsuit. One never knows…

  • ATXGirl

    2010/03/02 at 10:10 am

    My ex caught biscuits on fire in the microwave. I’ve put non-microwave safe coffee mugs in there too… they come out hot – I have the scar on my finger and thumb to prove it. I feel your pain on microwave disasters…. It’s actually one of the reasons I didn’t own one for about 4 years. We just couldn’t get along, so I kicked him out. 😀

    But… for future reference, get a metal coffee can to store your bacon grease… and don’t put the plastic lid on it until it has cooled :p

    At least now, you have a potential science experience for Leta for her first Science Fair Project. “How hot does liquid have to be to melt a plastic, microwavable bowl?”

  • MissCaron

    2010/03/02 at 10:16 am

    Holy crap. I’m pretty positive I would have done the SAME thing … that is if I ever cook bacon on the stove. My family is a microwave bacon kinda people. We’re lazy like that.

    P.S. I’m really glad ATXGirl told me what to do though in case I ever DO cook bacon on the stove … but where am I supposed to get a metal can if my coffee comes in bags. HELP! 😉

  • JenS

    2010/03/02 at 10:22 am

    I dunno.

    It’s not like you crashed your car into your other car.

    No harm; no foul.

  • josephine

    2010/03/02 at 10:23 am

    LOL…I actually poured hot bacon grease into a FULL kitchen trash bag last night and just hoped and prayed that it would cool itself down enough on the journey through the trash that it wouldn’t melt out the bottom of the bag. I lucked out last night, but I guess I should know better, my Mom used to save all of her bacon grease to cook with it after all… time to find a tin can. 🙂

  • radkitch

    2010/03/02 at 10:24 am

    I hope that this doesn’t become your “I tore the door off the car….’cause NO PEN!” moment. Call me if you need cooking advice on the sly…I’m a professional

  • moggit girls

    2010/03/02 at 10:25 am

    Guys are so damn visual, aren’t they?

  • mommaruthsays

    2010/03/02 at 10:26 am

    I always pour grease down the drain – I just run hot water for a few minutes before and after.

    Is that so wrong of me?


  • Daddy Scratches

    2010/03/02 at 10:29 am

    Has anyone seen my ass? Because I’m pretty sure I just laughed it off. Thanks for that. Now I have to walk around all assless and junk because you just HAD to be FUNNY.

  • baron

    2010/03/02 at 10:30 am

    We either cook bacon on the bbq (spread out on tin foil) or in the oven (spread out on tin-foil covered pan). No pouring of grease is ever required – just remove the bacon, then wait for the grease to cool and toss the foil. Easy clean-up. Best bacon ever! I know it’s not great for the environment, but hey- bacon grease is just gross. If I’m cooking anything else that has grease to be drained, I spoon it into a glass dish and scoop it into the garbage after it cools. Because I’ve been there done that with the plastic bowl. 🙂

  • JillyLly

    2010/03/02 at 10:31 am

    mommaruthsays: I do too! Thanks to Dooce I now know better!!! Haha! Is it possible that I am the root cause of the apartment below mine getting its pipes clogged and causing their drain to leak? (whistle whistle.. do do doooo)

    and wait.. you did a back hand spring on a trampoline after drinking your own homemade wine? WHY was there not a link to this story??? That sounds too amazing to not know the details of this incident. MUST HEAR MORE!!

  • Wombat Central

    2010/03/02 at 10:32 am

    Girl, you need some kind of NASA suit. Maybe put that on over the bubblewrap suit.

    BTW, I pour bacon grease into those clear deli containers that hold things like parmesean cheese. How the heck can they be more heat resistant than that bowl? That was incredible.

  • Garnetgirl

    2010/03/02 at 10:33 am

    If it makes you feel any better:

    I was making candles (back in university) in little clay plant pots.

    I thought I would cover the little hole at the bottom with some tin foil and pour the wax into the pot while it was sitting in the sink. Just in case I made a mess of course.

    Did you know that tin foil floats in wax?

    Long story short, the whole mess of melted wax went through the pot, down the drain and immediately congealed into an impermeable plug.

    Did you know that draino has no effect on wax?

    Long story short, had to call the father in to save the day.

    I feel your pain…and hope that Jon doesn’t give you too hard of a time about this one.

  • LuckyMama

    2010/03/02 at 10:37 am

    Seriously Jon’s ‘tore the door off the car’ moment was far worse than melting a bowl.

    Neither my husband nor I drink coffee, but we have coffee cups for straining grease off of meat!! Next time Heather…maybe shoot for something that is meant for molten hot lava.

    @Mommaruthsays: Your pipes are probably pretty nasty! Ugh. You would need to pour boiling hot water down your pipes for a good 20 minutes to clean them puppies out!

  • mommica

    2010/03/02 at 10:47 am

    I think two is plenty old enough to know how to control your bodily functions.

  • kayakgrrl

    2010/03/02 at 10:48 am

    That. Is. Exactly something I would do. (And I love the melty picture =)

    I hope your toe heals quickly – that hurts!

  • MustangSally

    2010/03/02 at 10:48 am

    My non-Husband-Approved methods for dealing with hot bacon/hamburger grease is:

    1) pouring hot grease into a big bowl/pan in sink, squirk a buttload of dish soap in there and continue to fill with hot water until it all goes down the drain coated in happy bubbles (I figure if Dawn worked for cleaning up seagulls after the Exxon Valdez it’s gotta work, right? Takes grease right out of your way???) If I accidentally forget and pour grease right down the drain I just follow with a healthy chug of soap and blast of hot water. I never had a clog until I forgot to follow with water one time. Then I got busted.

    Method #2 (hubby has neither approved nor disapproved):
    2) sop up all the grease with paper towels then throw them in the trash.

    Method #3 (hubby wholeheartedly approves)
    3) Prepare a bowl of dog kibble in stainless steel or heat safe bowl/pan. Drizzle hot grease over kibble. Stir. Watch dog drool for 5 minutes until it cools a little. Serve.

  • suzanne

    2010/03/02 at 10:50 am

    I don’t cook and don’t even attempt it anymore – my recent mac and cheese from the box didn’t even go well. I got distracted after I added the noodles to the boiling water and didn’t stir them and then they cooked all glommed (is that a word) together. However, my husband is way too fond of pork and when he cooks bacon, he puts the grease in one of our coffee cups. It grosses me out, though, cuz then WTF are you supposed to do with it?
    And confession time – I go to the Daily Chuck before I read your blog. I love Chuck.

  • KatieMama

    2010/03/02 at 10:50 am

    I had no idea bacon grease could melt a bowl! That’s scary! I always poor my grease in a paper cup and put it in the freezer. You must make a lot of bacon if you had that much grease!

  • suzanne

    2010/03/02 at 10:52 am

    Please put more things on Chuck’s head! I love that. hee hee

  • Daily Cup of Jo

    2010/03/02 at 10:58 am

    I’d recognize that IKEA bowl anywhere. Great for cereal. Yeah, maybe not bacon grease. The important thing here is – YOU WERE MAKING BACON FOR THE FAMILY. Everything else is secondary.

    Oh, and the toe. The universe IS single and childless. We can’t slow down. We don’t really know how.

  • Svaha

    2010/03/02 at 11:00 am

    ~ that bowl looks a lot less expensive than the car door (just sayin)

    ~ if you ever ‘have‘ to pour grease down a drain just run cold water, not hot, while you’re doing it. Hot grease cools in the pipes and builds up, like arteries about to have a heart attack. Even when running hot water it will all cool before it makes its escape. Cold water clumps the grease up and keeps it from sticking to the pipes. Not recommended for septic systems, but hey, life happens, and when you have kids it happens all the damn time.

  • ddee

    2010/03/02 at 11:00 am

    Please take a picture of The Bacon Bowl on Chuck’s head. He’ll love it, I’m sure, ’cause it smells like bacon! Unless it smells like fumes-that-will-kill-us-all.

    You know, Heather, I’m seeing a whole line of Bacon Grease Dishes. As an installation in an art gallery.

    Yes, I’m serious. After the exhibit, you can sign them and auction them off for charity.

  • perky123

    2010/03/02 at 11:03 am

    is it weird that im just ever so curious as to how you got a BEFORE picture of the bowl? haha im weird i know 🙁

  • Jangogh

    2010/03/02 at 11:03 am

    Pre-cooked bacon is SOOOO much easier.

  • kymmi

    2010/03/02 at 11:05 am

    ATXGirl – Biscuits on Fire is a great band name. Or title of a memoir. I’m going to have to steal that one.

  • SOLO dot MOM

    2010/03/02 at 11:05 am

    Great info. I will store this somewhere in my brain for the future.

    I can say I probably would have done the same thing, though. Just the other day I noticed a pot of gravy boiling over while I was frying eggs, making biscuits, and etc…. so I picked it up and set it on my breakfast table… so that it could then melt the veneer off in the process… who knew!?

    Why can’t they make kitchens and their utensils a little more fool proof for those of us moms who are trying to spin so many plates at once… we get a little distracted in the process that goes on in there.

  • tmehraban

    2010/03/02 at 11:08 am

    just a suggestion for next time – save an empty soup/beans/whatever tin can and put it under the sink for the next time you need a container for bacon grease. I promise it will be able to take the beating.

  • Tiggerlane

    2010/03/02 at 11:13 am

    Okay, as a former high school Valedictorian myself, I would CERTAINLY think that “microwave” or “dishwasher” safe means that bacon grease is perfectly acceptable! I mean, have you ever touched a glass right after the dishwasher has finished? And I know people who actually COOK bacon in the microwave. SO…if you had cooked the bacon in the bowl, in the microwave, would it have been okay?

    I’m vacillating between wondering if a slower rise in temperature would have kept the bowl from melting – or if you have been a victim of consumer fraud!

    Then again, I’m married to a Southern man who believes bacon grease should be stored, kept in the refrigerator in a jar and REUSED….so, yeah, shutting up now.

  • ginaious

    2010/03/02 at 11:15 am

    I LOL’ed for real – out loud. I totally feel your pain.

  • 3xx1xy

    2010/03/02 at 11:17 am

    Oh Holy Hell!

  • apostate

    2010/03/02 at 11:23 am

    Bacon grease in an IKEA bowl? LOL. That’s something my mother would do.
    Actually, about 20 years ago our family got new carpet and right after it was installed, my mom noticed a small dark dirt spot on it. So she ran to the kitchen, saw a tiny orange tupperware dish and assumed that of course it must be water inside, and poured a bit on the carpet to wipe the dirt out. Turns out it was bacon grease. Somehow it didn’t melt the tupperware bowl, though.

    Don’t feel bad. Look at this as a “bowl half full” scenario. Now you have an excuse to get yourself down to IKEA, grab a replacement set, and have some meatballs. You know you want to. I know it’s your favorite place.

    At least they’re cheap.

  • JelliDonut

    2010/03/02 at 11:22 am

    Dang, my husband thinks you’re accident prone. For once, I agree with him. Maybe you should get Jon to build you one of those giant hamster balls. You might be safe in there. I think bacon grease is the least of your problems. I hope the rest of your bones are safe. Heal fast.

  • Mama Ark

    2010/03/02 at 11:24 am

    If you do cook a lot of bacon I completely recommend the old can trick. Pour your bacon grease in a soup, bean, tomatoe can – whatever you’ve got – and store it in the freezer. Less smelly and not accessible to babies and dogs, even by accident.

    Oh, and even those of us who fancy ourselves as cooks do stupid stuff in the kitchen. We once decided to baste our roasting chicken with a cold beer. Hot pyrex pan and cold beer = shattering and no more roast chicken.

  • mommy gourmet

    2010/03/02 at 11:24 am

    Okay, now I really want you to try putting the other bowl in the microwave and see what happens??

  • Vander

    2010/03/02 at 11:34 am

    Perky123, I think she has two of the same bowl. 🙂

    I have guests coming this weekend who love bacon. We don’t usually eat it, but I will make it for the sister’s new boyfriend because I am that kind of hostess.

    But now I’m scared.

  • websavvymom

    2010/03/02 at 11:34 am

    –>I have those same bowls from Ikea. Next time, drink a beer and then use the can to pour the grease in it. Who cares if it’s still breakfast?

  • aadrolet

    2010/03/02 at 11:36 am

    the correct answer is coffee mug. that is where to pour hot bacon grease 🙂 just don’t forget about it, or you end up w/ a coffee mug full of solidified bacon grease, and that’s pretty darn gross and hard to clean out.

  • Hagan Squared

    2010/03/02 at 11:37 am

    Dude that is awesome. I had the same “NO. STOP. DON’T” moment last night. I got home from the gym and figured I’d make a smoothie to hold me over until I made dinner. I have a smoothie maker blender thingie that has a dispenser spout attached to the blender jug. I put in the frozen fruit and yogurt and started pouring in the fruit juice. I didn’t realize that the dispenser was in the up or “dispense” position. Fruit juice poured out of it all over the counter, down my cabinets, all over the floor as I stood there yelling “NO! STOP!!!!” I finally flipped the lever down. Ugh.

  • HeatherG

    2010/03/02 at 11:39 am

    Don’t be a microwave class hater. When we bought our first microwave, very early 80’s-we took the class they offered too. It was at Maison Blanche. Ahh memories.

    Good to know the IKEA! bowls can’t stand up the grease. And I do pour the grease down the drain. Oops!

  • BexBrown

    2010/03/02 at 11:39 am

    Am I the only one here who pours grease down the toilet? The pipes are already gross and much wider. It’s also cool to make sound effects while you are doing it.

  • B Dot

    2010/03/02 at 11:41 am

    You should take pride you didn’t use a Pyrex dish on your stove top to melt velveeta cheese. YES MOM I’LL CLEAN IT UP. YES MOM I SUCK IN THE KITCHEN. YES MOM, JUST CAUSE IT IS A DISH BIG ENOUGH FOR CHEESE DIP- IT DOESN’T GO ON OUR NEW STOVE TOP. check and check. and check.

  • Issa

    2010/03/02 at 11:43 am

    I haven’t laughed this hard in weeks. So for that? I thank you. Truly. It would only have been improved by a video.

    Bacon grease, I leave in the pan until it cools and then I put paper towels in the pan to soak it up. My mom taught me that. It may be the one cooking skill I always remember.

  • Shana in Texas

    2010/03/02 at 11:46 am

    I want to know why you were cooking only 7 pieces of bacon??? The math doesn’t work for me ’cause in my family that is a per person number not per family.

  • melynir

    2010/03/02 at 11:48 am

    Next time, girl, just use an aluminum can. I keep one under the sink until it’s full and then the whole works goes in the garbage.

  • karenarens

    2010/03/02 at 11:51 am

    That is so cool! Look at what you did to that bowl. Nice work.

    Hint From Becky Home-Ecky (thanks to my college roommate for this one): Take a sheet of tin foil, fold it in half, mold it around tumbler. Voila – instant disposable bacon grease collector.

  • Janice

    2010/03/02 at 11:53 am

    I can relate to the broken stuff. Over the past couple years I have broken my right ankle and right hand (in the same fall), three toes (on separate occasions) and in a grand finale, slipped in the doorway of the bathroom ending up smacking my head on the tub (again from the doorway) rendering myself unconscious, fracturing my orbital bone and giving myself a nice concussion along with a stellar black eye. I live alone so I don’t know how long I was unconscious because once I woke up it took two freakin’ hours to crawl to the bedroom fully supported by my dog who kept brought her ball along in case I wanted to play fetch while I was lying there.

    Someone told me that turquoise is a crystal that helps falls from happening. I don’t know if it’s true but I wear something turquoise now daily, especially in the bathroom because I am now askeerd of my bathtub.

    Just offering the suggestion…. more stylish than the football helmet…

1 2 3

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more