Let’s Talk with Debra H Goldstein

Once Again
by Debra H. Goldstein

I did it again. I don’t mean being the proud mama of the fourth Sarah Blair book, Four Cuts Too Many, which Kensington released on May 25. Nope, I managed to have another kitchen disaster. Only this time, I wasn’t the only one who knew about it. It was a neighborhood affair. You see, four of my neighbors, who were either sitting on their front porches or walking their dogs by the house when they heard the blaring of our fire alarm (made louder by my flinging open the front and back doors to help the smoke escape), rushed up the walk to see if we needed help getting out safely.

Luckily, we didn’t. In fact, we didn’t need to go anywhere because the house wasn’t on fire. Turns out, letting a steak char while distracted by a phone call isn’t a good idea when the fire alarm is close to the oven and the cook forgot to turn the fan on.

Seeing everyone’s faces, I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. What I did know is that the scenario with the neighbors and the screeching alarm would be perfect in a Sarah Blair book – after all she is a woman who finds being in the kitchen more frightening than murder.

Do you have any kitchen disaster stories to share? For a chance to win either an e- or print version of the hot off the press Four Cuts Too Many (U.S. only), leave a comment below telling me about your kitchen disaster.

Also, while you’re here, check out our new contest for June! One winner may select one book from our vault of prizes. Print books must go to US mailing addresses. The contest runs from June 1-18. Click here to enter.


  1. I dropped fried chicken and I burned popcorn the pan was really scorched!

  2. Cherie J says

    Mostly when I was first learning to cook. I remember the first time I made spaghetti sauce I added too much oregano. My mom was sweet about it and very encouraging so I ended up not feeling like I failed. Due to that I kept on trying and got better and better as I grew up.

  3. This month’s Debra H. Goldstein Let’s Talk winner is Carol Edwards.

  4. I’m sure we’ve set the smoke alarm off too, from burning toast to something smoking in the oven. Having mistakes in the kitchen goes along with being a cook.

  5. Leslie Budewitz says

    Oh, no! I have learned the hard way never to try to cook while I’m writing — even with the timer on it! I’m off in play land and never hear it. Congrats on the new release!

  6. Debra J Pruss says

    I am not remembering any kitchen disasters. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless you.

  7. I have had kitchen disasters aplenty, but the only thing that comes to mind right now is boiling a pot of dried beans and water until there were charcoaled beans left. Had to throw out the pot…

  8. Carol Edwards says

    Every time I make a certain type of hamburger on my stovetop off goes the smoke detector. I finally got to where I took it down when I was making them.

  9. I was a kid(teenager) but old enough to use the oven. I attempted to make an omelet for the very first time. Well let’s just say the omelet resulted in a real runny mess and was unedible and made a real mess of pan I making it in. To say the least the omelet ended up in the trash. My intentions for a cheese and ham omlet were good too. To bad the omelet didn’t turn out.
    So much for omelet making days but at least tried.

  10. Many years ago we redid our kitchen, and I bought a stove with two ovens. I was baking peach pies. To prevent messy spill-over, I placed foil on each rack under the pies in both ovens, two pies per oven. Who knew you weren’t supposed to do that? Not me. The result was the glass shattering all over two of the pies in one of the ovens. Luckily, the stove was still under warranty, which it probably wouldn’t have been had the appliance dealer known that I covered the racks with foil. However, I never mentioned it, because I didn’t realize I had caused the problem.

    • wild… I never knew foil could be a problem in an oven. I use throw-away pans all the time that are made of foil, but they don’t cover the burners or heating elements.

  11. Liz Boeger says

    Let’s just say that you can’t triple the number of chips in a chocolate chip cookie recipe and expect to get a normal cookie batter. Think bricks. Yeah, that’s what I was going for, a giant chocolate brick. Thank goodness, my husband prefers to be the family cook.

  12. dianestuckart says

    Mine has to do with a former next-door neighbor “A” and her little girl “S”, both of whom are awesome people but back then (20+ years ago) not good in a disaster. I was in my backyard when I heard “S” screaming for help. Of course, I ran next door to find that “A” had accidentally left a glass casserole dish on a lit burner on the stovetop. The dish had exploded, leaving shattered glass all over the floor and a small fire that was the remains of brownies burning away on the stove. While “A” and “S” jumped up and down shrieking, I grabbed a dish towel, wetted it at the sink, and ran barefooted through the glass to put out the fire. All ended well, and surprisingly I didn’t suffer a single cut! Too bad about the brownies, LOL!

  13. Brenda Ellis says

    A very sad story of a ruined and very large pot of expensive gumbo