Every Mother's Day I make Eggs Benedict. I enjoy making it and generally do a better job than most restaurants. But doing it only once a year leaves me little practice and sometimes there are mistakes. Today was an impressive one.
Getting the timing right on the melted butter drizzling is critical and I put a stick of butter into a two cup measuring cup and did an initial melt and then left it in the microwave planning to hit it again just before I was ready to use it. Worked perfectly in my head.
Letting melted butter sit for a while results in what scientists call a state change, from liquid to solid. But just part of it became solid. So there was an unevenness in the system and apparently the part that was still liquid was in the center of the part that was solid so that turning on the microwave again created some expansion in the middle of a solid creating what is known in the scientific world as an explosion.
A butter explosion. Half a cup of butter left the measuring cup at a high rate of speed expanding in 360 degrees inside of the microwave. It really was impressive. I would have taken a picture but did not have my camera and there were eggs on the stove still.
Fortunately after a LOT of cleaning the microwave has been returned to respectability and I've had my science lesson for the week. I can hear Julia Childs laughing.