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“Ask Amber” – Insights into the non-domestic world

My domestic prowess has been put into question lately. Even though I will not go anywhere near a sewing machine or ironing board, I excel in the kitchen.


Ask Amber How to Burn Noodles

I am glad you asked this question because it is very rare that one is able to accomplish such a feat using only spaghetti noodles and water.

The process: have a dinner party with only 15 minutes to cook four large packages of noodles. Grab a large sauce pan, fill with water, heat to boiling and then cram all the noodles inside the pan. Leave the noodles to hurriedly prepare your family for the party. Make sure not to stir them even once. Return 10 minutes later to find the noodles clumped together, stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Voila, burnt noodles!

Editor’s Note: Also make sure you leave the pan soaking in the sink for a minimum of two weeks, hoping the stubborn spots will mysteriously disappear. Or just secretly hope your husband will take care of it.

Editor’s Note No. 2: He won’t.

Ask Amber How to Destroy Your Ice Maker

This one is tricky and the key is not to learn from your mistakes the first time. Ensure you have some kind of event for which you will need quick access to something on top of the refrigerator. Our event was Halloween and our “somethings” were black nail polish and lipstick for my daughter’s witch costume.

Make sure you are too lazy to return the somethings to their correct home after the event. Then, when the lipstick falls off the fridge into the ice machine and comes out in cute little back cubes, ensure your in-laws are visiting so as to showcase your domesticity. Or stupidity. You decide.

Do not learn from this mistake. Mourn the demise of the lipstick but keep the nail polish on top of the fridge and wait for its inevitable demise. Because it will happen. And when it does, your Spidey senses will be tingling just like the magnanimous black goop that infiltrated everything in Spider-Man 3.

Editor’s note: I know this is “Ask Amber” but now I am asking you how to get the nail polish off? I just hope this does not destroy my street cred….

Ask Amber How to Keep Your Fridge Smelling Clean

Me: The fridge smells really bad. I think I’ll get one of those Arm & Hammer boxes next time I’m at the store.

Hubby: Y’know, you could try cleaning it.

[Long pause of consideration]

Me: Naw. I think I’ll just stick to the baking soda, thanks.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.


  1. I was actually familiar with the noodle process AND the fridge solution…but the icemaker trick was new to me. Well done!


  2. You made me laugh out loud at 6:30am. Now that is talent! You’re writing is what you are most excellent at. I want to be like you when I grow up.

  3. WOW I do the same things!!!! More with burnt everything…I blame the pans and then clean them badly as punishment.

  4. Lmbo… this is great advice Amber!

  5. You must have been a hit for Halloween with black speckled ice cubes! Cool!

  6. How many days before the ice started coming out speckled? Too funny! BTW, your timing is impeccable on all of these, I see.

  7. That reminds me that I need to clean my fridge.

    I suppose I can wait. We’re moving out in 2 months, I’ll clean it then. lol!

  8. I’ve burned noodles before… I’ve also set water to boil and forgotten about it. Scorched my pot… nice, eh?

  9. You are so funny! I was hosting a baby shower at my house once and unknowingly spilled coffee grounds in the ice making it look very gross. I kept wondering why no one was using any ice.

  10. I will have to follow this helpful post 😉

    My mother in law is coming and I need to pretend to keep a wonderful, domestic wonderland for her son and her grandsons…instead of the squalor that we usually live in

  11. Ok, you want to know how to rid the sauce pan of those nasty burnt spots…

    throw it out and buy a new on and voila! black spots gone!

  12. Nail polish remover? Sorry not to be of more help. But thanks for the funnies!

  13. and thats why we don’t eat pasta ’round these parts. hehe (ok ok it’s b/c pasta is GROSS)

    yeah i need to clean my fridge as well …. hmmm do it together???

  14. I cleaned the refrigerator last January right before the repair guy got there. It was done completely out of fear that we’d lose custody of the fridge for our neglectful treatment of it.

  15. Today is not one of those days when I rave about my fabulous kitchen abilities. We ate cereal for dinner after I burnt my first attempt at making dinner and made a very nasty soup with my second attempt.

    Oh, and I broke off the little lever that tells the ice machine when to stop making ice because I had rammed a carton of ice cream into it. Now we have ice spewing out of our freezer every time we open it.

  16. Bwa ha ha ha! I’m famous for underestimating the time it takes for water to boil and past to cook. too.

    Thanks for the laughs!

  17. I love it!!! hahahaha
    I’m so with you girl!
    My hubby does all the cooking 🙂
    Great post!
    Diana Joy

  18. LOL–I love it. Next week can you tell us how to turn laundry pink?

  19. I did the exact same trick with spaghetti noodles this week (only not with four packages, just one)….and I’ve NEVER done anything THAT stupid before….except for pouring 10# of raw jasmine rice down the garbage disposal so that I wouldn’t have to fill a garbage bag (six hours later the plumber had replaced it and admitted that it was the best-smelling job he’d had to deal with)…oh, and I cooked rice for about 55 mins. in a college roommate’s pot one time (you can’t repeat that again in the same pot). Amber, you and I are so much alike! It must be the “creative” energy we exude. I’m looking forward to your next kitchen lesson (although if I do the same thing again then I’ll know we’re both jinxed)!

  20. I just did the same thing with my spaghetti noodles. Only I was only cooking for 7… and all are in the immediate family. So we just got to eat clumpy noodles (but the others didn’t seem to notice… or just didn’t voice it!). And I, too, got to get the burned ones off the bottom of the pan!

  21. hey amber,

    i can relate. i hate hate hate cooking, but hubby loves it, so it works well for us except when he tries to con … talk me into helping him. i burned rice lately realllly bad. the pan sat soaking in water for days but nobody magically took care of it either. did i tell you i hate cooking? he he. i would rather clean the toilet than cook. i would rather stick things under my fingernails than cook. he he.

    happy Sabbath silly girl,
    kathleen xoxo

  22. Ask Joy how to burn hard boiled eggs…
    Fill pot with water and one dozen eggs. Put burner on High and go downstairs to watch TLC. After one hour, hit the mute button because you sware you hear some strange popping sound from upstairs. Ignore it. Hit mute again in 5 minutes cause you heard it again only louder and with more frequent popping. Realize your eggs are mostly black exploding all over the kitchen! WOW!

  23. So glad to know I’m not alone. 🙂

  24. Oh man, I’ve done the ice maker thing before with food coloring containers! Who knew the ice machine could even break up the plastic. I thought red ice was kinda weird. I’ve done the burnt noodles thing before too. I’ve also burnt steamed carrots. THAT is a terrible smell. My new thing is burning stuff in the crock pot so bad, my husband has to scrape the charred food out with a screwdriver (flat head works best) because nothing else is strong enough! Yeah, I feel ya!

  25. Hysterical, Amber. It’s great to know there are other REAL moms out there who don’t do everything perfectly. 😀

  26. Delightful, Amber! Thanks for the smiles and giggles.

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