Beware the Experts!

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

Experts dont always know whats right for YOU

Or maybe I should say, beware of blindly following what the “experts” say. Or maybe, don’t let the experts do your thinking for you. Or trust your own judgment.

They all apply.  There’s a story behind this . . . and it involves those oven mitts.

When we first decided to head out cruising, I researched everything I could about what I needed for the galley.  And I took the experts’ comments to heart.  I dutifully wrote down everything I “had to have” and made up a shopping list.

I got some great and useful stuff.

I also got oven mitts.  They were good oven mitts, the type recommended by the experts.

I’m sure they could have protected me from a couple of minor burns as I took stuff out of the oven.  But they didn’t.

So, you’re asking, what can possibly go wrong with oven mitts?

Simple.  I’ve never used oven mitts in my life.  I pretty much hate wearing gloves.  I don’t use rubber gloves, sailing gloves, or gardening gloves.  I only reluctantly wear gloves in the winter when it’s just so cold that I HAVE to.  I dislike wearing gloves almost as much as I dislike wearing shoes.

And thus I never used those nice oven mitts.  I much prefer a regular potholder and that’s what I always reached for.

And that’s the point of this whole article — you have to temper any recommendations you get with what you know about what you like and how you operate.  People — yeah, such as me — can tell you what’s worked well for them, but that’s all. There aren’t any universal answers.

If I had stopped to think for a minute, I would have realized that I was highly unlikely to use those oven mitts.  I would have saved my money (okay, they weren’t expensive, but it all adds up) and the space.

The oven mitts aren’t the only thing that I ended up with because I failed to think for myself.  There’s also the double sink that experts said was far superior to a single bowl . . . that I couldn’t put a plate in on either side (read more about replacing it).  And probably a few other things that I’m forgetting.

Seeing what others have to say is good — I’ve learned tons this way over the years and many experts made me think about things I wouldn’t have otherwise.  But I’ve learned not to just blindly follow suggestions without thinking if their reasons apply to me.

Bottom line:  Don’t just blindly accept what I — or anyone else — says.  Your galley (and everything else in your life) has to be right for you.  I’m not an expert on what you need or how you should do things in your galley. Really. You are.

You might even consider oven mitts to be one of the best things you have in your galley!

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  1. laura dwan says:

    Thank you. I too hate shoes and gloves. So what shoes and gloves do YOU find that you do need and wear when cruising?

    • No gloves at all. Barefoot as much as possible (basically always on the boat) and a pair of Keen sandals. Keen’s are wonderful — they have several models that are designed for wading and hiking. You’ll see TONS of cruisers wearing them. I had one pair of sneakers and one pair of “better” shoes, and maybe wore each once or twice a year! We took our sailing boots but literally never wore them in six years.

      But note on my shoe choice — we were in the tropics 100% of the time!

  2. I used a kitchen towel to take the beans out of the oven tonight…I wish I had your mits 🙂

  3. I’d have been happy to give them to you! 😉

  4. Nicola Kamper says:

    I bought 3 silicone pads to use on the boat. *Love* them! They are hot pads, trivets, and non-skid, all in one! They have a honeycomb design and I have 3 festive colors. They serve multiple purposes and can even be used for padding between other dishes! I also hate wearing “stuff”….shoes, hats, gloves, glasses…

  5. Peggy D. says:

    That’s too funny, I have flat potholders onboard & hate them with a passion — paranoid about them slipping & getting burned, give me my nice shoreside oven mitts that stay on my hands like they’re supposed to! I suspect I’ll be sewing some non-cotton, non-mildew-prone oven mitts for the galley this winter.

    All goes to show, you have to temper everyone else’s wisdom with your own sense of what works for you.

  6. Of course, “expert” is defined as, “X = has-been and

  7. “Spurt” = a little drip under pressure 😉

  8. There’s a huge difference between an expert and a Guru! The Boat Galley has been my Galley Guru without fail for years!

  9. Well said

  10. I found these silicone out holders shaped like a thin, short hot dog and I love them. Then can be flattened to use as a trivet, but are perfect for getting things out of galley oven. Got them at Walmart… They are supposed to be used to wrap around the handle of an iron skillet! They have nubs on one side and ridges on other and fold easily… A hole in end to hang

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