In college, I used to sit and watch my pasta boil and constantly blow on the hot pot to prevent a boil over.
Stef probably watched and laughed at me 50 times before she finally got out a wooden spoon and stretched it across the pot so I could be more productive while my pasta cooked. It was a trick she had learned from her mom.
As time went on, I learned to do this to any pot of boiling pasta water when I wasn’t near it. It truly works! Lay a wooden spoon over that pot and it will refuse to boil over.
Of course, I did some Googling (because researching is soo 20th century!) and found that there was a type of science to this trick. It’s not just an old wives tale! *Note: However, the old wifey adage that says if you step on a crack you break your mother’s back IS just a wive’s tale. Promise.
So we all know wood is a horrible heat conductor (we do all know that, right?). When you place a wooden utensil over a hot pot of boiling pasta water, the hot water tends to shy away from the cool object. In addition, the spoon breaks up the bubbles once they get to the top thereby preventing a boil over. Read more here.
So next time you’re boiling water and would not like to lose 12 minutes of your life, put a spoon on it!
Oh, and the next time you want to call something art, put a bird on it: