The Salad Dressing Equivalent.

There is a little know principle in applied physics.  It’s called The Salad Dressing Equivalent:

When a fixed measurement of a suspension, i.e., an oil-based, sugar-based, or lactose-based suspension, is spilled on a hard-wood or tile floor its volume  increases by a factor of ten.

It’s like, uh, evil magic.

(There is another principle which I won’t get into right now, The Raw Egg Certainty - If a raw egg is dropped, it will always break on an uneven surface, thereby quadrupling the amount of energy and time required for cleanup.  E=Cleaning Power x 4.)

Last night I made steamed artichokes (frost-kissed=the most flavorful), slow-cooked braised beef short ribs, cracked garlic potatoes and brussel sprouts.  I always serve artichokes with an olive oil-herb balsamic vinaigrette.

As I carried the vinaigrette to the table I noticed my husband had left his large, heavy, expensive laptop sitting, open, on a place mat in the middle of the table.  Big no-no.  I knew I would have to move it in order to protect it from spillage.

As I approached the table, a small bowl of vinaigrette in one hand – approximately one-quarter cup of vinaigrette – I tripped on one of Jake’s toys.

The bowl of vinaigrette went flying at a high rate of speed, heading directly for the laptop.  Heedless of my own safety, I threw myself toward the table, dove for the laptop, sacrificing my body, my expensive new black skinny jeans and brand spanking new hiking boots, all for the sake of my husband’s laptop.

I managed to hold the laptop over my head as I slid across the oil-slicked floor, banging my hip into the table, my butt into the chair.  But I saved the laptop from complete and utter ruination.

My floor, my table, one of my chairs, my jeans and my new hiking boots were not so lucky.

It is because of The Salad Dressing Equivalent that one-quarter cup of balsamic vinaigrette can spread across an entire kitchen floor, coat a table, a chair, a new pair of skinny jeans and two brand new- virgin- hiking boots.  It is the reason I spent an hour on my hands and knees scrubbing.

This much vinaigrette =

This much vinaigrette =

This much spillage.

This much spillage.








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20 Responses to The Salad Dressing Equivalent.

  1. Amber Skyze says:

    Oh crap! I hope you’re okay after that spill.

  2. Tom Stronach says:

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! And you are so right dressing goes everywhere mind you in our house there is know chance of Ishbel spilling on my laptop as she has finally got her way and I have moved the irritating ‘piece of junk’ from it’s usual position on the table to a nook under the stairs, where I get banished to…..

    Hope the hip is okay and Oh your poor little butt, massage, massage Oh shot terminal 5 is a sleeping hut today, not meant to be then xxx

  3. Last year I broke a bottle of olive oil on the kitchen counter. I think the oil family is just hateful; possibly with good reason, after all it’s been pressed into service. Nyuk, nyuk.
    Think about it. In addition to having the ability to expand in volume in the fashion you describe, it can also make us gain weight, causes stains and, well, I’m sure there is more in its arsenal of evil.

  4. Penelope says:

    Heeeeeee! I’m sorry. But I’m laughing.

    I’m making a vodoo doll of Jake’s toy, the salad dressing, and the computer for good measure.

    I sure hope you had a good dinner after all that!


  5. Casey Wyatt says:

    Oohhh no!! I’m sorry that happened. But it is really, really funny.

  6. Tom… snow? Seriously? I have to look! Yes, salad dressing goes everywhere. It’s like that Dr. Seuss book – The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two.

  7. I’m fine, Amber, but I suspect I’ll find vinaigrette stuck in weird places for months!

  8. Steph – :) However, olive oil is very heart healthy. Probably oiled your counter up good!

  9. We did, Penny, but the floor was so slippery! Had to wash it several times with detergent and very hot water. And yes, it was quite funny and would have been more funny if it had happened to someone else while I was watching.

  10. Thanks, Casey. A pretty typical day around here… :P

  11. yoshi says:

    There are several weird and wonderful physical principles at play in the kitchen. Here is a partial list:
    1. Buttered toast when dropped will always land butter side down.
    2. Anything dropped on the kitchen floor will have dog hair stuck to it, even if you don’t have a dog.
    3. The phone will always ring when you put something into the oven that absolutely, positively must not overcook.
    4. The time it takes for water to boil is directly proportional to how late you are.

  12. Yoshi – you win comment of the year! I bow to your vastly superior knowledge of physics. Hats off!

  13. Great blog and we’ve all learned something today from Yoshi. LOL Hope you’re not too sore, but I’ve heard warm olive oil make a terrific massage oil and balsamic vinegar soothes bruises.

  14. Ha! I’m fine, Stephanie. Just irritated that I did it. But I saved the computer! Yeah, Yoshi is a true genius!

  15. The lengths some people will go to, to break in their new hiking boots. Oh, and I need to know – how was Jake’s toy?

  16. Yes, Greta. Here I was trying to keep them all clean in case I decided to return them… Fortunately I like ‘em a lot. Jake’s toy is just peachy! He leaves his toys all over the house. Even on the stairs.

  17. Sandra Cox says:

    Your hubby owes you big time.
    Sorry you had to deal with that but it made for a great post:)

  18. He does, doesn’t he? Always something, Sandra. ;)

  19. Yikes! At least you made a catastrophe into an entertaining story for the rest of us. Your sacrifice shall not be forgotten! ;p

  20. Thanks for dropping by, Andi-Roo. Yes, life is interesting around here.