Don’t Stop the Presses: I have bested the muffin marks

I was covered in sawdust when I was finished, hands tired and back aching a bit.

But you know what? It made me feel pretty manly.

Yes, I recently put another checkmark on my man card by sanding and refinishing a kitchen table – a project I’d had no past experience doing.

I was doubtful of my ability to make it look respectable, but I’m pleased with the finished product.

It still looks like a table, there are no large chunks missing and it’s functioning as a kitchen table should.

It also now has that “rustic” look, which is great, or so I’ve been told.

I’ll just have to make a mental note to not mar the new finish on the table like I did with the varnish the table had on it when I purchased it.

Advice of note for today: things you put in the microwave get hot, real hot.

The microwave, and probably my inattention, to a certain extent, teamed up to take the finish right off the aforementioned table.

I nuked three cornbread muffins to accompany whatever my wife and I were eating for dinner a couple weeks ago and placed them atop the table.

When I lifted one of the muffins from the table and onto my plate, I noticed a round, white circle on the table where the muffin had been.

My mental reaction to this flub: “Wow, this is quite unfortunate (the rest of this reaction has been edited for content).”

I looked up at my wife after lifting up the next two muffins to confirm the same discoloration of the table had occurred and said, “Well, I was thinking of refinishing it, anyway.”

Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have refinished the table if it hadn’t been pockmarked by a trio of hot muffins.

It had some dings and dents after being moved a couple of times, which I could deal with, but the table looked just plain stupid with those marks on it.

Something needed to be done to remedy that problem.

Besides, friends and family would probably come over, see the marks and ask about them.

I’d then have to come up with some grand excuse as to why the marks were on the table, such as; “I left some muffins on the table and they spontaneously combusted. That’s the strangest thing, that spontaneous combustion.”

I didn’t think that excuse would fly with most astute people, so I spent most of a Saturday afternoon sanding and refinishing the table in my parents’ garage.

They slapped on a polyurethane coating and got it back to me the next day after it was dry.

Like I said, it now looks very nice. I take time to admire it every morning and I think to myself, “Dang, if I were a table I’d like to be one that pretty.”

I’m thinking of taking precautions so I don’t damage the newly refinished table.

To avoid future food blunders, I think I’ll be avoiding the microwave unless I’m supervised.

— Derrick Knutson is editor of the ECM Post Review

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