Friday, November 03, 2006

Heston Blumenthal's Guide to Living


An Occasional Series, this week: How to Open a Door.

We take them for granted. Every day we walk through several and many we don't notice because some forms of the door are mounted open. I've even got a few at The Fat Duck that work either way. For everyday doors if you want to pass through them it's important you don't disturb the structure of the doorways by closing them first. In this section though we're going to examine the closed versions. Was there an easier way to open a door?

We used a screwdriver to remove the hinges. You can get these from specialist shops and don't forget to wear the proper clothes to avoid contaminating the other door parts. We took them back to the kitchen lab where we dismantled them after soaking them for half an hour in a 4:1 mixture of warm extravecchio balsamic vinegar and washing-up liquid. We found that remaking the hinges and remounting them on the door did not seriously affect the function of the doorway.

Next the handle. There are many types. Simon, one of my assistants in the lab found that ignoring the handle made opening the door difficult so we decided to examine in detail its function. We discovered that some turn a latch mechanism, others just facilitate pulling and pushing the door itself. The handle is often of a different material to the door and we conducted various tests on any chemical reactions between the two that might affect the process of opening. Removing the handle and any associated latch mechanism meant the door would swing freely. Was this the solution we were looking for? No, it meant the door would never fully close again. Heating the handle in an autoclave also had no discernible affect.

Finally, after two days exhaustive testing we concluded that there wasn't an easier way to open a door than to approach it, grasp the handle with either hand and either push, pull or twist until you can walk from one area to the other.

Next week I'll be looking at How To Go To The Lavatory.


5 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

Hang on, the door's wide open now. Perhaps if we mixed a small block of nitroglycerine (use plenty of dry ice to keep it cool) and put that behind it, then the door would shut itself after we've opened it.

Don't try this at home.

Or any of his cooking styles.

Having said that, the sausage and mash did look tasty.

8:07 am  
Anonymous richard said...

Dave, it was the treacle tart. All that poncing around trying to get the right filling and in the end he decided that Lyle's Golden Syrup was the one and only. Like millions of mums have done for the past goodness knows how many years (but he didn't put crunched up Kellog's Cornflakes on his though like my Mum used to).

11:55 am  
Blogger krusty the baker said...

He doesn't go to the lavatory 'cause he prefers to be full of shit.

3:13 pm  
Blogger The Murphmeister said...

The man's a genius! Snail Porridge?! Heston Services?! Need I say more?

8:43 pm  
Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

And with the shaved head and glasses, he looks like a Bond villain:

'So Mr Bond, we meet again. Let me offer you some bacon and eggs...


...ice-cream. Mwahahah.'

11:55 am  

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