Monday, April 02, 2007

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho....

Well, my first day back to work in a week... I am work no more than 15-20 minutes and the phone rings. It's the boss. "This is David," I say, as I almost always do. "You sound like crap," the voice on the other starts the conversation. I explain the whole 'getting over being sick' thing, and then we discuss some business and I was back to work... Sparing you the gory details of using targeted audience settings for links displayed on a sharepoint site, I now fast-forward to lunch:

I decided to go to Taco Bell for lunch.. Well, no, actually I was going to Mickey-D's for a double cheeseburger, but the line was all the way out to the road. I don't have time to be sitting in line... Okay, I could have waited, but I thought the point of FAST food was... umm... the FAST part! So, I went to Wendy's next door and had two cars in front of me. The little white car that was two cars ahead of me was pulled back from the ordering box... The truck in front of me and I waited... and waited... and waited... I finally pulled out and went around them and left for Taco Bell.... When I get to TB, I say I want a "Number 8, beef soft tacos with Mountain Dew." The person says, "I have a #8, meat and cheese only and a Mt. Dew?" I said, "Well, not meat and cheese only. I want a number 8 soft tacos with BEEF" She says, "Okay, total is (whatever), pull around..."

I pull around and she hands me a cup. When I take it, I notice the stuff is DARK... At what point does MOUNTAIN DEW become DR. PEPPER!? I hand it back and say, "This was supposed to be Mt. Dew..." I should have checked my tacos, because, yes, they were soft and had beef, but... you guessed it - meat and cheese only... Maybe I'll just pack my own lunch from now on.... :-)


Speaking of lunch, I made supper this evening... One of the few things I can 'almost' make - spaghetti. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that I am not the only guy in the world who finds the whole notion of 'timing' to be foreign when it comes to cooking... Okay, really, the concept of cooking is nearly borderline to me, but I try... Anyway, Somewhere in big, neon flashing letters, I need a sign that says, "Hey, Doofus, Do NOT start to cook anything UNTIL you put the noodles *IN* the pot!" My aunt used to work for a sign company - wonder how much something like would cost... I digress... Because of my lack of coordination in the kitchen direction, I start to boil the water, heat the skillet, and pre-heat the oven all at the same time. Now, pre-heating the oven? Okay, that wasn't too bad (because I nearly forgot to put the bread in, so it worked out for me in the long run).

Here was my thinking: The hamburger meat was frozen, so i would have to thaw it (excuse me, defrost it) in the microwave. While doing that, I would be getting the water ready to boil and heating the skillet. Did I mention that I wasn't supposed to COOK the ground meat at all!? Why not, you ask? Well, you see, I had forgotten that we had MEATBALLS for the spaghetti! Look, just count yourself blessed that I'm not cooking for you... (Well, unless this is Shan reading, in which, count yourself blessed that you're still alive from my cooking to be ABLE to read this...) So, the meat is defrosting, the water is doing what watched water does best - NOT boiling any time soon, and oven is preheating and I decide to cut yet another corner... Basically, I'm cutting so many corners, I'm going in circles... :-) I get the corn out of the freezer (we like the Green Giant nibblet corn in butter sauce - like corn-off-the-cob, man!) and a bowl. while I have freezer open, I grab the Texas toast garlic bread, too. Put all of that on the counter and remember that the Pampered Chef stone-thingy is still in the blankety-blank oven. Did you know that pre-heating an oven does not take quite as long as one might think? So, after I make this discovery, I grab the pot holders and get the stone out.

Meat - just about defrosted, Water - not boiling, but at least there are bubbles... Wait, don't I need to put a pinch of salt in there to help it boil? Ah yes, chemistry class comes back to me, with all the thoughts of h20 and NaCL floating around in boiling harmony... Remove meat from nuker, dump into skillet... Scorch the tar right out of the meat. But, that is one of those thoughts that lingers in your head while you are preoccupied with getting the stupid bag of corn ripped open... Dump the corn in a microwave-safe dish, toss it in the nuker, hit the timer for 9 minutes (nine minutes requires no extra button-pushing, you see), grab a spatula, and start ripping the meat to shreds like Zorro in a curtain factory. Water... steaming, more bubbles, but no where near 'rapid' anything... It is now that I realize I may have put just a tad bit much water in that pot... Oh well, too late now...

At some point, the meat gets done just as the water is ready for the pasta.... Today, for some bizarre reason, I decide to break the pasta in half before dropping it into the pot. Now, I need a SECOND flashing neon sign that reads: "Hey, doofus, you might want to make sure the pasta ends are pressed into your palms so that they don't fall onto the floor!" Yeap, half the pasta in one hand falls to the floor (well, okay, about a quarter of it does... the other quarter of it in that hand falls on to the stove UNDER the pot, ON the heated coils!). Honestly, I don't remember much there for a bit... I was in some weird trance, picking up pasta from the floor and getting it from under the pot at the same time.. I'm pretty sure the Matrix was involved here...

Finally, the corn is ready (too soon because the pasta is still cooking), the meat is done, the bread is sitting on the counter on the cookie sheet, and the jar of sauce is sitting next to the cookie sheet... the cookie sheet of garlic bread! Holy cow! I throw the bread in the oven, pop open the sauce and pour the sauce on the meat. did you know that if you let spaghetti sauce cook on meat long enough at just the right temperature, it's a lot like making sloppy joes? I didn't until this evening.... I also remembered that the instructions on the box of bread said to TURN THE BREAD OVER after about 3 1/2 minutes.... Checking the timer, that was about 2 minutes ago! AUGH! Flip the bread, stir the noodles, add cracked pepper to the corn, stir the corn, stir the sloppy joes - er, uh meat sauce....

Finally, everything is ready... Well, except for the fact that I did not take the lace table-covering off the table for supper... Half-tempted to just let the kids eat out of the collander, I opt to prep the table, and we eat.... Or, rather, Ty and I eat while Em tells us every story she has ever known since the day she was born. I enjoy supper-time conversation, don't get me wrong, but when the ratio of stories told to bites taken is about 20-to-1, I gotta put an end to the talking... Naturally, this went over like a naked idiot riding in a barrel over Niagara Falls... And speaking of waterworks... LOL, just kidding - there were no tears... well, except for my own, which I shed after the whole thing was over - they were tears of joy and exhaustion... or maybe it was sweat running down my face... it's kinda hard to tell....

1 comment:

  1. Man, the mental picture that just painted...........HYS TER I CAL!!!

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