I’m a Dork in the Kitchen

As you learned in an earlier post, for the safety of human life and property, I really should stay out of the kitchen. But, alas, I cannot resist the occasional urge to try and cook something.

Several weeks ago, I was at a friend’s house. We made up sandwiches and they warmed them up in a toaster oven. I was amazed at how much better it tasted warmed up with the cheese melted…mmmmm. Last night I was home alone (perhaps a dangerous thing just by itself) and decided to duplicate this yummy concoction. We don’t have a toaster oven, so I thought a normal oven on broil would probably accomplish the same thing. I turned on the oven, then went over and slapped some turkey and cheddar on a couple of slices of bread. Then I placed it in the oven. I then took about 5 minutes to check out some of my favorite blogs. I mean, what else would I do right? When I opened up the oven, I found the bread on top burnt to a crisp. Then when I actually ate the sandwich, I found the meat on the bottom side still cold. Sheesh…I should have just stuck with an entirely cold sandwich. Oh well, The Wife brought home pizza and saved the day!

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The Sharing Table

In our break room, we have something called the Sharing Table. It’s really a pretty cool idea. If you have something you don’t want, but someone else might, you put it on the table. If you find something you want on the table, it’s yours for the taking.

People put all kinds of interesting thing on the table: free event tickets, coupons for local eateries, home garden overflow, paperback books, magazines, etc.

However, some people abuse it. We’re now seeing catalogs for Avon, Amway, Tupperware–you know, all the try-to-guilt-your-friends-and-family-into-buying-your-over-priced-crap home businesses. People are also leaving brochures inviting us to their various cry-me-a-river charities. I’ve got nothing against home business or charities–only the abuse of the Sharing Table concept. With the Sharing Table, it needs to be a tangible good that I can pick up and take with me.

However, I reserve my most intense ire for those that leave pizza leftovers there. What? How could I possible not like pizza? It’s because the only pizza that’s ever leftover is friggin’ vegetarian pizza! If you’re going to have leftover pizza and you’re going to leave it on the sharing table, have the common human decency to make sure there’s some meat-lover’s pizza also…mmmkay?

Cute Valentine’s Story

Okay, cute is not a word I like to have associated with anything I do, have, say, etc. I think there may even be a Man Club rule against using the word. Let’s face it, it’s a pretty girly word. But there may be an exception on Valentine’s Day.

This evening was extremely busy. The Younger Daughter had a horse riding lesson and the Older Daughter had a soccer game. Romantic Valentine’s, huh? But hey, that’s life and we roll with it.

On the way home, we picked up a couple of heart-shaped pizzas from Papa Murphy’s. When we got home, I tried to cook them. Yes, I had some issues as always, but got some assistance and pulled it off.

I placed the pizza on the table and we all started loading up our plates. The Wife slid a piece onto her plate, then I slide a piece onto mine. We looked down and noticed a strand a cheese still connecting our two slices between the two plates. We simultaneously said “Awwwww”. Any other day of the year we probably would not have given it a second thought. But on Valentine’s day, it was pretty cool. How appropriate. Not only are our hearts connected, so are our heart-shaped slices of pizza. Cuuuute!

Her Place Is in the Kitchen

No, no, no. I don’t really think that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I can tell you that it is definitely not this man’s place. I have had several interesting cooking incidents over the years–some funny and some that could have turned horribly tragic. So here are the top 3 reasons that I need to stay out of the kitchen.

I have burner knob dyslexia

I cannot for the life of me properly interpret the four little dots by the burner knob that are supposed to tell me which burner it corresponds to. It shouldn’t be rocket science, but after all these years I still have trouble with it. I first learned of this disability when I was probably about 10 years old. My dad asked me to heat some water so that he could make tea. I filled the pot with water, placed it on the stove, and twisted the knob to its highest setting. I then stepped out of the room for a few moments. When my dad and I returned to the kitchen, flames were shooting 3 feet into the air from a pan on another burner that had bacon grease in it. He grabbed the pan and took it outside to put it out. Thankfully, it had not been burning long enough to set the wall on fire. However, just another minute or two and it probably would have caught the house on fire.

I burn delivered food

One time when we were in the middle of a move, we ordered pizza delivery. When it arrived, I paid the guy and went to set the pizza down. However, since we wanted to finish loading up the moving van before dark, I was afraid the pizza would get cold. So, I placed the boxes in the oven and turned it on the very lowest setting. We finished loading up the moving van, then headed back in the house to have dinner. By the time we got in there, the boxes were starting to smolder and the smell or burning cardboard was terrible. Oh, and the second box didn’t have bread sticks like I thought–it had salads! Nothing better than a 150-degree salad served out of a partially-melted plastic container.

I can’t barbecue

A few days ago, The Wife called and said she was about 20 minutes from home. She asked me to fire up the grill and throw on a couple of steaks. A whined and whimpered in protest, insisting that it would be a disaster. But she insisted it would be fine–just put it on low heat to slow cook them. So I did it. I put the steaks on the grill then stepped back into the house. About 10 minutes later, I went out to check and everything was fine. I was gaining confidence. A few minutes before she was to arrive home, I went to check a final time. I opened the grill and flames were shooting up and completely enveloping one of the steaks. I hurriedly shut down the grill and pulled the steaks off. When I surveyed the damage, I saw that the one steak was completely burnt to a crisp on one side, but the other side was completely raw. The other steak (the one not consumed by the inferno), was still completely raw all the way through.

Gotta Love Public Educashun

Our family had dinner at Garbanzo’s (the best pizza in the Treasure Valley by the way) last week. While waiting for our pizza, we were going through one of those trivia question things that you often find on the tables in mom-and-pop restaurants. Things were going pretty well until we came to the question “What country is north of Idaho?” The Younger Daughter (4th grade) answered Alaska (hello, that’s a state, not a country); The Older Daughter (9th grade) had no clue. I was floored. I consider myself reasonably intelligent and thought that The Wife and I (and even the public schools) had done a good job of educating our kids. How could they not know that Canada is north of the United States?

To give them a chance to redeem themselves, I asked a follow-up question: “What country is south of Texas?” Crickets could be heard as I waited for an answer. Once again, they had no clue. How is this? What geography are the public schools teaching our kids if not such basics as what countries border the United States? I am now convinced that our country is doomed.