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Cooking with James

Step 1: Resolve that this year, you're going to make use of the Crock-Pot you purchased on a whim when you moved into your apartment four months ago and which hasn't been so much as plugged in since.

Step 2: Find some Crock-Pot recipes online. Pick one that looks easy:

Ham and Potato Casserole
4 red potatoes, sliced
2 red onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds cubed ham
1 can condensed cream of celery soup, diluted according to can directions
2 tablespoons flour

Combine all of this into a crock pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn it on low and walk away for eight hours. Add a quarter of a cup of water for every additional two hours you intend to cook it.

Step 3: Go shopping for the ingredients. While you're shopping, ask on Facebook for more recipes. Receive several recipes, all of which look more better than the one you're currently working on.

Step 4: Procrastinate messing with the strange machine for two more weeks.

Step 5: Resolve to defeat the sinister appliance at the end of your four-day weekend. It's time to start cooking!

Step 6: Find a YouTube video on "How to Chop Onions." Watch at least twice to make sure you've got it.

Step 7: Realize that you own an art cutting board, but not one designed for kitchen use. Substitute napkins instead.

Step 8: Hesitantly begin to chop away at the red menace. Decide within 90 seconds that Soothing YouTube Narrator Lady is a filthy liar and that tears, in fact, should be expected.

Step 9: Search the house for eye protection from onion fumes. Find a set of goggles designed to keep paint splatters out of the eyes and settle on them as "good enough".

Step 10: Finish chopping the onion. Open balcony door to replace stinging oniony air with freezing outside air.

Step 11: Resolve to check the cat's medication. Drag-racing up and down the hallway cannot possibly be a normal feline reaction to onion fumes.

Step 12: Prep the potatoes. Realize you do not own a potato peeler. Substitute a steak knife.

Step 13: Chop the potatoes. Midway through, consider moving to a two-dimensional continuum so you wouldn't have to chop the potatoes so many ways.

Step 14: Add soup, water, and flour to the mix.

Step 15: Having added the onions, the potatoes, and the soup, realize that you still need to add a pound and a half of ham and that your small Crock-Pot will not hold the entire recipe.

Step 16: Briefly despair. Resolve to MAKE it fit. Determined not to let this cooking project get the best of you, remove a quantity of chopped ingredients into a Tupperware container in order to make way for the ham, with the intention of cramming it back in later. Somehow.

Step 17: Chop a pound and a half of ham three different ways. Midway, return to the computer to check the weather in Flatland this time of year and the costs associated with traveling there.

Step 18: Realize that your Crock-Pot is too small for this endeavor by a factor of roughly 30%. Remove an equivalent quantity of ham to the amount of other ingredients you have set aside. Label this project "James' Special Blend."

Step 19: Having completed ingredient prep, plug in the Crock-Pot, set it on Low, and realize that the Playskool Junior Crockpot you purchased el cheapo at Wal-Mart has no reassuring telltale to inform you whether the device is working or not. Check that it's plugged in next to something that is working, refrigerate the leftover ingredients, and clean up the kitchen mess.

Step 20: Retire to bed for the evening.

Step 21: Take off the dorky eye-protection you donned in step 9. Retry previous step.

Step 22: Eight hours later, scoop some of the mixture onto a plate. Add shredded mozarella. Admire the intense, tangy taste.

Step 23: Spill your new concoction onto the front of your favorite bathrobe. Declare victory anyway.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
ha ha ha!
too funny.... you really should write for a living :-)
Jan. 19th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
Auuugh, I am so ridiculously sensitive to sliced onions. If anyone cuts within a room of me... teary itchy eyes. Uuuugh I hate it so much.

I will suffer through it for onion soup, though. Nom.
Jan. 19th, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
The fun part is that I bought a double batch of ingredients, so if I don't want to waste it I have to do all of this over again. :D
Jan. 25th, 2011 09:53 am (UTC)
The Men In Dark Suits Didn't Want Me To Know!
I think your victory is being suppressed by the Powers That Be. Why? My browser couldn't access LiveJournal for something like 3 days after you posted your crock pot chronicle.

Congratulations on your culinary triumph!
Jan. 25th, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
Re: The Men In Dark Suits Didn't Want Me To Know!
I'm not anonymous. We text!
Jan. 26th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
Re: The Men In Dark Suits Didn't Want Me To Know!
Ha, the Crock Pot Chronicles have only begun! (Nice choice of words--I'll have to remember that.)

"We text" isn't a perfectly unique descriptor, but your IP address at least gave me a country to work with, so I know who you are now. :-) (Speaking of men in dark suits... >.> ) Your tuna pasta recipe is still among my very favorite--its combination of good taste and ease of preparation are second to none. Thanks again for sending that to me, way back when!
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
Refrigerate your onions first and it's not so bad.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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