Cooking with Steve

Funds for groceries are getting a little tight, so my girlfriend recommended I supplement my frozen Lean Cuisines with…what is the word for food that isn’t in your freezer or fridge?  I don’t even know, but she has stockpiled enough of these food type products to last us ten years.

The problem is that requires me to use the big white thingy in the kitchen.  I think they call it a stove.  My first attempt was oatmeal.  Not the oatmeal that comes out of a paper packet, requiring just a little water and one minute in the life support machine, also known as a microwave.  No, I’m talking real deal serious in your face steel cut Irish oatmeal.  The kind of oatmeal you wash down with whiskey and a pint of Guinness.

The directions read: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, slowly stir in 1 cup of steel cut oats, wait 5 minutes for oatmeal to thicken and then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  I’ve always struggled with the word “simmer”.  Simmer on what?  There are 9 numbers on the stove dial, can’t you just pick one?  Simmer on 3.  I could work with that.  But no, it’s just “simmer”.  That’s like giving someone the directions “Drive down that road for a while, then turn right.”  Simmer is cooking with no GPS.

I opted to simmer on 5.  Seemed like a good compromise between 9 and 1.  Unfortunately I was too slow pouring in the oats and my 4 cups of water had boiled down to 2.  Ten minutes into “simmering” I smelled something burning.  The water had boiled off completely leaving my oatmeal black on the bottom and undercooked on the top.  I still ate all of it over the course of the next three miserable mornings.

When I told my girlfriend what happened, she bit her tongue, took a deep breath and said, “You know you can add more water right?”  Seriously?  That’s genius!  It wasn’t long before I put this gem of wisdom to use.  Tonight’s dinner was Stove Top Stuffing.

Step 1: Boil 1.5 cups of water and a tablespoon of butter.  Check.

Step 2: Pour in contents of package and stir.  Check.

Step 3: After five minutes, fluff with a fork and serve.

It didn’t actually say to “simmer” but come on, I know the drill now.  Two minutes into simmering my stuffing there was a familiar smell.  The smell of burning non-frozen non refrigerated food product.  Again, the water had boiled off completely, but this time I was prepared.  I poured in another 1.5 cups of water to compensate.  I waited for the infused water to gradually cook off, leaving a pile light fluffy stuffing goodness.

This did not happen.  The end result was a paste like substance chemically bonded to charcoal.  I should have saved it for the next time I need to use my caulk gun.  Instead I ate it for dinner.  Quite filling actually.

When I told my girlfriend what happened, she was stunned.  “There’s only three steps!!”  She reviewed them with me.  Steps 1 and 2 checked out fine.  However I missed three little words on Step 3.  “Remove from heat.”  Ok so first I’m supposed to be psychic in determining how to simmer, and now I’m expected to read every word on the directions?  Sorry, but I think I’m going to reserve my cooking talents for Lean Cuisines in the life support machine.

Freakin simmer.

2 Responses to “Cooking with Steve”

  1. Yup its time for the blog to get rolling. I would never stock up on Lean Cusines especially if I need the Smart Ones. I do not want to see you ever eat bread stuffing from a box. There is no reason that that oatmeal sized amount should fill a small pot.

    The directions on stuffing are the same as Ramen noodles. There is no simmer, this kind of food has a life of its own and that’s why it turns into that ugly stuff.

    To make stuffing you get bread, I like to use a few different types of bread (pumpernickle, wheat, rye, white, marble rye, and with the way the economies going get the Kroger bread in the ugly package, its still good.) for the different flavors, color, texture, taste and smell. Yes it is that serious!

    Have you ever had stuffing with pancetta, red onion and apples before its amazing. What about, Bacon, Cranberries and Walnuts. I could keep on going for days but I won’t today.

    For the rest of the recipe, I would call my Mom at this point because I do not have recipes and I do not measure things. I am hoping that I will memorize these things like my Mom. I think its savory, celery salt, butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, and broth from the turkey or bought by the can.

    On a lighter note, did you know that you can take a large sheet pan and place your bread in the oven? Bake at around 350 degrees or whatever ” normal” you use to bake something, not like when your broil or slowly roast something. Just whatever your particular oven’s favorite or like setting is.

    Its amazing how much quicker it is to get all the bread toasted when you use the oven. Let the bread cool on baking racks. When bread is golden brown, toasted and cooled you are then ready to make large bread cubes.

    Stack about five pieces of cooled, toasted bread on top of eachother evenly. If you are like a little kid who doesn’t like the crust on their pb and j, now is the time to cut the edges of the bread of so you can breathe.

    Cut the bread into three long sections, (Length) and whole sliced bread stack together and cut four long, not as long as the 3 though. Then place in a huge mixing bowl or bowls ( for a large Italian mafia Thanksgiving.) I have never seen a small or medium bowl of stuffing so you might have to look this part up, Sorry!

    The Ingredients for Traditional Stuffing are as follows:
    Celery, Carrots, Onion- When making your Thanksgiving stuffing remember to take your time and do a good job. No one is going to be thankful that they ate at your house this year because you could not be bothered to take your time and make stuffing that your boyfriend looks forward to every year. Why is this? Food likes to be loved, it likes when you admire it so if you chop it finely do it finely for the whole thing. If you are dicing the celery why not dice your onion up too. What is most important any day of the week is that when you cook you put your heart into it.

    Stuffing without heart-
    -Mashed potatos with no butter or gravy

    -Biscuits with no butter

    -The ocean with no sand, the sea water with no color, waves, or nemo

    If you are willing to feed the people you love Stove Top on any day. You are showing them that they are not worth your time, effort, that you are out to satisfy your own needs only and really only your needs. The Healthy Choice is starting to sound good and it does have a heart on the box of dinner food with plastic glued on. Yeah stock up on Healthy Choice, there is about enough food for an anorexic to feel like they just ate Thanksgiving dinner. Why don’t you just by the Healthy Choice by the carton like cigarettes in a box like your inner, and white glued on plastic like your stocked freezer.

    I think its amazing how the little details in life can show about who a person TRULY is. People pretend to be better than what they are inside sometimes and its in the simple things that these people are caught red handed.

    So what kind of women would I be if I gave you parts of the recipe but not all of it. I would not be a whole women for you or the relationship. And we would have some of that nasty, soggy, ugly, heartless stuff you used to think you even wanted. But you let it tell you that you did. Why its all about the heart.

    IF YOU LEARN ONE THING ABOUT COOKING AND THANKSGIVING WITHOUT HEART IT TASTES, LOOKS, SMELLS and FEELS like a turkey with flesh and a cavity with no heart or soul.

    (Not like Stove Top-they are actual food products instead of items you cannot see let alone even find in a google search)

  2. Some of the details in this blog post changed. Do not worry about, if they could not be bothered and only told you to add water. Why add 1, 2, and 3 when there is no reason for 3. You do not have to worry about 3 anymore or burning Stove Stop ever again.

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