Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I Prefer A Nine Iron
I have never considered myself the homemaker type. The few memories I have of "cooking" when I was younger involve heating cans of Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup and toasting bagel bites. When I moved into my first apartment, my roommate, conveniently, was a foodie and a cook. That was when I was exposed to such things as crepe pans, udon noodles, stir fry and sushi (OK, I know you don't cook sushi, but you get the idea. I learned that there was, gastronomically, more to life than Campbell's soup).
Years later, the first time I wanted to cook for my then-boyfriend-now-husband, I called my mom. What's a good way to cook chicken pieces? What kind of seasoning and how much? What temperature and for how long? Noodles or rice? I figured I just had to get past this first hurdle and then my (also conveniently) foodie boyfriend would teach me the finer points of cooking.
Much to my children's chagrin, this has yet to happen. Now that I am the at-home parent, I cook most of the meals. And I use the term 'cook' loosely. Today, for example, I decided to give our brand new waffle iron a try. Its non-stick, one-dial construction made it very non-threatening and the kids were hungry, so I was psyched to be breakfast hero on a snow day. Mix Bisquick batter. Check. Read manual. Check. Pour batter. Check. Close waffle iron. Uh oh.
First came the oozing: batter ran down the sides of the waffle iron and all over the counter. Mental note: pour less batter. Next came the smoke. Well, not really smoke; in retrospect, I realize it was steam, but there was a lot of it. Even the dog seemed to be panicking. I decided to wait it out and hope for the best.
After a few minutes, the iron's little light went off, indicating the waffles were done. Open waffle iron (or try). That was my first warning that something was still wrong. Lo and behold, batter stuck to the top of the iron grill, batter stuck to the bottom of the grill, lots of fluffy stuff remained in between. Sigh.
As the kids reached for the cereal boxes and I scraped stuck waffle remnants from the grill, I told them not to be so hasty, and offered to make pancakes instead. They were sweet and forgiving--more so than usual--and gave me another chance. For round two I put cooking oil on the grill first, and used less batter. Suffice it to say everyone got waffles before lunchtime.
This whole incident actually comes as no surprise to my family, as they still enjoy reminding me about the time I broiled a cake, having set the oven for "broil" instead of "bake" (hey, they both start with 'b'). The cake took twice as long as the instructions said it should, and was black on top, but once it was frosted, it tasted fine. I wrote and thanked the company for their idiot-proof product.
OK, so I'm not Martha Stewart, that I'll concede. But give me a nine iron and I'll show you what I'm really worth. Just make sure you eat first.
Posted by Christine Adler