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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In the kitchen with Moron

I've posted many, many times my love for cooking and as a matter of fact I can smell the aroma of brownies filling the house as I type...mood music! Before I actually had somewhat of a clue in the kitchen I made some horrific mistakes and still cause my family to cringe at the thought of them. Hey what can I say...I'm a Moron. So...here I share two tales from my vast collection of cooking disasters created in the kitchen's of my youth.


Grilled Cheese briquette anyone?

I really like grilled cheese sandwiches when I was a kid. My favorite thing to do with grilled cheese was try to get all the melted cheese out of the sandwich then devour the cheesy, toasty, buttery bread...mmmm. Etta Caywood always made fried bologna and cheese sandwiches, not my favorite. I'll have to post an Etta's kitchen story soon, before I forget--it's a humdinger. The coldest possible glass of milk had to be on hand and guzzled, I guzzle my milk and do not slowly sip because it gets tepid too quick.


Mom and I were at Grandmother's house, which in and of itself was just amazing, I think because Mom was getting some sewing help from Grandma. Again, it's such a bizarre thing for this event, I might have just blocked the whole memory out...except for what was about to happen. I have to check the brownies...they smell done. Sure enough...where was I--oh yes. I was really hungry and asked Mom when we would be leaving because I was hungry. It took a lot of nerve to get me off the couch and into the "other" room as I wasn't' really allowed in parts of Grandmother's house other than the sofa or outside.


"Mom...when are we leaving? I'm starving." "You're hungry? Well you just ate dinner didn't you?" "Yes Ma'am we did but I'm still hungry." "Well you can go make yourself a cheese sandwich--don't make a mess!" Grandmother had allowed me into the kitchen! Allowed me into the fridge...the wardrobe had opened and I was surely stepping into Narnia. It was the only time I ever, ever felt free at her house.


I got the bread, margarine, cheese, knife, spatula, and cast iron square griddle out for my culinary adventure. Keep in mind that I'm around 9-12 here, Poppa was dead and he died when I 8, so it was for sure after that, and had no clue about making a grilled cheese sandwich. I thought I had all of the principles of grilled cooking down, but oh how wrong I was.


1. Turn on gas stove to full throttle, NASA hot.

2. Place skillet on stove to get smokin hot.

3. Butter bread with cold margarine which tears holes in bread.

4. Waft smoke from smokin hot griddle and slap on said holy bread.

5. Stand amazed at the amount of smoke created by this simple step.

6. Place cheese on bread as it is emitting a rather choking black smoke.

Dilemma...how does the cheese melt? It must melt on the skillet.

7. Use spatula to scrape black bread from skillet and flip over onto skillet allowing cheese to make contact.

8. Note: Cheese when burning at a high rate will actually flame up. When that happens scream!


"HELP! HELP! FIRE!" "What in God's name...!" Grandmother and mother were both in the kitchen which had a dense Jersey like fog hanging over it and quickly sprang into action. "Son...what were you thinking?" Holding back the tears...it was shear terror I assure you. "I was just hungry and didn't know how to melt the cheese" Grandmother wasn't happy at all and let me know it. While everyone else in the family can laugh about it (I'm snickering right now) I don't think Grandmother has yet to laugh about it. I never did get to eat.


Paul Prudhomme...you are safe!

About 1985 or 6 I was enamoured with Creole cooking especially blackening. Blackened chicken was everywhere! Paul Prudhomme was the quintessential Creole cook and lead, I think he might have even invented, in teaching the world about blackening. I was all for it, until I learned that it is hot...really hot and i don't do hot--at all.


I pulled dinner duty usually and tired to shake things up a bit when i cooked, wanting to try different things and not just have the same old same old. One particular night...sis was gone and Mom was working late which left Dad and me home alone. I couldn't talk Dad into a pizza or anything else outside of our house and offered to cook. Blackened cube steak sounded good.


I had no idea what blackening seasoning was, but I knew it looked red and then turned black. What seasoning in our pantry looks red? Lawry's seasoned salt, of course! I poured about 1 cup of the seasoning in a plate to dredge the steaks in. I got the skillet ready (medium heat is as high as I ever go--lesson learned) and dredged the steaks in the salt. They fried up great...looked just like blackened meat.
"Here you go Dad." "What's this?" "Blackened cube steak." "Bl...ack...ened? Do you know how to do that? I didn't think we had the stuff to do that." "OHHH YEAH we had everything we needed." Dad's first bite was also his last. "PFFFFSSSTD This is horrible, it tastes like crap." He was right, it was horrible. The steak tasted like a salt lick, nothing but pure salt. It was disgusting. "Don't try that again--ever, ok son?" "Ok Dad."
I'll have to get Mildred to tell you about the time I convinced her to corrupt her delicious, mouth-watering cherry cobbler. I feel a guest post coming...are you up to it Mil?

2 comments:

Tracy said...

funny stuff mister - i needed a good laugh and you provided several :-)
thanks! LOL

sherri (Tied Up In Ribbons) said...

These are great---I'm glad you can chuckle now, or I would feel really bad laughing so loudly.