Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Dangers of Making Dinner

So Monday Night I decided to make some dinner, not just the regular pasta/veggie burger classic, but an actual dinner. I decided to make stir fry. Seems easy enough right? Well...not for Erica.

It all starts with my chicken phobia. This irrational fear extends itself to all meats, but chicken is the only one I ever eat. (I was a vegetarian for a long time, and though I now like the taste of chicken, I don't like the very thought of it, before it's cooked and on my plate). Anyway, I generally buy a package of chicken, and split it into 3 parts when I get home, and put them in separate baggies, in the freezer. That way, it's all ready to go when I want to cook one little piece. But for some reason, when I bought this package (sometime near the first of August) I just threw it in the freezer. I've been procrastinating cooking this chicken because I knew that it would require some work to get the frozen pieces apart, since I still only wanted to cook one section.

So I take the meat out of the freezer, cut open the package, tear off the disgusting blood catching pad and attempt to use my kitchen scissors to cut the frozen chunks apart. (I ALWAYS use kitchen scissors when dealing chicken because it's quick and easy...something about cutting through the flesh with a knife, makes me unable to eat it afterwards). Of course, the scissors don't work. So I try my second best effort...grabbing the 1.27 pounds of meat, with my bare hands and banging it as hard as I can against the counter repeatedly. After a few really hard bangs, and an all out throw against the counter, one piece breaks away from the other two. I continue banging for a while, and then realize, on piece is all I need. I'll deal with the rest later, and I returned them to the freezer. This is just the beginning.

At this point my hands are freezing, literally, so I begin what I think is a good warming technique...rubbing them together. Do you know what happens next? Take a guess.
All that chicken goop that was on my hands goes flying up and sprays my entire face. I almost got sick....Thank God I have glasses.

Somehow I manage to recover from all of this, I put a pot of water on to boil some rice, I put the chicken in the microwave to defrost, I've got my iPod on, and I'm working on some dishes....and then I start to smell something....smells like burning.

I automatically assume its the microwave, go closer, don't smell anything, check out the toaster, nothing. I go back to doing the dishes, and it gets worse. So I stop the microwave, and inspect the plate, and the chicken, and NOTHING. At this point I think maybe it's coming from another apartment, so I go back to the dishes.

And then I remember the rice, now boiling like mad...I look, and sure enough...flaming pot holder on the stove. So, again, I do what I think is best, shake the pot holder (to extinguish the flame), and put it out the window (so I don't set off the smoke alarm). That thing seriously smoked for 20 minutes before it went out. Sure I could have put it in the sink full of water, but who thinks of that?

WOW! Now is time to start the stir fry. I'll spare you the dramatics and just tell you, that I turned on the wrong burner and lighted a paper towel on fire. My question is..why was there so much crap on the stove? And how did I manage to start two fires before cooking anything.
(By the way, I've been cooking my whole life, for my whole family, it's not like I'm incompetent, I guess I've just had a lot on my mind, and I never have been so great at multitasking!)

I finally get the whole thing under control, everything is cooking happily, I taste the chicken, and decide it's really quite chewy. I can't tell if that's because it had been in the freezer a long time, or because I defrosted it too long in the microwave and it got partially cooked and therefore bad. I decide I went through WAY too much effort at this point to let it ruin my dinner.

I go to put everything together and realize that the "MINUTE RICE" is still crunchy after 30 minutes of cooking. That stuff makes me sooo mad. I follow the directions EVERYTIME, and I always have to add more water and cook it for like an hour. Stupid brown rice.

Anyway, in the end everything turns out great. I have a great stir fry, that I just finished tonight, after three nights of eating it. Still.... I think next time I might invest in some spaghettios!

That's all for now.
Later Days,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Repaying the Gift

So I had been thinking about creating one of these "blogs" for quite some time now, as a place to relay my thoughts, ideas, ramblings, funny stories etc. to the world. I do not intend to use this as a recitation of every activity and interaction I have, because really, no one needs to know, and I don't have the time for it. Anyway, the same day I was contemplating the creation of this site a good pal sent me a message strongly urging me to do the same. The coincidence was too strong...and I can't say no. So here it is.

You may wonder why I would name a blog "repaying the gift" so I will tell you. Many of you know that I use the internet as a means to keep up to date (some may say "stalk") with people who have been, are, or will someday be, in my life. I thank the internet for giving me that opportunity, and here I will repay that gift, by allowing others to "keep up to date" with me. I am also repaying the gift to said "good pal" who's blog I have been following for years. Though I am not sure anyone will read this with the dedication that I have read hers, I hope that it provides her (and the rest of you) with a few laughs, some mild entertainment, and if all else fails, a good way to waste a few minutes during the day.

I could take this whole "repaying the gift" thing to another level. In a way, I look at my life and realize all the good in it. I'm healthy, I have a job, food, and a nice place to live. I have people that care about me. I am safe, and warm. I have more books than I have time to read them. I have more shoes than is reasonable. I have more gadgets than necessary. I would like to repay the world for all the good (and in many cases, luxuries) that I have, but I have no money. So, I dedicate myself to helping others, to repaying the gift. I'm sure I'll talk about that, in the days to come, because's what I do.

In the meantime, enjoy. Share the page with anyone who would care to read it. If you have insight as to who these things (blogs) work, let me know, I'd love the help.

Oh, and I take requests, you know, if you want to hear my opinion on something let me know. I'll write about it. Already on the list are: washcloths, the story of me saving the child from a burning building, and of course, anytime I hurt myself. I also want to ask questions of the readers and see what kind of responses I get. Let's make this fun! Ok, that's all for now.

Later Days,