Aug 252012

Julia Child I am not.

Since our son left the nest for college this fall,  I have been cooking. My husband was the primary cook since ” The Incident”  during our first year of married life, but work schedules now dictated a change.

More on “The Incident” later.

I don’t have a very good track record with cooking. This despite winning many white ribbons as an active member of the Go-Getters 4-H Club from 1967 to 1969.

My husband married me for my combination Jayne Mansfield sex kitten persona and Madam Curie intellect. Family member may recall my setting fire to our kitchen while baking brownies, but that’s another story for another day.

Cooking never was one of my strong points. Tonight I made lasagna which I have prepared dozens of times by following the recipe on the box. Somehow I neglected to buy the “no bake” noodles and thus made a new family favorite: crunchy lasagna.

We quickly discovered that lasagna should not make noise when you chew it.

With my extensive repertoire of food preparation, I will share some of the family favorites as well as special cooking tips. Feel free to adapt.

Preparing Vulcanized Tuna Casserole

My future husband and I lived on different floors in the same dormitory in college, (me room 714, he room 814). I made Tuna Helper using the community Radar Range. Prior to the Peloponnesian War, college students did not own their own microwaves. The “helper” part was too soggy so I added a sleeve of soda crackers which gave it the texture of baked rubber bands.

Strike one.

Handling Germ-Free Chicken Jeanette

This  recipe contains pieces of chicken, various creamed soups, mayonnaise, celery, pimentos, and then baked with a crust (no kidding) of potato chips and cheddar cheese.

Seyfert’s Chips are the best, though Charles Chips or Ruffles will suffice. (As a completely unrelated aside, this recipe is named for an elderly woman whose major claim to fame was that she had never taken off her wedding rings in 60 years. This still turns my stomach. I always thoroughly wash my hands when cooking.)

I used to make Chicken Jeanette frequently and probably nearly killed us all.  I am convinced it is without question the truly most unhealthy, disgusting casserole of all time. Is unhealthy casserole an oxymoron?

Strike two.

Learning Saran Wrap Does Not Add Flavor (heretofore referenced as “The Incident”)

My  became our primary cook around the time I learned not to cover a casserole with Saran Wrap and bake it  in the oven (unless you are studying Chemistry). How did I learn this?  The hard way!

Strike three.

Bonus Tip: Yeasty Cinnamon Rolls with Shards of Metal

Another culinary faux pas happened when I baked cinnamon rolls that come in a tin for my family to surprise them early on a Sunday morning. Was my husband surprised when he found a round, sharp-edged metal lid attached to his biscuit! My son is a Boy Scout, so his father’s bleeding lip didn’t last much longer after he applied his First Aid techniques.

Bon appetite.

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