Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dinner at The 'Do

Location: The 'Do (my first attempt at a nickname for the condo has clearly failed, but no one stepped up with a better suggestion).

Time: One hour and thirty minutes ago.

Reason: Combination effect of hunger + dinner time.

Event: I cooked dinner.

Method: This is where the story gets complicated. Bear in mind, resources at The 'Do are limited at best. Week one, you may recall a household trip to CostCo for foods and (Oregon Trail allusion in 3...2...1...) other goods. We filled the wagon with packaged goods, caulked the wagon wheels and forded the Lakeshore River home. Among said goods was a large package of frozen chicken breasts, separated in twos, and a huge bag of organic wheat spaghetti, along with two giant bottles of Ragu pasta sauce.

After some lengthy conversations with Melissa about the methods for combining these ingredients, I settled on a simplistic approach to making dinner. The only seasonings and culinary accoutrements we have in the house are salt, pepper, garlic, Old Bay (thank you, Mel), butter, some Wendy's packets of bbq sauce and honey sauce (yea, honey sauce...ew), thousand island dressing, and real honey.

So, I had previously defrosted one packet of two chicken breasts. I sliced them in to manageable pieces, threw some butter in a frying pan and dropped in the chicken to grill it (possibly a little too much). In the meantime, I began boiling water with some salt (learned from Darrell) for the spaghetti. The coordination of timing was impeccable, and I patted myself on the back several times in the midst of cooking.

As the chicken approached bone white, I tossed in the noodles so that they could begin to soften up while I finished the chicken. Once I deemed the chicken "cooked", I poured out the grease and other unknown liquids via strainer and put the chicken back in the pan. Then, I added the Ragu (decent amount, but not the usual 'too much' I am known to use), a healthy portion of garlic and black pepper, and set the range top to medium so the sauce could simmer while the noodles cooked.

In one final, magical moment, everything was finished. I grabbed a piece of sourdough bread (not the best bread, nor is it a good flavor combination, nor do we have a toaster) and scooped out half of the pasta and half of the sauce and chicken on to my plate. I poured a tall glass of cold milk (not my usual, but again, limited offerings) and settled in to watch some TV. The other half went in some Tupperware for tomorrow's lunch. Much to my dismay, I discovered that Carl was watching Project Runway. Seriously. And giggling. I was appalled. So I ate quickly, cleaned up every pot, cutting board, knife, serving utensil, glass, plate, etc. and went upstairs. I make that cleaning point for one reason and one reason only: no one else in the house cleans.

I had to clean around all the other dishes in the sink. I now appreciate more than ever before what my parents went through in raising us. Thanks Mom and Dad.

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