Friday, September 17, 2010

I Think I Could Learn Something From Paige Worthy

It's hard for me to call my writing inspired, but this post was inspired by the wonderful writing of the always lovely Paige Worthy. The stories she tells have a way of making me feel like my life is lacking something, though. For example, compare a recent meal of hers with a recent eating experience of mine:

For the fourth meal in a row, I prepare to make a box of Great Value macaroni and cheese. During a commercial break in Modern Marvels, I pre-scrub my macaroni and cheese pot (its only purpose), a black plate, and a small spoon until they are all but clean. I carefully add two small drops of dish soap into the pot and clean and rinse the three required dishes. I let them dry until the next commercial break, when I fill the pot with water and turn the burner on high.

The busiest part of the meal has begun. As quickly as possible, the box of macaroni is opened, the cheese packed down into the bottom of its packet, and a sausage and a stick of butter extracted from the fridge.

A long slice down the length and another to complete the cut, and the sausage is perfectly halved on the plate. Three quick strokes cause two chunks to fall off the end, each pair not quite exactly a quarter of an inch thick - just to prove I don't have OCD. The sausage chunks enter the warming water. A lick of each side of the knife ensures no flavor goes to waste, and makes the blade clean of all sausage pieces before cutting the butter - two and two thirds tablespoons that will rest on the cheese packet.

Soon, the water reaches a boil and the macaroni cascades from the box. I stir in clockwise circles, counterclockwise circles, and then a nice grid pattern. This is repeated every couple of minutes: nary a noodle can stick to the bottom. At long last, it's time to drain the macaroni. Thus the plate returns as a pot lid, and the last of the water is shaken out.

The appropriate amount of milk is splashed over the noodles after the butter and cheese have been added. Stirring until the butter is melted hurts as the small spoon digs into my index finger, but I persevere! I place the pot on a couple of cork trivets I've had since college and eat on the couch. As I sit down and see today's wondrous engineering topic on the TV, I have a moment of pride in my own efficiency in cooking. However, I savor the Modern Marvels and barely notice when I reach the end of the macaroni and cheese.

And for dinner, four grilled cheese sandwiches consisting of nothing but eight pieces of bread and four slices of American cheese. All cooked with minimal entropy. And minimal spontaneity.

1 comment:

paige worthy said...

You're hilarious. Mac and cheese is the sexiest food.