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Richard Lee King

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Cooking Skills
By Richard Lee King
Friday, April 30, 2010

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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I never claimed to be an expert, but it seems that I still have a ways to go to be considered average.


So, here’s the deal.  I’ve been living alone for most of the past 25 years. You’d think that I’d have developed some cooking skills in all that time, wouldn’t you? NOT!!!!   Oh I do cook from time to time, if it can be done in the microwave or the toaster oven. And I do the occasional meatloaf in my range oven. My specialty is the crock pot. I can soup the hell out of you in a crock pot.   And I make a mean pot of chili.  Oh, and I have a Mean Lean Grilling Machine of the George Foreman variety. It works great for hamburgers and steaks. I’ve even done a fish fillet or two and the skinless, boneless chicken breasts aren’t bad either when cooked on it either. But, when it actually comes to cooking, I’m pretty much in the dark.
I don’t know if boiling eggs is considered cooking, but for the purposes of this little romp through the recipe book, let’s say it is. It’s late April, maybe the 25th and my “Snowbird” friends have been talking about heading back to the north country. They usually leave shortly after May Day. Before they leave, they often pack up their left over groceries and deliver them to me as they head out of town. Well this year, amongst the things they had left over there were two dozen eggs that they didn’t want to take on the 1,300 + mile trip back to their homeland. So they dropped them off at my house as they headed out on the road. 
I probably should plan better, but you just never know what jewels are going to fall into your lap on these occasions. Besides, I figured I had another week, maybe even two, before they would be heading out. So, as it happened. I had shopped for groceries just the day before of their departure and, yup you guessed it, I had bought a dozen eggs. Mind you, I’m single and I eat out nearly as often as I eat at home. Just how long do you suppose it takes me to go through a dozen eggs? Two dozen? Three dozen? Hell, I’ll still be eating eggs come Christmas.
Well, to solve the problem, I decided to boil up a dozen of the eggs and possibly make some egg salad sandwiches out of them.   I know how to boil water, and I figured that boiling eggs couldn’t be much harder. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve boiled eggs, but I have to say that when they talk about a 3 minute egg, I don’t think they were talking about boiling them. That first try didn’t work out so pretty good. When I cracked them open, they were a little runny. I wound up pitching most of them out. But, I’m a pretty fast learner. The next time I boiled them for about 20 minutes, then just to be safe, I let them set in the hot water until it cooled. That time, I might have over cooked them a little bit. So, this time, just in case there was some little trick to it that I hadn’t learned yet, I called my sweetie and asked her just how the hell long I should boil them. Well, “It’s simple,” she says, “you just leave the burner on until they start to boil, then turn off the burner and let them set for 15 minutes. Gosh almighty, my mom didn’t raise any idiots,,,,,   I can handle that.    This seemed like a pretty simple system. So, for the first dozen eggs, I turned on the burner and let it get hot while I ran the water in the kitchen sink until it got hot. I’m not sure if it’s cheaper to waste all that water while you’re waiting for it to warm up or to just let the stove burner do its thing and heat it from a cold start.  Now that I think about it though, I’m pretty sure the burner is a little cheaper. Certainly it’s a lot less wasteful of the water.   Anyway, I put the eggs in the hot water and set them on the burner. When the water started to boil, I turned off the burner and started the timer on the microwave. (I use that microwave a lot, but generally not as a timer) When the 15 minutes was up, I waited a couple more then dumped the hot water and ran some cold water over the eggs. PERFECT! When I started cracking the eggs they were absolutely perfect.  It seemed that I had done something exactly right for a change. 
Well, a few days later I’ve still got nearly a dozen eggs that I bought and another dozen that the “Snowbirds” left for me. So, I decide that I’ll boil up another dozen of them. I turn on the burner, and this time rather than run the water until it gets hot, I decide to just put it on the burner and let it warm up that way. Then, when the water started to boil, I started dropping the eggs into it….   Big mistake! As I was to find out later, cold eggs fresh from the refrigerator tend to break open when they are dropped into boiling hot water. Strange, my sweetie never mentioned that to me. I’m pretty sure I wrote down her instructions word for word and never, not once, did she mention that you need to put the eggs in before the water starts to boil. Well, each time I dropped an egg into the boiling hot water, I heard a little popping sound. Pretty quick I started seeing little floaters in the water and some of the eggs were floating to the top of the water. After the first 4 or 5 eggs the water had cooled back down to the point where it wasn’t bubbling so much and in retrospect, I think that was a good thing.
Anyway, when all was said and done, I had 7 eggs that looked like they might be worthy of refrigerating. Some of them were cracked, but nothing was leaking out. The other five looked like they had farted and it froze to them.   Of course, that hot water should have killed any germs that were on the outside of those egg shells, so I decided that those five would become instant egg salad. The rest of them I put back into the egg carton for use at a later time.  
To top it all off, my sweetie and I are leaving in 3 days to go on a cruise. I’m pretty certain that I can’t eat up all these eggs in 3 days and I’m not at all certain that I want to eat them after we return. Can you freeze eggs?   Maybe I could pickle the ones that are left. What the hell am I saying?  I don’t know how to “pickle” things.   Where the heck is Martha Stewart when you need her?

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Reviewed by Judith Ann 5/20/2010
Cute tail of woe about your cooking expertise. Thanks for the chuckle.
Reviewed by D Johnson 5/1/2010
Dick, freezing eggs? never tried it, although if the freezer goes out on you, it may raise a stink. Cooking is fun, mostly the learning how to prepare this or that, but like writing, it takes lots of practice.

I enjoyed your story.
Reviewed by Donna Chandler 4/30/2010
Too funny! It's a wonder you haven't starved to death by now! And no, I don't think I've ever eaten a frozen egg.


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