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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Zero to Twenty-Five in a couple of minutes

Oh my goodness! I know that I only have four followers (and of those four, one is my mother). I tend to believe that of the remaining three, only one actually faithfully reads this.

But isn't he great!?!?

Mark of Our Simple Lives wrote about me today! I feel like I am actually becoming a real part of the online world. Or an online part of the real world. More worldly in general, though. Not more streetwise, mind you. That is what my mother warned me against, every day of high school. Or at least every time I tried to make plans with that one friend.

Anyway, Mark's post couldn't have come at a better time. I am so tired of my kitchen today! I spent all day on Monday in the kitchen.... trying out a new recipe for dinner as well as making orange marmalade and then remaking orange marmalade. Then Tuesday, I made a dinner that wasn't necessarily so complicated as it was ... involved. As in, it involved 5 different pots and pans, and at one point, all four of my stove burners. I was going to blog about it, but there were so many things going on at the same time, and so many things going wrong at different times, and so much mess... No one needs to see pictures of that.

Side note here: For a few years, I worked part time doing cooking demonstrations for a major appliance manufacturer. I can't tell you how often people wanted to buy bigger cooktops -- sometimes even redesigning their whole kitchen to fit them in -- so they could have 6 burners. How in the heck do they use six burners? Using four without burning something or other, just about made me lose my cool yesterday! 

This dinner wasn't so very fancy. It was just pasta with cream sauce, sausage, and artichokes. I made the mistake of trying to retain too much of the artichoke, though. Instead, I should have just gone to town removing the outer leaves. And the semi-outer leaves. And even some of the middle leaves. Basically, when using artichokes, all you want is to use the inner leaves and their very closest neighbors.

So anyway, there I was boiling artichokes with too many leaves. Then, I decided to brown them a little bit to add to the flavor and give them a nice consistency. Unfortunately, though, they still weren't so nice. So I ended up throwing them all into the food processor and pureeing them into oblivion anyway. Add the boiling pot, to the browning pan, to the food processor, count in the pasta pot, the pan that cooked the sausages, and the saucepan of cream sauce, and you have yourself one big pile of dirty dishes. I am not really sure I had any clean pots or pans left!

I also have a little confession to make here... I am not the world's neatest cook. By a long shot. So, when all was said and done, I had loaded, run, and emptied the dishwasher 4 times in two days. I had also washed about 4 sinks-full of non-dishwasher-safe items, and wiped down the counters countless times, and the stovetop twice.

When the kitchen was finally clean last night, I went straight to bed. This cooking thing is not good for my social life!

To finally come to the point of this long, riveting story, I was not at all interested in standing in my kitchen today. I got unexpectedly called in to work for a few hours this morning, and I planned to spend the rest of the day sitting. Maybe awake, maybe not.

But then, Mark.

Sweet, kind, complimentary Mark.

I am floating on air so much now, that I have the gumption to go make dinner. I have some greens that need using, and I plan on using 'em.

I tried quinoa this week for the first time. Tonight, I am going to see if it works in my rice cooker. One rice cooker of quinoa, one wok of chicken and veggies, and one spoon.

Wish me luck!


Jill said...


Just found your blog through Mark's! So great to meet you! Looking forward to getting to know you better. Have a great day!


SusanoftheBox said...

Hi Jill! and Welcome! I hope you find something useful here!

SquirtyB said...

Quinoa works beautifully in the rice cooker! I'm sure you know that by now...

I am too ADD to cook more than two pots at a time and maybe something in the oven. No idea how people would manage 6 burners.

I'm so glad mark decided to share you!

Mark said...

Susan, welcome to the Blogging World! That's so funny. Great, I'm happy that you are happy and Jason just reminded me on my site that it was through him that we met. I will thank him for that. Thanks to you breaking it down(dumbing it down) for us non-chefs, I found the recipe quite easy to follow. And certainly, the picture help too because I really do need a visual to help me cook. And once again, I'm glad that you were happy with my Post. I know that it came as a surprise but I'm glad that you took it well.
Your Friend, m.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Brava! I've never made quinoa before--only ate it.

Nick UK said...

I also come via Marks blog. I am deeply envious of you living in a climate where fresh citrus is possible and am enjoying reading about your vegetable adventures. I find that is a good place for inspiration.
Nick UK

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