Today I Barbecued

First I noticed I misunderstood carbonized mesquite wood for mesquite flavored charcoal when I bought the coals. I made them work in spite of, and they work nearly the same. In the process of lighting them, I was able to burn the large leftover January thru July calendar pages from my desk-calendar that I used for kindling. While the fire blazed away, I prepared 5 healthy sized chicken breasts in a mixture of teriyaki sauce and soda topped with leftover salsa from the burrito place. At this point, I realized how messy cooking is, especially barbecue, and me being a semi-neat freak, I was cringing left and right by all the stains and spills materializing all over the countertop. I have to remember to wear my paint clothes next time because I can expect sauce spots to appear.

I then realized I would need some food on the side, so I followed the instructions on a box of instant rice, set that aside, then chopped some lettuce, carrots and cucumber for a salad. By now the mess is driving me bonkers, and when I noticed a fly that managed to sneak in through the screen door I left open, I thought I would lose my mind. Luckily for me, I have a fully developed method of dealing with flies. A fly-swatter? I think not. I have a spray bottle with a specially mixed concoction of water and various toxic cleaning supplies prepared specifically for the purpose of obliterating flies. A few squirts while they’re in mid-air, and the vaporization cloud stings them senseless. Down they go like wounded fighter pilots to end up on the floor gesticulating their little legs in a frenzy. Mmm, how I miss these barbecue days.

So the fire is ready and on goes the chicken. There’s no side table, so I use an out of balance lawn chair to place the tray. As I load the chicken onto the grill, the marinade spills everywhere, and the flies are back in full force. I get all the chicken on, then proceed to eliminate all forms of dirty dishes, marinade, packages, loose food…I temporarily clean the entire kitchen, and I kill a few more flies.

After the preparation mess is cleaned, things begin to take on a semblance of normalcy. I just have to wait till the chicken is done, and I’m ready to eat!

Yet eating was another chore. After eating primarily
sandwichs and TV dinners for a long time, this meal was all over the plate, uncut, unchopped. I go about the process of chopping everything, but then there is no ledge on the edges of my plate for scooping, to keep the food from falling off the edge! How am I supposed to eat? Use my fingers to pile the chopped food onto the fork? I need a special plate with short walls, or a special utensil that will plow the food onto the fork. Anyways, most of the time the food falls off in mid-flight on the way to my mouth…but needless to say, I finally managed to finish my meal.

That took an hour and half, not counting the trip to the store time. Simply the opposite of fast food. So I should just have a “cooking day” to prepare meals for the entire week, because how do people live having to spend so much time every night cooking all that food and cleaning? Maybe this is the family thing people used to talk about, but if I have a cooking day, then I can prepare meals for the whole week and then warm them up. I read much about England and how people have servants to prepare food, so really, maybe I need to hire someone to cook for me on a regular basis.

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4 Responses to Today I Barbecued

  1. woowooteacup says:

    As the children move out of the house one-by-one, Hubby and I are going to have to figure out different ways to prepare meals. We’re so used to cooking for a hoard that it’s going to be hard to cut back. The other problem with preparing small meals is that it is typically cheaper to buy food in bulk. I like your idea of having a cooking day. We don’t spend a whole day cooking at this point, but we will make some extra-large meal and then munch on it at will over a week’s time.

  2. LK says:

    Left overs, cooking day, almost like each other. Indeed, and it’s like preparing your own TV dinners for the week, which is better because the fast-food rut is hard to get out of.

    Good luck with the empty nest syndrome.

  3. noranoir says:

    Really, it shouldn’t be so complicated. A lot of the meals I make are 30minutes and under. There are a lot of recipe blogs out there with under 30 ideas. Being an Uno, you can cook enough to have leftovers 3 days or so and cordon some off for the freezer for rushier days. Stir frys are the epitome of speed and health. Keep at it. You can do this!

  4. LK says:

    I wish I had the brain power to understand a recipe.

    You are correct, however…less than a year to go!!

    Whoo hooo!

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