Can Openers, Buttons, And Cherries

I have decided to take up cooking for sport and sustenance, mainly because if I eat another bagged salad with chopped lunchmeat and call it supper I am going to scream. 

Right now, I have three staple recipes.  The first one can be adapted for a variety of meals.  It involes two simple ingredients: a jar of                        (peanut butter/dill pickles/peach jelly/marshmallow creme/applesauce/cocktail onions/etc.) and a spoon.  I won’t insult my readers’ intelligence by writing instructions, but remember to remove the lid first. 

If you find you cannot remove the lid due to no fault of your own except lack of physical strength, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Meet the neighbors.  Phone a friend.  Don’t suffer alone.

Recipe #2 involves the rare times when I am feeling mechanical and decide to whip out the ol’ can opener.  I never use the electric kind, because they frighten me.  Old-fashioned hand-crank can openers are good enough for me (in this case, “good enough” means “simple enough”).  The how-to-eat steps are basically the same as Recipe #1, except you generally wind up eating stewed tomatoes, canned green beans, chili, enchilada sauce or pickled beets. 

All right, Recipe #3!  Are you ready?  I can feel the excitement emanating through the computer screen.  This one involves spices, so you know it’s good.

Step #1: (See how I’m not telling you what it is you’re actually making?  This adds a level of suspense usually not seen in cooking.) 

Okay, Step #1:  Fill coffee maker water holder with water.  Step #2:  Fill coffee maker filter with ground coffee.  Step #3:  Add a liberal (don’t tell the Republicans) dash or six of ground cinnamon.  Step #4:  Push the button.

Don’t forget Step #4, or you will take your morning shower, revive the fire in the wood stove, turn on the news, and go “Arrrrgggghhhh!” when you realize you forgot to push the button. 

Step #5:  Double check to make sure you pushed the button. 

In an effort to advance my culinary skills past can-opening and button-pushing, I sat down with some cookbooks I found buried in the back of a cupboard today.  One was published in the 1950s, and I learned all kinds of cool stuff!  Mainly, people used a lot of gelatine back then.  It was in everything!  Fruit salads, vegetable salads, desserts, wallpaper glue. 

I discovered you can make baked “fried” chicken in the oven with potato chips and butter.  Sweet!  I love potato chips.  I want to try corn salad, which I’ve never even heard of.  This could be fun.

I just hope there aren’t any brand-new jars to open.  It’s one thing to be defeated by a too-tight wire gate, but inability to open a jar of marshiano cherries is just embarrassing.  And likely to happen 🙂

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