QUARANTINE, SEQUESTER, STAY-IN-PLACE, SOCIAL DISTANCING
By Jackie Deal
Perhaps a laugh, even a giggle, might help us survive the current turmoil. If you feel this is sacrilegious, please, don’t read any farther. And if my sense of humor doesn’t appeal, there’s always the dictionary to read. Yes, the virus is serious but will it hurt to guffaw just a little bit? With your permission, I’ll try to find some humor in our daily grind and share it with you.
“A rose by any other name would smell the same.” Yah, and so would life without restaurants. You-all know, I have a reputation to maintain. An image to foster. “I don’t cook. I can’t cook!” Just ask Bud, he loves to ask me, “Jackie, can you boil water without burning it?? Ha! Ha! Ha!” It’s a precious reputation. Nobody expects me to bring salivary, delicious dishes to a potluck. “Oh, Jackie, don’t worry, just buy some chips or rolls.”
Now my survival depends on rejuvenating old skills (Of course, I cooked when I was raising a family.) I’ve always said (well, in recent years) “If it can’t be microwaved it ain’t fit to eat.” I have a new (well, new to me) little trailer with TWO slide-outs (OH, Joy) and a beautiful clean, white stove: three burners and an oven. So far I’m acquainted with one burner. You see, I tried to light the front burner (it has a “sparker”, never had one of those before) and it didn’t jump into action. The back burner knows its role: it lit. One down two to go. Don’t even mention the oven, that can wait a week or so. That’s why there are store-bought cookies.
Hey, how about a crock pot? Yah, I have one of those somewhere. Probably under the bed. Cute little two quart thing. High, Low and Warm. How complicated can that be? Let’s see: chicken! Run to the store..remember six feet apart. The store has graciously marked off the floor in six foot stripes. The line is practically out the back door but at least we’re not within sneezing distance.
I wanted an already broasted chicken, but of course, those hoarders had bought all of them so I had to settle for a cold, slimy, naked chicken. The recipe, (yes, I found a cook book under the rags in my what-not drawer) called for leeks. Leeks? Don’t they know how to spell leaks? I know all about those. My old fifth wheel had a leak right over the door so every time I stepped out I got sprinkled. Horrors! I was raised Baptist, we don’t sprinkle. No leeks, but way back in the depth of the refrigerator I spotted a semi-not-spoiled-yet-almost-firm onion.
The recipe says put the leeks (onions) in first. Seems like a tragedy somehow; putting those smelly onions into that nice clean white crock pot. In they go. Now for the chicken. Cramming a full size chicken into a two quart pot isn’t easy, believe me. But brawn over-trumps brain every time. Then the recipe called for chicken broth: Huh? I haven’t cooked the chicken yet how can there be any broth? Forget it. Also cream. Cream? I swore off that pounds ago. No cream. Mushrooms? Oh, yeah, I have a can of cream of mushroom soup somewhere. Dump that in. Yuck! Lumpy, unappetizing looking gunk. Put the lid on and strut away. Look who’s cooking!
Fifteen minutes later, I check. Who can wait 6 hours? The pot is cold! Okay, put the brain into second gear: the pot is plugged in (Of course, how stupid do you think I am?) Um, Ah, is it turned on? NO!? NO? Remember that Low-High-Warm thingy? Turn it on to High and away we go.
Actually, the chicken was good enough that I’m trying a second chicken recipe. Maybe sometime soon I’ll branch out and try something really creative. But in the meantime, the dust bunnies are marching into the kitchen and refusing to salute. Time to chase them back under the bed.