Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Why I'm an engineer and not a chef

For some odd reason, M-Man and I had the biggest craving for breakfast at dinner. Yeah I’m talking about French toast, eggs, bacon, OJ, etc served in the evening. My mom used to do this all the time because the kids loved it (or maybe because she only had a few recipes in her portfolio). Anyway, we stopped by a new grocery store to pick up supplies. Wow, this place was huge, well it was actually normal grocery store sized, but that is a lot bigger than our typical bodega paper goods and frozen meals place. We marveled at the vast selection (you mean we can choose from 10 different types of cereal!) while browsing every single freaking aisle. I turned the corner abruptly and was almost struck by a Latina woman pushing a cart. She sympathetically said “oh sorry mammie”. What? I’m not pregnant. Do I look pregnant? M-Man was all laughing at my shocked expression and had to explain to me that since we were in the ghetto (125th & Lex…aka Harlem) that the terms “mammie” and “pappie” are like girl and boy. He knows this because he teaches at a public school in this area. His students once said “Mista (notice not Mister, but Mista), why you dress so ghetto (ie shabby)?” He replied “well because I spend my money on books”.

I learned a valuable lesson about bachelors….they are not prepared to cook. Seriously, I am surprised to find any single men who have a complete cutlery set and at least two plates. Most of the time I believe they scoop out the contents of a take-out box with their fingers. M-Man only had one skillet! Okay, how are we supposed cook French toast, bacon, and scrabbled eggs in one tiny skillet. It seriously could only hold one piece of toast at a time. We decided to make the toast first, then use the left over egg-milk batter to make scrambled eggs all while baking the bacon. Follow that? I lined the baking sheet with aluminum foil (excellent time saver for cleanup) and painstakingly laid out every slice of bacon. Meanwhile, M-Man was making the French toast. Okay everyone’s method seems to differ. Do you dip it, brush it, soak it, etc. Well he was letting the bread soak until it completely disintegrated! Can you imagine how hard it is to make beautiful evenly golden square French toast out of mashed up soggy bread pieces! Serioulsy, a blind retarded kid with one hand and no thumbs could have done a better job. It took him 30 minutes to make 6 pieces of toast! Break that down to 5 minutes per slice plus the additional 10 minutes of batter soaking. When he was on his last slice, the smoke detector went off. He ran over to fan it with a towel (because that is always the first response when the smoke detector goes off, not ‘oh shit there is a fire, grab the savings bonds and get the fuck outta here’) while I opened every window in the apartment. We asked ourselves what was burning…not the soggy toast, the toaster was off, no paper was on the stove….oh my God, the BACON! I opened the oven door and a plume of smoke escaped. The bacon had literally turned into charcoal and was SMOKING! I am running around the apartment with the aluminum foil smoking bacon package thinking “okay, should I throw this in the trash can, no it will continue to smoke and most likely set it on fire, okay, should I run downstairs to the outside dumpsters, no it is a 5th floor walk up and I a barefoot, oh I know….”. I turn to M-Man and asked “can I throw this out your window?” Before he could finish saying “my window….what” I had chucked the smoking bacon out the window! It took him a second to get over the shock of the whole situation before remarking “you just threw that on my neighbors” to which I replied “well it IS food, the pigeons will eat it…and hopefully die”.


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