Once up-on-a-time there was an old man who was widowed and was not ready for a life alone. The washing and cleaning and making the bed and simple household chores he could handle, but grocery shopping and cooking meals were mysteries he had no idea how to solve. Oh, he could make toast, fry or scramble an egg or heat up a can of most anything and warm up his coffee in the microwave. He could cook various meats and fish on the charcoal grill. His favorite meal became a can of Bush Grilling Beans with store-bought potato salad, mac and cheese, or a couple of grilled hotdogs, but a diet of beans some-times made the atmosphere around his apartment unpleasant at best.
One day while browsing through Krogers in the frozen food section, he decided he would try his luck with a pot pie. The sign said “Buy one get one free” (that old sucker come-on) so he picked out a Chicken and a Turkey. His first attempt at cooking a pot pie was in the oven of the electric stove that came with the apt……Let me say here that for the last 40 years he had lived in his own home with a gas stove and had no idea how an electric stove heated up. But, his first attempt worked out fine. He followed the instructions on the box to a “T” and the pie was good. Surprised the hell out of you didn’t I ????
The next pot pie he tried in the microwave. It had been a hectic day and he didn’t have time to go the oven route. Again he followed the instructions, but the top crust did not brown at all and the bottom crust was kind of soggy. Obviously not quite done unbeknownst to him, but from then on he cooked all of his pot pies in the oven. He was old, but not cold. Next came the sweet potato fiasco. His dear, sweet sister-in-law brought him 3 sweet potatoes. She and another sister-in-law gave him instructions on how to “zap” them. He did, it wasn’t, two bites and he threw it away. One end was cooked o.k. The rest was hard and tasteless. The second potato was a little better. He cooked it a min. longer and at least half of it was edible. The third potato went in the trash as purchased. He brainwashed himself into believing the potatoes were bad from the beginning, but never tried them again.
In between these times, the old man tried heating up left-over food brought to him or brought home from meals prepared by relatives at their homes such as Thanks Giving turkey. These were reheated 30 sec. or a min. at a time until hot (he was learning) and turned out fine. The final blow though was the pasta, sausage, meatball dinner. The instructions said “Do Not Heat in a Conventional Oven”. Let me say here that all microwaves are not equal. In case someone is not ware, microwaves come with different wattage. The highest I am aware of is 1100 watts and the lowest is 700 watts. The old man was aware of this early on in his experiences and had determined that his was 900 watts even though he could not find this information in the instruction book or on the microwave itself. This final item he was attempting to heat said “Remove from box, put in micro-oven and cook for 4 to 5 min. If your oven is not 1100 watts, adjust the cooking time accordingly”. The old man thought……just how do I do this? Is there a formula? If so, where is it? What the hell do I do? Do I need a rocket scientist? Finally he settled on cooking it for 6 min. BAD DECISION. When mixed with the accompanying sauce it looked fine. On taking the first bite he knew. The sausage and meatballs were fine. Some of the pasta was the consistency of a rubber hose. The rest seemed o.k. What to do??????? Finally he picked out all the bad pasta, dumped the rest in a pan, poured a can of “Chef Boyardee Beefaroni” on top, stirred it up and heated his new Italian invention. It was far from delicious, but it was edible. After cleaning up the dishes he thought……”Another day…..Another adventure”. He placed a sign on the microwave that said “OUT OF ORDER” and poured himself a glass of wine.