The Kitchen Chronicles



Plant a radish, get a radish, never any doubt.  That’s the one reason why I love vegetables, you know what they’re about!  ~Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

In the true spirit of a twenty-something, my kitchen consists of any normal apartment basics, you know the box sets where they give you enough of everything for four place settings. That is until my parents came to visit for my graduation

(don’t you love it when they come to the rescue, just in time? Like a super hero movie)

and as food “connoisseurs”, as I call them, they were completely offended- yet knowing their daughter, not surprised whatsoever.

All through my childhood my mom prepared all the courses, most of the time from scratch, with the meals planned through the week, and fancy-shmancy techniques and recipes and dishes (even though she never followed the recipes.. I don’t get it, I’m a structure kind of girl, not a “dash here and a pinch there” kind of girl). She always tried to pull my sisters and I into the fiasco, where I would escape to “set the table” (fierce task, if I do say so myself, and I do) and my sister would indulge in the experience (to her defense, she can now turn anything- no seriously, anything- into a gourmet art form. Ask her to make you a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and it’s going to come out with three different cheeses, garlic, and little bits of chicken mixed in. So good it’s disgusting.) Although it was decided that I would “never catch a husband” it still wasn’t enough to make me want to touch raw chicken or to try and conquer one of my greatest fears- a.k.a the spice rack.

So when I first went off to claim the world as my own, with my two-week supply of gifted goodies and snacks, I thought eating bad as a student was one of those cliches that people made fun of in movies- ya know, “O ya, the hungry college kid”- but then two-weeks later I found myself in a dorm room with only a microwave and my stomach started to growl. This is the moment where I realized my quickest and most efficient survival method, and from that moment on -for the past four years- I have been in a committed relationship with ramen noodles and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Yes that’s right folks, in all of my 22 years, I have never cooked a real meal beyond boiling the pasta noodles and then pouring sauce over them (pulling out the big guns, I know) and toasting some frozen garlic bread if I’m trying to be real impressive. Works every time.

So, while I prepared for my graduation, my parents set out on a journey to establish my humble abode to any respectable level of sophistication in the category of creating simple cuisine (although, I personally think it was an attempt to inspire me to at least, “try”). They bought all the mixing gear, a knife set, a little skillet because according to my dad, “everyone needs an expensive skillet that they’ll take with them when they get married as a memento from their ‘single days’”, and the coveted- crock pot, among other things.

The brink of 2011 has come and gone and we are well into the first month. During this transition of a new year and a new season as a “big girl” I am embarking on a quest to gain a some what well-rounded knowledge of the kitchen. Nothing extensive- let’s not get crazy now– just a cooking 101 status.

Yes, it’s true, I am vowing to go beyond ‘playing the sport because I want to wear the cute uniform’, i.e. playing with the fun cooking gadgets in Target, and trying my hand at the ole stove top.

Wish me luck!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and I will post the results as I try them 🙂

Love, Hope.


2 thoughts on “The Kitchen Chronicles

  1. Hey Hope,

    First of all, who knew you could write this good!!! Certainly, not I! You truly are on to something here!!! Now about this cooking thing! Since you are a pro at the croc pot – here’s a simple recipe for the ole’ electric bowl!!! 🙂 Take a whole chicken (take out the inside if there is any). Yes stick your hand down inside the chicken and take out the inside that is wrapped in paper (gizzard, liver, neck etc). 🙂 Rinse the chicken with water. Set it in the croc part of the pot. LOL! Add about 1/2 cup of water. Chop up some potatoes, carrots and onion. Add them to the croc part of the pot. Add Salt and pepper. Now I’m a dash here and a dash there kinda girl cuz I’ve done this kinda stuff since I was 11! But you would probably be good with 1 tablespoon of salt, you can sprinkle it over top of the chicken and about 1/2 tablespoon of pepper. sprinkle over top as well. Put that bad boy on high for about 6 hours (if you have a new croc pot) and the chicken will create its own water and just fall off the bone. And bam you have you a little meal! you can add rice (cook seperately on the stove top) or corn bread (seperately as well) if you are brave! LOL! 🙂

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