Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Sisyphus Makes Chili

Sometimes I’m generous to a fault. For example, last week I agreed to give my household staff both Monday and Tuesday off for the MLK holiday. Now I’m starting to get hungry.

I’ve decided to take the opportunity to try my hand at cooking. Margaret’s chili recipe sounds tasty, so I’ll make that and live blog the experience.

6:42 PM: I’ve located my kitchen.
6:53 PM: I’ve found all of the ingredients and a big pan.
6:56 PM: I run into a problem with the very first instruction: “Sauté yellow onion until golden”. How do you sauté an onion? Time for some research.
6:59 PM: God bless Google! Sautéing means “to cook quickly in a little fat”.
7:03 PM: I couldn’t find any “fat”, so I’ll substitute butter.
7:04 PM: Margaret’s recipe is clearly intended for advanced chefs. She doesn’t say whether the onion should be cut, and if so how small. I will make an executive decision and cut it into small pieces.
7:10 PM: My eyes are tearing up from the onions – or maybe its Hugh Hewitt’s playing of Barbara Boxer’s questioning of Condi Rice.
7:14 PM: Okay, I’m ready to brown the hamburger. I know how to do that, thank you very much.
7:17 PM: How long will my keyboard smell like onions?
7:20 PM: First injury: I stabbed myself in the finger. I turn off Barbara Boxer on the Hugh Hewitt show.
7:23 PM: This is taking too long, so I’m turning up the heat.
7:28 PM: Everything is good and dark brown, time to add the spices. Margaret doesn’t specify whether the cumin should be in seeds or crushed. Another executive decision: I use crushed cumin.
7:34 PM: Everything added, tomatoes broken up. See you in half an hour!

8:26 PM: Oops! I totally spaced on the chili. It looks like I only burned the bottom, so I’ll just eat the stuff from the top.
8:28 PM: Not bad. There does seem to be a high meat to tomato ratio, so my “big can of whole tomatoes” may not have been quite big enough. Otherwise it tastes pretty good. Thanks Margaret!

Lessons Learned: All in all, it was a valuable experience, one that everyone should experience at least once. I’ve gained a new appreciation for my staff, and my staff will think twice about extra vacation days when they see the state of the kitchen tomorrow morning.


Blogger Margaret said...

Good for you Sis. Sorry I forgot the fat (I usually use a Tbsp. olive oil and ground cumin). Oh and rub your hands with the back of a stainless steel spoon and the onion smell will come off.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Nihilist in Golf Pants said...

Are you some sort of enchantress that you can dispatch an onion smell with a stainless steel spoon? That would be powerful magic!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

She is, it worked!

9:12 AM  

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