120 Minutes of Prep and 15 Minutes of Joy

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At three o’clock this afternoon, I emerged from the man-cave to prepare supper. I had a taste for beef stroganoff. The desire had built within me this past week, so I shopped for the ingredients: mushrooms, beef cut in strips, cream of mushroom soup, etc. I had it all. By three-fifty, I had the Paula Deen recipe simmering, and a side pot of water heating for fresh pasta. I forgot to buy wide noodles to serve with the stroganoff, so I substituted the only heavy pasta I had on hand, rigatoni.  While the heat did it’s job, I washed dishes and all the utensils I used for the prep. There was time for a quick dash to the basement wine cellar for a bottle of Cabernet which I promptly opened and began to imbibe while I sat at the computer for ten minutes before Peg asked me to help her with something. She is reviewing 2005 bank statements. Why she spends so much time trying to understand something that she can’t remember for more than ten seconds I do not understand. All I know is that my life is crazy lately repeating the same explanation over, and over, and over again. I have to admit, today I lost it, and got angry, and my voice proclaimed a pronounced displeasure with the routine. I finished breakfast dishes and escaped to the man-cave. I cut and ground wood into shapes that will ultimately look like a flower. After several hours my back announced it was time for a break, thus we join the opening sentence.

The stroganoff turned out delicious, but it only took me fifteen minutes to satisfy my lust and to eat the stuff. No wonder dining out is so expensive. Someone has to be paid to make the things we order. Either way, I pay in money, or in time. Home made is superior to restaurant made any day. I will match my culinary skills with that of any chef in the world including Emeril or Giada. They have only one thing over me as cooks, they know how to make more than five recipes (and Giada is a hell of a lot better looking than me), but I will compete with them on the five I make.

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