Note: There is no trigger-type reason for the food being in the dishwasher, FYI. It’s the Same Old Song: don’t let me near a kitchen. Evidence: that is the drying mat at present.
I neutralized as many actual food references as possible. Partly because the current trigger warning stuff leaves me confused, mostly because I’d rather just keep the various nutritional details to myself, and they don’t figure into how or why the dinner ended up in the dishwasher.
This post is adapted from the journal entry I wrote after this happened. It seemed like I’d need to have recorded the entire chain of events if I ever hoped to come out of this sounding even partially sane.
Everybody knows I can’t cook, right? At all? That I think using a burner is hot stuff? [that was a terrible joke. I’m not sorry.]
The other information needed here for context is that I have a very narrow galley-type kitchen; if a door (over, dishwasher, refrigerator) is open, then the route is blocked at that point. Oh, and the window is painted shut with such a high degree of effectiveness that every type of knife recommended for prying it open won’t fix that (there’s no screen, anyway, and it’s a bit of a drop down to the alley).
In rewriting this for a blog, I have chosen a three-act structure (read: broke it into three sections at last minute, then put bold headings on them in approximate places because a synapse flared out and said, hey, why not?). Oh, look! After midnight– again! This might be the real theme here . . .
ACT I (EXPOSITION)
I am, based solely on age, ostensibly an adult, and this is how I cook dinner:
Get out protein portion (frozen, prepackaged). Read instructions super-carefully. Try to figure out how you make the toaster oven bake. Takes awhile to get that going. I don’t know how to do anything with that thing except toast stuff. In other words: cannot operate toaster oven.
Get out boxed mac and cheese. Have always assumed I know how to make that; I’ve been making it all these years, right? No need to look at instructions. I’ve got this one!
I was boiling water (other food in; thought I’d timed this) and idly reading something about Marco Polo on the back of the box (facts for kids stuff: age-appropriate material) when I also noticed that the directions in the side seemed to have pictures of more ingredients than I expected.
This macaroni calls for milk and margarine. I didn’t know that. I have– accidentally, for once– been making macaroni and cheese out of a box wrong my entire cooking career [yes, that’s what we’re calling it].
This is where I have the protein in the oven and water boiling and realize I need two additional ingredients. I know I don’t have milk; it’s on the list, and I thought I wouldn’t need it until the morning. I do have butter– no, I don’t. It’s gone. No longer there. This mystery gets solved later.
ACT II (RISING ACTION)
People who cook regularly might realize they’re missing an essential but not so common spice. Maybe they’re just slightly short of something. I find out I don’t have milk and butter while boiling water (and nervously poking the food in the oven far too often, because I’m afraid my limited toaster oven skills are going to result in flames).
At this point I realize the initial plan is pretty well screwed up, but there’s nothing but to go forward now. That’s when the steam sets off the smoke alarm [yes, steam. Google this if you don’t believe that can happen, because that’s what I did when I was questioning my sanity]. The kitchen window is painted shut, and I was loading the dishwasher, meaning it’s open and blocking my exit. I needed to get the alarm to quit sounding ASAP, and I couldn’t see any options. That’s how the whole pot ended up in the dishwasher until the alarm shut off and the steam went down.
It’s at this point I contact someone to ask if it’s okay to eat food that’s been in the dishwasher. This question may not be all that common. Google doesn’t have an answer to “can you eat food that has been in the dishwasher?”
My browser history: getting more interesting with every passing day.
In fact, maybe I should use Tor for this sort of thing. These are the traces I think I’d rather cover: a search history of largely insomnia-related inquiries.
This is only covering the macaroni and the toaster oven, mind you, and we’ve already got part of dinner in the dishwasher and part getting aired out constantly by oven door-opening.
ACT III (RESOLUTION)
It takes a minute to get the ancient fan on the microwave to kick in, but the macaroni gets back on the stove, as it’s been pronounced probably safe. The oven dinged finished awhile back. I just sort of turn the oven on again briefly and hope for heat.
Everything I’ve prepared eventually ends up on a plate. And gets eaten. Some key exchanges are clearly screwed up.
I’m hoping this one gets graded on effort.
On the scale of K-12.