Maladjusted Mondays, Week 15

NOT Linda.

Greetings! I’m Janice Johnson. Thanks for joining the fun here on Maladjusted Mondays. Linda heroically offered to host this collection of scathing exposés in which I rat out my uncooperative appliances. I originally published these posts on my blog, Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story, where I do occasionally write about something besides my appliances. You can visit me there any time by clicking here.

And now for the 15th post in the series, which first appeared on my blog November 14, 2017.

Party Animals… And Vegetables

The two suspects.
Notice the sly look on that teakettle, though…

I’m starting to realize the grim truth: I’m outnumbered and surrounded–by my appliances. Last week, the toaster oven and the gas stove rebelled… on the very same night.

In support of our quest to eat more super-healthy foods, I picked up some sea scallops on special. A salad and a dish of fresh veggies, ready for stir-frying, sat in the fridge. The plan? Broil the scallops and cook a batch of quinoa to go with them, while stir-frying the, um, stir-fry.

Simple enough, right?

But I reckoned without those appliances of mine.

According to the package directions, quinoa cooks up like rice, taking about 15 minutes to absorb all the water once it’s come to a boil. So when the quinoa and water boiled, I turned down the flame to simmer, again according to directions. Then my attention turned to the plump discs of seafood greatness.

It seemed silly to heat our large oven just to broil 3/4 pound of scallops, so out came the toaster oven. Lightly crumple up some foil, spray it with olive oil, and fit it into the shallow toaster-oven baking sheet. Boom — a makeshift broiling pan.

After giving the quinoa a sportsmanlike head start, I set the toaster oven to “broil” and cranked the temperature all the way up. A dash of olive oil on the neatly arranged scallops, and into the oven they went. Now for the veggies.

Several stir-frying minutes later, I opened the toaster oven to turn the scallops. To my horror, they weren’t browning on top. A broth had formed, nearly filling up the makeshift foil pan. The scallops looked more like they were relaxing in a hot tub than getting cooked.

What to do?

I’ll spare you the sad details of scallop broth splashing over the floor as I ferried the little pan to the sink. No seafood was left behind, though. Or in this case, none went down the drain.

I’d have to sauté the scallops.

Fine. I shoved the veggies to one side and popped the scallops into the same skillet.

Minutes later, they were ready. Great–now to serve up the quinoa.

I lifted the lid to access the fluffy side dish.

Instead, the little seeds literally floated around in the pan, still up to their necks in water. Here we had yet another hot-tub party, and me not even invited.

Tasting a few grains, I found them pretty much done, so I cranked up the flame to accelerate the process.

Eventually everything was done enough, the floor mopped up, and dinner was served.

Perhaps some day I’ll be able to regulate the stove flame, and maybe even find a true broiling pan that will fit in the toaster oven.

Meanwhile, sandwiches sound more appealing all the time.

Thanks for reading,

Jan

Maladjusted Mondays, Week 9

NOT Linda.

Greetings! I’m Janice Johnson. Thanks for joining the fun here on Maladjusted Mondays. This series is a collection of scathing exposés in which I rat out my uncooperative appliances. (Thanks to Linda for hosting me!) I originally published these posts on my blog, Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story, where I do occasionally write about something besides my appliances. You can visit me there any time by clicking here.

And now for the ninth post in the series, which first appeared on my blog February 20, 2017.

Kitchen(Aid) Mix-up (The mixer)

slappyAfter years getting along with just a hand-held mixer for all my baking, I finally bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. One great thing about my old Oster stand mixer–it had that turntable thing that lets the bowl spin around so you can scrape down the sides with a spatula while the double beaters do their job off to one side. I’m still getting used to the fixed-position bowl and the wacky single “tilt-a-whirl” beater that pirouettes around, slapping against the ingredients. And as you may know, I’ve become rather suspicious of my appliances anyway.

So when the time came to bake cookies for friends who were coming over, I plugged in the mixer with some anxiety. Creaming the butter and sugars went well, however.

It’s no surprise that I got cocky.

I decided I could crack the eggs into the bowl while the mixer was running…

I did okay with the first egg, but managed to drop half the second one’s shell into the dough. Before I could react, Slappy the Beater had twirled through half a dozen revolutions, shoving ever-smaller pieces of eggshell into the soft dough.

News Flash: There is no way on earth to find all the fragments of eggshell in a bowl of slippery butter-and-sugar mix.

Ever the optimist, Brent said, “You got most of it, though, didn’t you?”

“How would I know?” I said, up to my wrists in dough. “Aaack–there’s another piece. I can’t serve crunchy chocolate chip cookies! I’ll have to start over!”cookies

And so I did. This time, before cracking each egg, I cut the motor and propped that beater up out of the way.

The cookies were delicious.

And I am now on guard against Slappy the Beater.

Thanks for reading,
Jan