Friday, September 1, 2017

Chicken in a Pot

A day doesn't go by when I'm either out or something notable happens.  My life has gone from a predictable routine to a rambling road that only reveals itself when the sun rises.  Of course, there are weekly moments of certainty that give shape to my week but they are few.
  • I know Sunday will bring me to church and afterward Sunday school.  
  • The boxes I need to unpack are still waiting for me though their numbers grow smaller.  
  • There will be at least one trip to a Wal-Mart somewhere.  I have three states to choose from.
But other than that, life is pretty simple.  That's when things get interesting.  For instance:

Monday night's meal started simply enough - a one pot chicken and vegetable dish.  Cook the chicken, then remove.  Cook the veggies and then add back the chicken.  So far, so good.  I remove the lid, take a picture of the contents and share it back to my friend, Jane, who had sent me a picture of her dinner.  Oh, and did I mention that I replaced the lid on the pan after that?  Yes, indeed.  And this is where it got interesting.

After nearly 40 years of marital cooking, there should be few or no surprises left.  But by the time dinner was served, cover still on the pan, I had stepped back into the twilight zone of Bridal Cooking.  You know, ladies.  All the crazy things that happen during the first year of marriage when you are getting your cooking skills together.  Yeah, THAT zone.  Anyway . . . 

The table was set.  We were seated.  We gave thanks for our food. I lifted the lid from the pan.  Except that . . . It. Didn't. Move.  I pulled at it, tugged, twisted, tried to pry it off and handed it off to my pirate.  He can do anything.  Usually.

Next stop.  Seek out the biggest bowl I could find.  Turn the pan over - lid still on, of course.  Surely the shifting weight of the contents would break it loose.  I shook the pan.  I banged on the pan.  I ran cold water on the pan. Nothing.

Giving up, we walked away to let the contents cool off.  We waited and we waited and we waited.   Eventually, a very hungry pirate tried his luck again.  He failed and in disgust, put the pan in the freezer, in theory for more rapid cooling with a good end result.  And again, we waited and we waited and we waited.  One last try by the irritable pirate and we gave up.  That lid was sealed to the pan.  That meal was not going to see the dark of the evening, at least not that Monday night.  I decided this strange situation must have been cause by humidity. After all, this had never happened in the arid climate of California's Central Valley.

We went out in search of food and as any knowledgeable Caruthersvillian knows, that is not easily accomplished on a Monday night. However, Bros. Doug's BBQ was right around the corner and there we ended up, enjoying Butter Burgers and fries.

But the story isn't over.  Yes, we were fed.  And, yes, the pirate wasn't irritable anymore.  We were baffled but amused and laughed over the weird Bridal Cooking Zone moment we had stumbled into.  So feeling quite confident, he marched into the house.  I continued through the kitchen, ignoring the pan on the counter, but not he.  I settled onto the sofa, current book tucked into my lap and I started to read.  

What followed next can only be described as an exploding pop.  Seriously, I'm surprised the neighbors didn't dial 911.  I ran into the kitchen convinced I would find my pirate flat out on the floor covered in our erstwhile meal.  But no.  There he stood, looking at the pot, the lid still stubbornly sealed to it.  However, it had changed.  Apparently, he had pried it just enough to break the seal, releasing all the trapped air.  That event also destroyed my lid.  (see above, again)

This time he managed to wrangle the lid from the pan and there was our meal, safe and ready for consuming.  I looked at my pirate and grinning, said, "Well, I guess I won't have to make dinner tomorrow".

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