Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Marie and Marc Pt. 1 (probably also Pt. The Last)

Here is a clip of Marie T. Smith, microwave-cooker expert. Over the next year, I hope to follow her recipes, serve the results, and have my blog optioned for a major motion picture.

The clip above is from 1986, which was not a very good year for microwaves but an excellent year for microwave cooking because it was the year Marie T. Smith released Microwave Cooking for One. Ms. Smith wrote the book because, "When a woman finds her children grown and her husband often away on business trips, she continues to cook large meals because practice has become an indelible routine."

And truly, though I have no children, nor a husband (because it's not legal in the State of New York to wed one's same-sex partner of a decade unless they first move to Iowa), I hope to master Ms. Smith's cooking style. I want to learn how to cook 'barbecued beef liver,' even though I'm pretty sure a microwave is too tiny to fit barbecue grill. I want to make the perfect coquilles St. Jaques, the perfect tapioca fluff, the perfect mafalda, or the perfect hundreds of other microwaveable meals included in Ms. Smith's book. I want to learn to cook these recipes even though I already know how to cook most of them, have no interest in most of them, and kinda think the main reason these recipes are 'for one' is because no one other than Ms. Smith would ever consume them.

Tonight, I tried boiled water.

Ms. Smith is curiously silent on the art of water-boiling. Since Ms. Smith wrote her cookbook in 1986, when microwaves were much less powerful, I thought boiled water was a nice way to get acquainted with her cooking instructions. All of her recipes are written for 500 watt microwaves which lack a carousel, after all, so I wanted to work out the proper adjustment ratios to cook-time. The boiling of water is the most essential, the most basic, of cooking tasks. The boiling of water is, to me, the Rosetta Stone of recipe cooking-timing.

For instance, when Ms. Smith suggests boiling an egg in a microwave-safe bowl of water for 10 minutes, turning the bowl twice, does that mean I should leave it in for 1.5 minutes? 2 minutes? How many times am I to turn the bowl? What is the proper 500/1500 watt ratio? (Answer: DO NOT BOIL EGGS IN YOUR MICROWAVE).

So I poured some water into a mug, removed the carousel from our 1500 watt microwave, placed the mug in said microwave, set the power to 40% because I'm terrible with ratios, and pressed the start button. Waited three minutes. Dunked my forefinger into tepid water. Realized the whole process was pointless. Used the gas-heated oven to cook crusted tilapia, and asparagus almondine, for two.

Will try again tomorrow.

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