My crappy house has no kitchen. OK, yeah. It had a kitchen when I bought it. This charming arrangement of smelly appliances and crusty cabinets:
Alive with bacteria, I killed it with my crowbar and buried it in a dumpster. Now, it sleeps with the fishes. Or rats, probably. Whatever.
So, anyway, my crappy house has no kitchen. For 2 ½ years I’ve cooked all of my meals on a hotplate. Or in a toaster oven. Or a microwave. I’ve washed my dishes in a plastic laundry sink. I’ve prepared food on a folding table. (Do you hear that sad violin music playing?) I’ve stored my dishes in a dilapidated IKEA cabinet (the dishes that aren’t in cardboard boxes in the basement). My pantry is a bookshelf in my bedroom. I keep my milk in… well, a beautiful new fridge, actually. There are some things you just can’t skimp on.
After 2 ½ years of pasta, I am borderline malnourished. (And yet, fatter than I’ve ever been. How does that work?) I need some meat! I finally decided to try using a crock pot.
Now, even when I had a kitchen, I was never very good at using it. I once tried a crock pot recipe for Ginger Thai Chicken. The result was a paste suitable for… perhaps an adhesive… caulk, maybe… Nothing edible. Still, people keep telling me how easy cooking in the crock pot is. Just throw the stuff in there and you’re done. I started thinking maybe my previous experience was a fluke. I started to believe these people. I can do this! So, I found a recipe online that I thought sounded great. Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken. Yum! Here are the ingredients:
- 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup of soy sauce
And that’s it! Just four ingredients. You just throw it all in the pot and cook it for 6 hours on low. How difficult could that be? Well, if you’re me, I guess that’s a stupid question.
I started out OK with the chicken. I cut it up into perfectly sized pieces and tossed it into the pot. And then I went rogue. I decided that pineapple chunks would be glorious in there, so I put in a 10 ounce can of chunks. But there wasn’t much juice in the can, so I poured an 8 ounce can of juice in there too. OK, so now I’m a little heavy on the juice. No problem. I put in ¾ of a cup of brown sugar in instead of ½. Then I went ahead and put a cup of soy sauce in. The whole bottle was 10 ounces. I had only 2 ounces left, so I dumped that in too. Wait, did I say one cup of soy sauce? Uh oh. The recipe called for 1/3… OK, no problem. I’ll add in another can of pineapple juice. And some more sugar…
I don’t know what happened, but math was well beyond my comprehension for a while there.
Let me just say that it was edible, but not the yummy concoction I was hoping for. Not only were the ratios
way more than slightly off, but the pineapple chunks were a mistake too.
I might try this again someday, but next time I will follow the recipe exactly. I’ve learned my lesson. Only experienced cooks are qualified to deviate from a recipe. Now I think I’ll go whip up a bowl of cereal for dinner…