Jordan is home on "Christmas" break which lasts, believe it or not, until January 14. That means he has been here since December 18. That is one honkin' long break, if you ask me. Makes me wanna sign up for college again for the long breaks you get where people do your laundry and feed you, and you are mainly responsible for playing with the dog and opening presents. Tough life.
Anyway. He just may move into an apartment his junior year, which means he won't be eating in the dining hall. Which also means, of course, that he will stock up on beef jerky, frozen pizza, and Skittles, to avoid scurvy.
But I'm trying to fulfill the motherly duty of teaching him to cook a little something so that once in a while he can eat healthily.
Rrrrriiiiiip. Stop right there. Re-read that last sentence and feel the implication:
I'm going to teach him to cook.
Oh, that is dangerous on so many levels, not the least being risking black lung from the fumes of burnt food.
So we began with something it took me years to master: Rice-a-Roni and Shake-N-Bake pork chops. I know. I almost started with something simpler but still challenging, like Banquet pot pies.
But I threw caution to the wind, called him in and said, "You're going to cook now," which is kind of like throwing your kid in the pool, I know.
With one eye cast back toward the football game on TV in the family room, he said, "OK."
I said, "First, of course, wash your hands."
He said: "I just took a shower."
Me: "And what have you touched since then?"
He looked insulted.
Me: "Your nose? Have you touched your nose?"
Him: "I just took a shower."
After a 5-second silent stand-off, he washed his hands. Good thing, because I didn't want to go all Gordon Ramsay [Hell's Kitchen] on him right off the bat.
I read through the Rice-a-Roni directions with him, but more importantly, I sang the commercial jingle to him because legally, you can't make Rice-a-Roni without singing that jingle. I think that is actually printed on the box somewhere.
He was not impressed.
We made the rice, and while it was cooking, we started on the pork chops.
Me: "Get the chops out of the fridge."
Him: "Are these chops?"
Me: Silently worried that the boy couldn't positively ID a chop.
"Yes. OK, here is the tricky part: Trichinosis. Remember this catch phrase: 'Don't be tricked by trichinosis.'" Then I launched into a 10 minute lecture on undercooked meat, esp. pork.
I may have inadvertently turned him into a vegan.
So I walked him through the intricacies of throwing a chop into a bag and shaking it.
But before we could put it in the oven, I had to stop and review the Shake-N-Bake commercial from when I was little complete with Dinah Shore accent: "It's Shike-N-Bike Mama, and I hay-ulped!"
He was not impressed for the second time.
Tough crowd. I remember when a line like that would send him rolling on the floor with laughter. See what happens when ya send 'em off to college? They get all uppity.
Anyway, it all came out OK, and he ate it in spite of "images of trichinosis dancing in his head," so I'd say it was a success.
And now I leave you with a couple of blasts from the past:
1. hear the Rice-a-Roni jingle.
2. I could not find the little blonde southern girl who hay-ulped her mama, but I did find this. Do you remember what kids' TV show this actress was in?