30 Minute Meals = 45 Minute Catastrophes

The first cookbook I received was a Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals. I thought how clever! As a college student I could certainly handle making a meal in 30 minutes. Until I almost burned down my apartment kitchen trying to fry up some “easy” chicken tenders. In case you want to know I extinguished the fire by using a fail proof method. I blew on it like candles on a cake. Isn’t that smart? There should be a 30 minute meal book called, “how to make a meal in thirty minutes and not burn down your kitchen”. Which there is a “Cooking for Dummies”, but who walks into Barnes and Noble and buys that?  So my first cooking lesson? Don’t start with frying. Oh and don’t EVER think a meal is going to take you 30 minutes unless you have washed all the vegetables and can chop like a maniac. Which I can’t. Or I could, but I’d like to keep my fingers.

Now I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the convenience of a 30 minute meal idea. However, in many of these meals there is a BUT. A big but in some. Like takes 30 minutes BUT, you need to defrost the puff pastry COMPLETELY in advance. Which by the way takes overnight in the fridge and at least two hours on the counter. Room temperature eggs and butter take around 4 to 8 hours. Ina Garten leaves her eggs and butter sitting out all night. Does that mean that the eggs get messed up (AKA, salmonella city)? Apparently not. However, the whole raw eggs phenomenon is an interesting one. I grew up eating raw cookie dough, cake dough, chicken (haha just kidding Mom).  I turned out fine. So do I feed it to my kids and see what happens? I’m still wrestling with that one. I’ll let you know.

Moral of the story: If you are just learning to cook, don’t fry, expect delays, and read the recipe well in advance. Oh and eat the cookie dough. Sometimes it’s just easier.

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