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Thinking outside of the kitchen

"Man it smells great here, what's cooking?"

"Nothing's cooking, mister, I'm just frying up some onions to make it smell great here, it's the oldest trick in the book."

"And a great trick it is -- so what are we having for supper, I'm starved."

"We're having some of that beef jerky that's left over from fishing season last summer and for a vegetable we're having potato chips."

"I see. Well, um... We can't have a banquet every night can we? What does it look like for tomorrow night?"

"Tomorrow night we're having pork and beans over toast. The pork is your protein, the beans are your vegetable and the toast is -- well, toast -- you know, fiber."

"And what about Wednesday night?"

"On Wednesday night there's a spaghetti dinner at the high school for the benefit of world hunger."

"Yes, world hunger. I'm hungry myself. Can I ask about our meal plans for the rest of the week?"

"Sure. On Thursday you're going to barbeque some of the old catfish that's been in our freezer all winter."

"Barbeque? Outside? You know the temperature out there is still in the 30s."

"Look it's spring -- don't be a wimp. It's not easy cooking for two. I'm trying to think outside the box this week."

"You're not just thinking outside the box, you're thinking outside the kitchen."

"Yes, outside the kitchen, just where you've been all these years. You're dad was a wonderful cook, our son, Buckwheat, is probably even better. So what's the deal with you? You make a decent poached egg and your toast is wonderful. You tried a stew about two months ago and sauerkraut and pork chops last month. Have you forgotten where the kitchen is?"

"So I'm not exactly a talented chef. But you have to admit I'm a skilled handyman."

"Handyman? Handyman? Do you call plunging a toilet the work of a skilled handyman? Look, with your skill there should be a two week waiting period before you're allowed to buy a power saw. All you can make is sawdust. I'm surprised you still have all your fingers. Handyman? You got to be kidding."

"Okay, okay. You don't have to get sour-castic as my friend, Larry, used to say. I withdraw the handyman claim. What can I say? I'm humbled by the cooking talent of my dad and son. I'm humbled and thankful for your talent and the wonderful meals I've had all these years. I don't really have any excuse for not being more help except that I'm afraid of gas stoves. I worry about making a mistake and causing an explosion."

"What are you talking about? We don't have a gas stove. We've never had a gas stove. Here let me show you -- this is an electric stove. Turn this knob and one burner goes on. No gas, no flame, no explosion. And when it's on, this little red button tells you it's on. Then as you twist the knob the heat goes from low, then 1 - 10, up to high. No mystery. It's all right here in front of you. You could do it, you could do it."

"I'm embarrassed. Why didn't you tell me we had an electric stove? With those simple knobs, dials and buttons I think I could handle some of the cooking from now on."

"That would be wonderful. How would you like to start?"

"I'll start by making the toast and warming up the pork and beans tomorrow night. As for tonight, where's that beef jerky?"