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National Editorials & Columns

Dinner’s served!

Most of the meals I prepare consist primarily of hotdog segments and/or boxed macaroni and cheese. When I am feeling particularly confident I try my hand at mashed potatoes or as I like to call it, potato soup a la mode. I tack on the “a la mode” at the end to give the unsuspecting taste-tester, which is usually my wife, the assumption that great care and diligence was used in concocting the dish. In reality I put way too much water in the mashed potatoes.

As a husband, I value the importance of my wife, Christine, who prepares all household meals that aren’t centered around rejected pig and beef organs and inferior-grade pasta with a powdery cheese sauce.

I also understand the necessity for the husband to prepare a meal once in awhile, and when such occasions come calling there is always one go-to meal in the playbook that I pull out.

I would like to share the recipe with you now. I call it Colonel Sanders Famous Recipe Chicken, which I realize violates several trademarks. But hey, you know what they say: If you want to make an omelet then you have to break a few eggs — and possibly a handful of copyright laws.

Ingredients: Four skinless chicken breasts (cubed), two cloves of garlic, three tablespoons of olive oil, one half-cup of red wine (boxed red wine optional), one can of Italian-styled diced tomatoes, eight ounces of seashell pasta, five ounces of spinach, and one cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep a pack of hotdogs and one box of macaroni and cheese on standby in case things go terribly wrong.

Step 1: Search Google for definition of skillet, then search cabinets for such a piece of cookware. With medium heat pour entirely too much olive oil into skillet (or a wok if you don’t own a skillet). Quickly realize the difference between what a tablespoon is and what a teaspoon is. Burn forearms evenly with hot oil before proceeding.

Step 2: Frantically search cupboards for a corkscrew. Use corkscrew to open the bottle of wine. Drink six tablespoons of wine to numb the scalding pain of hot oil injuries and any developing blisters.

Step 3: Take another drink.

Step 4: Begin cubing chicken breasts on countertop after properly sanitizing surface. Yell at four housecats to get off countertop. Throw cats, if necessary. Continue cubing chicken. Place cubed chicken into skillet and start cooking.

Step 5: Find bandages and peroxide. Afterward, ever-so-cautiously mince two gloves of garlic. Place into skillet, avoiding any additional third-degree burns in the process.

Step 6: Clearly realize this would be an opportune time to replace the batteries in any non-working smoke detectors located throughout the homestead.

Step 7: Use a can opener to open can of diced tomatoes. Add to skillet (the tomatoes, not the can itself). Pour half-cup of red wine into skillet. Pour one glass of red wine into gullet.

Step 8: Add seashell pasta, mozzarella cheese and spinach. Realize there is no spinach in the fridge. Briefly consider if broccoli is a good substitute for spinach. The spinach isn’t that important, I guess. Just add more wine. Stir appropriately. (Note: be sure most of the cheese falls onto the burner. If you made a mess then it means you are applying it correctly.)

Step 9: Get sidetracked. Walk away from the kitchen for a spell. Nothing bad could come of it. Play banjo. Let a few minutes pass. Wonder what that weird smell is coming from the kitchen. At least the smoke detectors are in working order now.

Step 10: Scrape half-inch of hard gunk from bottom of skillet.

Step 11: Drink whatever is left of the wine. Place empty bottle in garbage can.

Step 12: Begin preparing hotdogs and macaroni and cheese.

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