Today, I made my own Christmas dinner. And now that I have experience with these things, let me tell you how it’s done. I had some experience in this area when I lived in dorm in university, but there are some additional criteria that come into play when one is out of one’s element.
First of all, the Kraft Dinner box calls for 1.5 L of water to be boiled. (For the non-Canadians in the audience, Kraft Dinner is known in some other parts of the world as Macaroni and Cheese.) Being the precise fellow that you are, you won’t want to leave this meal to chance by using 1.51 L or 1.49 L accidentally, so it is fortunate that your kettle has Litre markings on the side. And while you have the water in there, you might as well get it boiling. Be sure to put a bit extra in because you’ll lose some to boiling. If you remember high school chemistry, you’ll be able to do the calculation. Otherwise, you’ll have to take a chance and hope you nail it.
While the kettle is doing its job, find your big pot and lid and see if the gas is working today. It is? This is going to be easier than you’d hoped. Now that the water is boiling, pour it into the pot and add salt. No salt? My dorm experience says this is just an unnecessary ingredient included to prop up the salt industry, so don’t worry about it. Make sure to light the stove and get that thing boiling properly.
Add the noodles to the pot, and set your timer for 9 minutes. No timer? Use your watch. Oh, your watch is untrustworthy these days due to clandestine meetings with the KGB? Then get out your Nokia cell phone and use the count-down timer to keep track.
Stir the pot occasionally. You’ve never had trouble doing that? Good for you.
When your cell phone goes off and it’s not another wrong number, turn off the stove and get out the strainer. No strainer? Then get out the oven mitts – you can hold the pot and lid and pour out the water. No oven mitts? Hmmm . . . go get the bath mat from next to the shower. It should be thick enough to protect your hands.
Carefully holding the lid on the pot, but no too on the pot (I was on the pot yesterday, but that’s a different story), carefully tip the pot so that the water runs out. Careful to keep your hands away from the boiling water. Water going too slowly? Try loosening your grip on the lid, but not too much – you don’t want the lid to fall [crash] off. OK – quickly grab all those dirty dishes and set them aside, and using the ladle you used as a spoon, scoop those noodles back into the pot.
Good job. Now throw in some of that butter it took you 3 weeks to find, dump in the orange power with the simulated cheesy flavour, and cut open that box of milk with the expiry date sometime in late 2005. Pour some milk in and quickly stir it all together.
Let it all sit in the pot for a minute while you get the rest of the meal ready.
Get out a shot glass and that bottle of Cherry Coke you brought with you for this occasion. Got it? OK – you’re ready. Just dump the KD in a bowl, pour yourself some Cherry Coke into your shot glass (it’ll last longer that way), and you’re all set. And because you are a connoisseur of Cherry Coke, be sure to smell the plastic lid to be sure this is a good vintage.