Nothing beats home cooked dinners

Published 7:03 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The shiny, new appliances in my kitchen definitely give the room a facelift. Notice I didn’t say my new appliances, because for a few months yet Home Depot has a stake in them. At any rate, today is the big day! I plan to christen the gleaming stove by actually preparing a meal, instead of just admiring it as I grab my car keys and head out the door in search of sustenance.

Chicken is thawing and vegetables are ready to complete the healthy meal I’ll enjoy this evening. My days of existing on fattening fast food meals are numbered. It was pleasant not to have to cook for a few weeks, but I have enjoyed a little too much of a good thing. Now, I’m ready to find balance in my diet with some good home cooking.

The as-yet-unread user manuals stare me down as I shore myself for this unpleasant task. “Now why does this have to be such a big deal,” I tell myself. “You can actually read, you know. This large fearsome looking manual is probably filled with common sense suggestions instead of a lot of technical information.”

Most of the time I put off things that I feel uneasy about, but after my little pep talk I decided it was just plain silly to wait a moment longer. As with most things I procrastinate on, the actual task turned out to be much simpler than what I imagined.

Page after page, I perused the fairly simple directions for installation, use, and care of the shiny black and stainless monster lurking in the corner of the kitchen. Of course, I had nothing to do with the installation, but I read it for good measure anyway. If you’re going to do something, do it right, I always say. Each page dispelled my ridiculous fears as I realized most everything in the manual was plain common sense. It was so simple I even thought of adding manual writing to my resume!

“Man, this manual is taking a while to read,” I thought. It seemed to be overkill on the writer’s part when I realized he had taken three paragraphs to say be careful not to scratch the cooking surface. Three more paragraphs described in great detail how to put a pot on the stove. Finally, I just threw the manual down on the table.

Hearty laughter rang through the house. Actually, I got so tickled that I had to hold back a decidedly unladylike snort even though nobody was around to hear it. Number 4 of the list of things not to do read, “Don’t try to dry your pet in the oven.”

I looked down at Missy and laughed again. Forget what I said about the manual being filled with common sense. Now I’m off to cook my first meal in the not-so-scary stove. Bon appetit!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at