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Often in his 49 minutes, total, of down time each week Captain OCD watches the Food Network and gets lots of good ideas for dinner. That is, when he’s not watching Mr. Rogers for Grown Ups. I have an aversion to any kind of contrived audience situation, so every time I hear a !BAM!, or applause when the onions are taken off the heat, or a band play the Braised Cabbage out to commercial, I cringe. And, while I like Paula Dean in theory, her accent and laugh nearly drive me to pour Crystal Drano in my ears to hear the comparatively sweet music. Which means I don’t spend a lot of time in front of Food TV (a frequent cruiser of their Web site, though, as I’m always searching for recipes). But as I was walking through the room one day I glanced at the TV and saw something similar to this:

pasta pot

Our counters are slate, our sink is fireclay. Both well-suited, I’m assured, to withstanding hot temperatures. But the sink was expensive and the installation one-off, difficult, and permanent. The counters involved lots of hauling and cleaning and cutting and arranging and mortaring and grouting and sealing. By me. So I’m reluctant to subject either to extreme temperatures lest they crack, and there are various trivets around to set things on that come straight from the stove. I believe that pots with the colander component rate with zip-top bags near the top on the scale of genius and indispensable inventions, but to drain a pot of noodles involves setting the pot on something that is not the counter or the sink, lifting the colander out while it drains water and drips over the counter as I put it on a trivet in the sink, because it’s still dripping, to lift it off the bottom of the sink, and then pouring the near-boiling water left in the pot into the sink. None of this is done in a vacuum so there is often not a lot of extra counter space for this operation. What else have I missed by not watching the Food Network?

Captain Obvious, signing out.