Kathy Bassett: How to cook like you know how


I’m one of those people who starts out to do something, and on the way sees something else to do, and that leads to something else, and on and on until it’s time to go to bed.

At that point, you wonder what it was you did all day and why the first chore is still sitting there waiting to be done.

I wouldn’t have it any other way because it just leads to an adventurous life, and I can’t imagine being all organized and the soup cans alphabetically arranged on a tidy shelf.

One day, I opened the freezer to get out some hamburger to make a meatloaf. I threw it in the fridge to thaw and the next day when I took it out … WHOA!

I didn’t have hamburger, I had beef tenderloin.

What in the Sam hill was I going to do with tenderloin?

I sighed and got down one of my 548 cookbooks (I don’t know why I have so many since I hate cooking these days) and after searching through several cookbooks to no avail, because none of them had anything to do with beef tenderloin, my taste buds finally woke up and danced around a wee bit at the thought of something Chinese. Ummm, ya! I like beef and broccoli, and of course, I couldn’t find that recipe, either.

So I got on the Internet and found some great recipes, but I didn’t have half the ingredients. It’s not like I can just jump in the truck and drive to town for some soy sauce or anything else because we live 57 miles from town.

OK, I just decided to pretend to know what I’m doing.

So, off to the kitchen I go, relying on memory because I didn’t copy off the recipe. I used most of the ingredients I’d read, and the ones I didn’t have, I just threw in something else.

Like the soy sauce, for example. I used steak sauce. It only called for 2 tablespoons, anyway, and I’m thinking it probably wouldn’t miss that piddly little amount even if you didn’t use any at all.

Then I couldn’t find the potato peeler. Good grief. No, I wasn’t putting in potatoes, but I had seen some carrots that were yelling to get out of the fridge.

So, I just laid the carrots down and scraped them with a paring knife. Works even better than a peeler. Sliced ’em up and tossed ’em in.

Orange juice. Oh great, wait, there is a bottle sitting in the side door that has been there for a long time, still sealed, but no expiration date.

I know it’s been there a year. It smelled good. I threw it down the sink because it was sort of dark colored.

Then, I scrounged in the crisper and found some oranges.  Ah, problem solved. I cut one in half and squeezed all the juice into the skillet.

I ate what was left of the orange halves. Well, all except the peeling, those were a little strong.

It didn’t call for celery, but I see lots of celery in Chinese food, so I threw in three sliced stalks of that.

The recipe called for ginger and garlic, so luckily I found those in the spice cabinet.

Oh yeah, I added some chopped onion – about a half of a big one. This whole time, my creation is simmering happily on the stove. I gave it a good stir, but the juice had boiled away, so I thought, “I don’t want it to burn, so I’ll just throw in this can of Mandarin oranges — juice and all.”

What a pretty picture it made. I turned the heat down really low and put the lid on it. I took the lid back off and added salt and pepper. I put the lid back on.

Then, I made some rice. I always use 2 cups water, 1 cup Uncle Ben’s, a pat of butter, 1 tablespoon of parsley, salt and pepper and let simmer until done. You’ll know because the rice swells up and there isn’t any water left.

It sure smelled good. I went off to do something else.

Pretty soon, I could smell the rice. It scorched some. Oh well. Ain’t gonna waste it.  I like Chinese fried rice, too, and you always fry that until it is a golden brown, so no big deal.

Well, it was finally done. We dished up our plates, took a bite and OH YUM.  

It was delicious. I was complimented for the fine vittles and we all had happy tummies!


Sumarjn 7 years, 1 month ago

OK, I just decided to pretend to know what I’m doing.

Translated: "I pretend all the time and I create drama to fit all of my stories. Even if there is one fool out there that believes me ~ I am sooo cool! This is what we do in Maybell. Yeppers!"

Next week's story from Kat: " I once had a pet toad named Curly ~ and believe it or not ~ he use to ride on the back of one of my pigs whose name was Spud. Now I had a wart hog!" I shot the hog (he was always tresspassing) and when we fried the bacon ~ there were these little green bumps on the bacon? We ate the bacon anyway ~ yum! I also must tell you that I invented curly fries. I deep fat fried Spud's tail and that's how curly fries got their name. Yeppers!"


carn 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, good grief! Leave her alone! Life can be very boring in Maybell. I enjoy her little embellishments on mundane tasks. Could you please leave her be and let me enjoy her stories? Just who is she hurting????


Sumarjn 7 years, 1 month ago

Ok ~ we have one fool ~ do we have two? It is interesting to note that carn admits that Ms. Basset is a bs artist?

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.


carn 7 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm . . . bet you were one of those kids that never learned to enjoy fairy tales, sumarjn. Afterall, they are "bs", by your definition.

You don't have to believe to enjoy - why do you think Santa is still out there? Again, who is she hurting?


Frank Estey 7 years, 1 month ago

Sumarjn may have pulled the legs off grasshoppers and ants .as a kid.


Sumarjn 7 years, 1 month ago

A critic can be a writer's asset ~ Fairy Tales are ok ~ but the writer's of fairy tales do not attempt to pass off their material as truth?

I have used grasshoppers as fish bait (works very well) but have never bothered ants unless they mound up where I don't like them to mound up. I shouldn't want to disclose my method of their demise ~ but it is not "pulling off their legs". That would be way too time consuming.

Going Postal? No ~ that sounds more like the method out in Maybell or Brown's Park. Ms. Basset claims to shoot at strangers ~ but I think we all know that that is just another "fairy tale" for fools to enjoy.

When someone trys to pass off "fairy tales" as truth ~ they hurt themselves. But as they say: "fools never learn".


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