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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Arts & Culture

The sewing machine and the typewriter almost defeated me in high school. I spent as much time ripping out stitches as I did sewing seams. My typing speed was an inaccurate 35 words per minutes. Realizing I could not be a seamstress or a secretary, I developed an interest in kitchen appliances and gadgets.

The kitchen stove with its four burners, oven, and broiler seemed more user friendly. I also conquered the portable mixer, blender, can opener, toaster and crockpot. Of course, I had a greater motivation because I do like to eat. I proudly informed my husband that he had wisely married a “woman who could cook.”

In our first apartment, I decided to grill steaks for a special occasion. We had gotten metal steak plates for a wedding gift, and I decided to try them.

After finishing the salads, I popped the steaks and platters into the hot broiler. Very soon the tiny kitchen was filled with black smoke and an odor like burning plastic. It really was burning plastic.

I hadn’t realized that the metal platters were supposed to be removed from the black plastic bottom tray before putting them in the broiler.

It was a poignant moment that involved loud language, cleaning, airing, scrubbing, scraping, and much sudsy hot water. I resolved never ever to use the broiler again. My husband resolved never to let me forget this “burning the steaks” moment.

Later when I attempted to conquer the charcoal grill, I fared no better. My chicken was raw on the inside and burned on the outside. My hamburger patties broke apart and fell through the grill spaces. Even brats split, and the grease caused the charcoal to flame. I learned that since my grilling skills were non-existent and perhaps even dangerous, I held a spatula in one hand and a water bottle in the other. I longed for the juicy meats and grill marks that TV chefs produced so easily. Since practice didn’t help, and meat is expensive; my husband became the family grill master. I became the salad and dessert maker.

The kitchen stove with its burners and oven is still my favorite appliance. A 9x13 aluminum cake pan is my favorite baking pan.

Sunday Dinner in a 9x13 pan

6 skinned and boned chicken breasts

1 pkg. sliced Swiss Cheese

1 can Healthy Request cream of chicken soup

1 can Healthy Request cream of celery soup

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 pkg. herb seasoned stuffing

Cut chicken in pieces. Arrange in a 9x13 pan. Put cheese slices over the chicken; top with soups; sprinkle stuffing over the top. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 300 degrees for two hours. This is an easy, wonderful comfort food. It can be made ahead.

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