Monday, 23 January 2012

Is it ok to ignore heating instructions?

New - with photographs!

I have said before how much I like Uncle Ben's Microwave Risotto Rice. It cooks a lovely risotto in 2 minutes and 40 seconds, which is far more my style than stirring rice in a pan constantly for 45 minutes, carefully adding a couple of drops of stock every few seconds.

The last time I zapped a microwave risotto, I had a bit of an accident. Our microwave has a removable grill tray which I usually remove before cooking anything. This time, I neglected to remove it, and the packet of rice got caught in the element at the top of the microwave, tipping it over. When it had finished, I found the base of the microwave covered in nicely-cooked risotto, which I had to bin.

This time, I opened the microwave, took out the grill tray, closed the microwave, opened a cupboard, took a measuring jug from the cupboard, filled the measuring jug with 100ml of water, opened the risotto sachet, poured the water into the sachet, put the sachet into the opened cupboard, tried to work out why I couldn't find the controls to cook it.

After I told Doris what I had done, and she laughed, I decided that a photograph was in order, so I had to set it again to take a photo:
and where the microwave is in relation to this cupboard. I didn't miss by much!

I put the rice in the microwave and started cooking. In the meantime, I wondered whether to have any protein with it. After a quick search of the fridge, I found some frankfurters. Looking at the back of the pack, I saw that the instructions claimed 30 seconds in a 850W microwave for 2 frankfurters, or 1:30 for 4 frankfurters. I did not believe this, but I cooked 4 frankfurters for 1:30 anyway. At 1 minute, they started to pop and explode, so I decided that they were cooked and that the instructions must have been wrong.

To get proof of the wrongness of the instructions, I took a photo. Hey - I have a camera in my phone, so I might as well use it!
Hmmm ... if you look at the full-sized photo, you'll see that it actually says 1:10 at 850W. I must have been misreading the instructions. I wonder if this goes some way towards explaining my lack of cooking skills?

EDIT: In the future, I must remember to take the sachet out of the cupboard and throw it away after I've set up a photograph!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Expert Bread Baking

This instalment is just reported by me, not caused by me.

I was napping this afternoon, and Doris, my partner, made herself a sandwich for her tea. She used the last of the loaf that I baked yesterday, and so she did me a favour by baking a new loaf of wholemeal bread.

I was in the kitchen when the timer indicated that the loaf was done, and the kitchen had started to smell a little like bread, so I went to take the loaf out of the breadmaker to let it air.

It looked AWFUL! There was a small lump of dough in the middle of the breadmaker and a scraping of bread around the edge of the tin. A disaster worthy of this blog.

I went to get Doris, so that she could identify what had gone wrong. I asked her if she'd forgotten to add any yeast, but she confirmed that yeast had been added.

After looking at it, she tipped the whole lot into the bin, declaring "I know what I did wrong. I didn't add any water. I am a twonk"

EDIT: it's now 30 minutes later, and it is smelling more and more like bread. Ok, it's in the bin, but it's starting to smell good. I would be tempted to try it, if it hadn't already been thrown away!