The Way Things Are






Never ever ever ever ever do this. Ever.
2004-04-14, 8:31 a.m.

The Great Crockpot Debacle

Alternate title: Never Do This

Thereís this crockpot recipe that I have prepared once before, in which one cooks countreh-stahl pork ribs in the crock all day with a homemade spicy bbq-type sauce. The directions instruct one to remove the meat at dayís end, keep it warm, and put the crockpotted meaty juice leavings in the freezer for a bit to get the fat to separate and harden, so that it can be removed and thus, oneís arteries are spared one more day.

Never do this. Why? Because if you do put the container of meaty juice leavings in the freezer, thereís a chance that it will shift as its heat melts the taquitos and tater tots upon which it rests. And a big container of meaty juice leavings, shifting in the freezer, has a tendency to leap out at you when you open the freezer door.

When large containers of meat juices fly out of the freezer at you, itís as if some large person has just puked all over the floor, your shoes, the inside of the freezer, the outside of the fridge, and then as it drips out of the freezer, it slides and wends its way into the refrigerator. This is not good.

There was the requisite splattering sound, and a chunky liquid was instantly spewed upon the entire kitchen.

Forget preparing the rest of the dinner. Just forget it. Heat the oven, toss in a pizza, and get to work, because you will be taking apart the fridge and freezer for at least half an hour, wiping and cleaning quickly-congealing meat juices off every surface, off every jarred condiment in the door, and off every bag of frozen anonymity in the freezer. Mopping it off the floor, and wiping down the outside of the fridge and the oven are small potatoes compared to what awaits you inside the appliance. The recipe definitely did not include this as part of the cooking process, nay. The recipe fooled me into thinking this was a delicious and simple way to prepare some good olí meat. Itís really not worth it Ė the recipe is good, and the meat is tasty, but the clean-up is a bitch.

This morning, I got up and ran. Iím sleepy, and a bit tired, but most importantly, I have a sinus headache. The kind that starts in the side of my nose under my eyeball, and snakes its way under my cheekbone. Something wicked this way comes. I am armed with coffee, aleve, and a shot of antihistamines up the nose. And my own determination. Yes. If I can clean up the worldís worst meat-juice spew, I can conquer a piddling little sinus headache. Iím just being very careful not to spill the coffee on my desk. It seems Iíve become a bit spastic lately.

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