A Microwave Can Solve Anything, Right?

llewcook Have you ever had a meal that was so incredibly bad that you will never forget it?

I have…oooooh yeah.  So bad we-went-out-for-Burger-King-afterword bad.

It started off with such promise.

I had been doing a lot of cooking for our local group when David and Tina decided they could do better.  They were actually kind of rude about it.

“We don’t need any help.” they stated as they closed the door in my face. “We have REAL cooks coming in to help.”

Real cooks, eh? Hmmmmmmph! Disconcerted, I took my sorry ass off to watch the day’s other activities.

Even I had to admit that it was a beautiful morning.  The delivery truck came and dropped off crates labelled “Premium Beef Roast” along with crates of veggies and other necessaries about 9 a.m.

By 10 a.m. I was bored silly and sitting outside the kitchen reading. I tried the door but it was locked and no signs of the kitchen crew.

By noon, I wasn’t the only one who had noticed no activity. The event coordinator, Bob, came up and tested the door.

“Where the hell are they?” he asked.

“Don’t worry. They are professionals.” chimed in one suck up.

“Hmmph!” the organizer said and walked away.

Long about one p.m., David and Tina finally showed up along with their team of “professionals”.

“Where have you guys been?” asked Bob.

“Relax. It’s still four hours until dinner.” they smiled as they drifted past and locked the door again.

Not having anything better to do, I leaned up against the building and read. It must have been 3 p.m. when I heard shouting in the kitchen.

“It’s all frozen.”


“It’s all frozen, you dumbass. Every single one of these roasts is hard frozen! So’s the chicken!” ranted Tina.

“Well, that’s what we have a microwave for. Right?” chimed in David.

Gradually, the kitchen quieted down and the smells of cooking started to emerge. Sort of. Eventually, it all got blanked out by the overwhelming smell of ozone.

I can’t say I expected it but when the lights all dimmed briefly and the smell of ozone just rolled out of the kitchen windows, I was not surprised.

David came running out of the door and up to Bob. “Budget just went up $300.” and he raced to his car and tore off through the parking lot in search of the nearest WalMart.

That poor microwave had been through Hell. It was unceremoniously dumped outside the back door of the kitchen and just lay there like a beached whale. Scorch marks ran out of the door and the window had partially melted. What I think may have been beef blood or juices dribbled out of where the interior light had been and I had never seen a microwave bulge outward and upward before. The door wouldn’t even close any longer.

I didn’t know whether to sigh or say the last rites.

Even after David got back from his unplanned shopping trip, things in that kitchen did not improve. Dinner time arrived and went. After 15 minutes, a frantic David yelled out of the kitchen door “Dinner’s gonna be late!”

We were not surprised.

Finally, it came time for dinner and we entered the hall in trepidation but hunger does strange things to a man.

The first course was a wilted lettuce salad. At least, I think it was. It was a bit hard to tell as the bacon grease used to wilt the greens had been poured on a little heavy and had congealed into the bottom of the bowls.  It had all of the appeal of seaweed in aspic. I didn’t see a single person eat any of it.

The second course was the chicken. It had sounded good in the menu but when presented with undercooked shredded chicken in vinegar and raspberry jelly, and a miniscule quantity at that, I have to admit to losing my appetite.  Everyone at my table passed their tiny portion to the one person at the table willing to eat it.

Finally, it was time for the beef roasts.  The smells coming out of the kitchen were just amazing. I thought ‘At Last! Food!’. Then I saw it.

Oven roasted might be the term they were using. Vaguely incinerated would be a better one.

These were VERY large roasts of between 15 and 20 lbs. each. After coating with honey and spices, they had been placed in the oven to roast but didn’t seem to be cooking fast enough so they used an unconventional cooking method.

A welding torch.

Those roasts were browned all right and the spices on the outer edge were turned to ash. That was quite the thick crust, all right.

Then, someone cut into one of the roasts and hit ice.  They were still completely frozen in the middle.

Burger King really did sound good after that.


5 lbs. beef roast

2 cups honey

1/2 gallon red wine

Garlic, to taste

Oregano, to taste

Take the beef roast and soak it in the red wine overnight.

Drain the roast.

Mix the spices and the honey and liberally coat the roast with the liquid.

Get a frying pan or griddle very hot and then place the roast in the pan. Make sure to regularly rotate it until brown. It is important to remember that you are not trying to cook the roast – just brown it.

Place the roast in a shallow pan and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake to an internal temp of 180 or until rare inside. You may bake longer if you prefer well done meat.  Serve.


COPYRIGHT 2016 Micheal J. Hobbs


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