25 Steps and Three Short Days to a Home-cooked Meal

by Beth Bartlett

1.  Go into kitchen, locate electric skillet. Look on countertops, in cabinets. Where is it? The thing was right here just last month.

2.  Become tired and hungry while searching for skillet. Wonder if you washed it before it disappeared.

3.  Suspect dog has stolen electric skillet and is making quesadillas in his doghouse.

4.  Give up search. Order pizza.

5.  Day Two: Tell yourself nothing will stop you from cooking a real dinner tonight.

6.  Go out to thrift store and browse electric skillets. Ooh, there’s a combination yogurt/ice cream maker!

7.  Walk out with yogurt/ice cream maker. Slap forehead.

8.  Search next thrift store for electric skillets. Find one that looks like someone has made candles in it. With their feet.

9.  Settle for a nice electric wok.  Think about stunning husband with stir-fry, conveniently forgetting that last stir-fry stuck to the pan so badly, it looked like a square in a cobblestone sidewalk.

10. Bring home wok. Plug it in.

11. Open pantry door for ingredients. Note amazing lack of ingredients. Wave to the ants as they gather around a lone raisin like orphans in a Dickens tale.

12. Make note to go to store tomorrow for ingredients.

13. Order pizza.

14. Smell smoke. Unplug billowing smoke machine that was the electric wok.

15. Add ‘new fire extinguisher’ to shopping list.

16. Day Three: Go shopping for assorted foodstuffs. Decide that grocery store really should have a fire extinguisher section.

17. Come home, stock pantry. Listen to faint cheering from cupboard.

18. Plug in wok, and this time, add water.

19. When water boils, add package of ramen noodles, remembering to unwrap it first.

20. Fish out seasoning packet out of boiling water with wooden spoon. Curse appropriately when scalded.

21. Open can of mushroom soup. Smack can opener repeatedly against countertop to get it to work.

22. Take a moment to bandage cuts from flying can opener debris.

23. Pour soup into wok. Add cooked chicken from grocery deli section and contents of damp seasoning packet.

24. Simmer for a few minutes, and serve with crackers, potato chips, or salad if you’re feeling ambitious.

25. REMEMBER TO TURN OFF WOK. Relax and rest up for next month's attempt. Make note to wash wok and hide from dog. If he doesn’t have the decency to invite you to his dinner parties, he shouldn’t be allowed to borrow the wok.

Beth Bartlett is a domestically challenged freelance writer and humorist who will be delighted if you laughed during the above post, but sadly acknowledges that there’s more truth than fiction to it. If you don’t bump into her at a pizza take-out waiting line, you can catch her at Pure Geek, her main site, or her new blog Geek Girl Universe.


  1. Very funny! I liked this a lot and can relate to the ordering pizza part.

  2. LOL!!! I can so relate to the ants circling the lone raisin in the cupboard!!

  3. Thank you! Yes, ordering pizza is perhaps my best culinary skill.

  4. That is seriously funny . . .

  5. Kindred, we is. Kindred.


  6. Nice, Beth! I'd say all of the above fits into the "cooking-related" category.

  7. It's like you and I went to the same culinary school. ;)

  8. I have found my tribe . . . (Seriously, this hurt me with funneh)


  9. Thanks everyone! The sad part? We actually tried to cook a frozen pizza on the grill tonight...and failed spectacularly. We broke off a piece for the dog and he tried to bury it. I'm going back to Pop-Tarts and carry-out pizza. Much safer.

  10. My cupboards cheer too! Very funny!


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