Thursday, January 18, 2007

Just Add Water

With a talkative two-year-old tugging at my leg, I attempted to throw together a quick dinner for the family. A simple Jambalaya simmered in the pot, glistening with sausage and bespeckled with shredded peppers.

The monkey mugged for a cracker. The sad-faced dog hovered patiently in the corner waiting for the first wayward scraps to strike the floor. My mind raced for a second course. A main course, in my mind, always requires a side dish. If for no other reason, something to sop with...


No, no Bisquick left in the cupboard. um... um... ummmm...


Yes! A can of Marie Callender Cornbread Mix peeked out from behind the rows and rows of Mandarin Orange cans. "Add Water!" It read in bright bold letters on the front. Simple instructions for a simple meal.

Pan well-greased, I folded-in the pale yellow batter, and slid it into the pre-heated oven. A half hour later, the golden corn pillow came out, steaming and smooth, bearing fine contrast to the chunky spice-colored Creole rice pot.

Wine? No, beer. Full Sail Amber, bitter with heavy Oregon hops to smooth out the cayenne. Golden Irish butter melted into the yellowy grainy cornbread. I raised the sweet square to my mouth. And that is where I detected the first sign of trouble.

It smelled... Like...uh... what? what? Oh yah, FISH!!

Unfortunately, it was too late. The taste buds detected the foulness before the nose could. Now, you and I both know that FISH is not an ingredient to cornbread. Nevertheless, it smelled and tasted like sea food. I went back to the mixing bowl and sniffed. Yes, definitely fish.

And, I don't mean a nice delicious bass. No, I mean FISH, like the deck of a fishing boat at rest under the July sun. It made my mouth taste like fear. I welcomed the thought of vomit, which would at least taste a little better.

Hunger compelled me to cleanse my gullet with more beer. Then, after opening a third, I finally sat down and finished the Jambalaya, which, all things considered, turned out pretty well.


  1. The Pantry7:04 AM

    Jiffy corn bread mix. 1 box, 1 batch.

  2. but does it taste like dead fish?

  3. amanda9:10 AM

    Nice Napoleon reference, Brian.

  4. Did it take you like 3 hours to finish the shading on this blog?

  5. Dr. B, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.

  6. Are you sure you didn't pick up a can of Marie Callender's Sea Monkeys? I believe the "just add water" instructions are the same for both products.

  7. The panrty is totally right about the Jiffy mix. Although you need an egg and some milk to make it. But it doesn't taste like fish. So easy a monkey could do it! Haven't you trained that kid to cook your meals and fetch your beers yet? I mean really, what's the point of having kids if you can't turn them into free domestic help?

  8. mmmm...nothing better on cajun food than sea monkeys....

  9. amanda12:59 PM

    I believe in a previous post Brian mentioned that the monkey brought him his beer. Also, as they have a gas range, I doubt Mrs. G and T would consent to the monkey cooking. Lets get back to the cornbread in a can though. Jiffy mix is essentially corn meal and flour. You don't even need Jiffy. Making cornbread is tremendously easy. Why use a mix at all?

  10. Mrs. G&T1:09 PM

    1. We've had luck with the Marie Callendar's before. I suspect that it went bad. But, Brian is right. It went REALLY bad. This one he isn't exaggerating.

    2. Jiffy it is for the future.

    3. Yes, cornbread is easy to make. However, every once in a while Mama needs a break and Daddy agrees to fix dinner. He is more confident with mixes than recipies. In my book, a husband-cooked-meal-with-a-mix is totally worth keeping the mix on hand.

    4. Jambalaya was very good. My canned pineapple sidedish was quite satisfying.

  11. Which isn't to say that I don't wander off the reservation on occasion, Garlic and Basil in hand...

  12. My wife strictly forbids me using my children as tools to foster my drinking habit. No fetching beers. No displays of excess drinking in their presence. She prefers I drink beer from a cold pint glass than a bottle with the label stuck to my head. She also was angered when I taught Jacob (9) how to open a wine bottle witha corkscrew.

    Contrast my house with Inog's house. Inog's children (my neices): 1) offer beer from tap as soon as I enter; 2) refill my beer before I fiinish better than any bar maid ever; and 3) offer to hold my feet in the air as I do a keg stand.

  13. I think there needs to be a kegerator party sometime this summer at inog's place for the Gin and Tonic Lounge regulars.

  14. Anyone who ever thought for even a minute that bread from a can was a good idea deserves whatever wretched gut rot comes out of it.

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Leah, love you baby, but we don't use the Monkey's real name.

    Sorry I had to delete you...

    Although, it did make me feel kinda powerful.

  17. Anonymous3:56 PM

    ooooh busted!

  18. inog's wife4:36 PM

    We can consider having a party here. Ryan and inog tend to get tired of whatever keg is on tap- or just excited about the next one- and would appreciate the help draining an old one.

    And yes, what Ryan said about my kids is true. The other day the youngest (9) coached me through the opening of a wine bottle.

  19. I think we need to form an exploratory committee for this so-called Lounge Party. I think Ryan, festivity-genius that he is, needs to be the chairman of the committee.

    Inog may need to take out more home-owners insurance.

  20. Oh, I'm so going to sulk if you do...

  21. amanda5:55 PM

    Ha. What you REALLY need to do is go on a group cruise on whatever ship I next land on. THAT would be a party.

  22. Awwww...I love you too. And I promise never ever ever to use Mildred's real name again. I mean Minerva. Whoops, I meant Mertle. No, no, that wasn't right either. What's her name again? Madge? Maude? How's about Melva. Celtic. Means "mill worker." And ya gotta admit, the original post was a damn good idea. Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta got post your kid's name, date of birth and home address on myspace. kiss kiss.

  23. ev - aka Gigglebutt10:07 PM

    Did you know it's cheaper to fly to England than it is to Portland from LA. I say we invade Britain! I wonder if they eat fishy corn bread at tea time?

  24. I am in China.

    Just saying.

  25. The panty1:07 PM

    I don't like that fishy tastes either . . .


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