Episode Report CardKeckler: B- | Grade It Now!
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Eight hours (and several versions of plomeek soup) go by, and it's three in the morning. The news is reporting that Saddam has been captured, and my beans are finally ready. As directed, I pull the beans in the last half hour in order to "add some of the beef bouillon or bean stock and increase heat to 275 degrees." "Some of the beef bouillon"? Not "the rest" or "the other half" or "the reserved"? I mean, if you're told to add half the liquid in the beginning of the recipe, and we're presuming that you are actually supposed to use the full amount detailed in the ingredient list, then I would think it might make more sense to say something along the lines I already mentioned. You all might think I'm being overly picky, but it's confusing recipes like these that convince the culinarily timid that they can't cook when, for one reason or another, they can't get the recipe to work. People usually blame themselves for ruining the dish, and while it may be true sometimes, I know for a fact that way too many recipes in magazines or cookbooks are not adequately tested by editors. They simply take at face value that the author has perfected the recipe for all users. Not exactly a good idea, since they even don't take at face value that the author can spell. My dishes usually turn out no matter how poorly written the recipe is, because I can now catch potential issues early enough to fix them along the way. I wasn't always that lucky, and neither are other hardworking cooks out there. The baked bean recipe includes additional notes on a vegetarian version, which again has the note about not needing the whisky -- a note from Keckler to Neelix: some vegetarians do drink -- as well as a "quick-cook" version, using canned beans; tips for people who have coal or wood-burning stoves; and an electric Crock-Pot dish. I don't have a Crock-Pot, and I doubt I'll ever own one, but they always remind me of Ramona Quimby. Do you remember that part in Ramona and Her Father when someone forgot to turn the Crock-Pot on and they had to have carrot salad and pancakes for dinner? There was that whole scandalous scene when Ramona's father "slashed" her mother's pancakes (which were raw in the middle, RAW!) and then her mother swatted her father on the butt with the spatula because Mr. Quimby kept quoting his blasted grandmother. I tell you, that was high drama. Childhood flashbacks aside, I really like that he has all these notes even if none of them apply directly to me in this instance.