The very few things I know about cooking

I’d rather do the dishes than prepare them

CookingThere are very few things I know about cooking.

1. In general, longer is better.

I discovered this when my father would spend hours cooking spaghetti sauce on the stove at low heat when I was growing up. Ask any barbecue chef and they’ll tell you that time is their ally in creating a great taste.

Bt it’s even true with mundane food such as oatmeal. My wife makes instant oatmeal in the microwave most mornings. But she always says it tastes better when I just boil a pan of water and cook it on the stove for a minute. The process takes an extra four minutes, vital for her on a weekday morning.

2. Water is useful.

I was watching the CBS morning show on Saturday earlier this year. It always has a cooking section. The chef was apparently world-famous, white, male, older, and I think with an accent, but I had never heard of him. He was frying eggs when he put a little water into the hot pan, much to the puzzlement of host Jeff Glor, and me.

I started cooking eggs that way and discovered that, for the first time in six decades of cooking eggs, I could successfully prepare them over easy.

Also, I make omelets with fresh spinach. I would prepare the spinach with a little butter/margarine/Olivio. But my wife wanted to avoid the calories and suggested I use a pan spray. For me, the spinach did not reduce properly. But it did with relatively little water.

Cleanup time 

3. All things being equal, I’d rather clean up afterward.

I’ve noticed that when my wife or daughter prepares food, they use far more dishes/pans/pots than I do so. As I try to keep up with the dishes, I’m forever surprised by that fact. If money were no object, I’d eat out or get takeout every other night. Maybe it’s that I’ve had more experience cooking for one.

But playing in soapy water: now THAT’S something I can get into. I get a certain joy from the cleanup than I ever get cooking or baking. At Thanksgiving dinner in 1987 with over a dozen people, I really didn’t mind the cleanup at all. It’s…USEFUL. Whereas others groan and kvetch about the scalded pots and sticky mixing bowls, I rather enjoy the challenge.

Coverville 1381: The 18th Annual Beatles Thanksgiving Cover Story

Odd habits: Ask Roger Anything

eggs

odd eggYou could Ask Roger Anything. About his odd habits, for instance. Of course, he might tell you that he has no odd habits. This would mean one of two possibilities. Either he’s totally self-unaware or he’s lying.

Is my sleeping pattern a habit? Here’s an article about sleeping in two shifts. This is definitely me, especially in the last year. So if I’m writing to you at 3 a.m., my time, it’s likely that I just got up, read my email, and will probably go to bed in a half hour.

I have had the habit of playing music related to the birthdays of the musicians. But in retirement, I have fallen well behind. I used to play 6-10 CDs at work each day, but I’m not at home now nearly as much as I was at work then.

OK, I suppose this is odd. When I take eggs out of a carton, I remove a egg from one end, then the one from the opposite corner. The last eggs in the carton are in the middle. This has something to with me once dropping a carton because I grabbed it at one end, which was empty, and I didn’t anticipate a half dozen at the other end.

The ask

Want to know more odd habits, or anything else about me? This is your lucky day! It’s that time again for you to Ask Roger Anything. I mean anything. Based on my track record, I’ll even take the time to answer them, most likely within a month. That’s the swell guy I am!

Per usual, you can leave any of your questions and/or suggestions, in the comments section of this blog or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can do that. However, you need to SAY so specifically. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to be unnamed; otherwise, I’ll assume you want your moniker to be noted.

Len Wein, egg salad and other things

Arthur wants to know:

Have you ever run across anything about YOU that you didn’t know about?

Nah. I get Google alerts for Roger Green but it’s usually some Brit or another, although it might be a Denver musician or a high school teacher in Texas.

Just recently, someone told me there used to be a New York state assemblyman named Roger Green, as if I didn’t know. I started adding my middle initial or name to distinguish myself from him, for he, like so many other state legislators, got into legal and ethical problems.

There was a time I used to write more regularly a blog for the local newspaper. Since I was usually behind in my reading, I’d discover that the paper had excerpted part of my post, not from reading the paper, but from people telling me they saw it.

Jaquandor inquires:

Favorite Len Wein character?

#1 would have to be Swamp Thing. I know it better from the Moore-Bissette-Totleben period that Wein edited. But I discovered the Wein-Wrightson origins after that.

#2 is probably Storm, which he and Dave Cockrum developed in Giant-Size X-Men #1.

Interesting that you asked the question on the very day there was a Final JEOPARDY! answer about Len Wein.
Only the defending champion, who had been in third place, got the correct answer, which got her the win.

So Wolverine is probably #3.

But I also liked the characters he wrote that he didn’t create, such as Spider-Man in Marvel Team Up.

What do you think of egg salad? (I thought it was gross for years but I’ve recently converted.)

I ALWAYS liked egg salad. You NEED mustard if it’s to be any good.

When I was a kid, I ate it on white bread, or as we called it in those days, bread. As an adult, I developed a preference for it on seeded rye.

I like almost anything with eggs, BTW. When I’m eating out, I often order an omelet, not because I can’t make one myself – I surely can, and have since I was about 10 – but because I usually don’t have the variety of ingredients I’d need to keep fresh on hand.

Eggs trordinaire

I never tried Green Eggs and Ham.

RussianFabergeEggChris E. asked: “Do you like eggs?”

No, no, no. I LOVE eggs.

Eggs were the first thing I could cook on our gas stove at home when I was growing up, using a cast-iron skillet. It meant that wouldn’t be destined to eat cold cereal for the rest of my life.

Eggs are versatile because I could scramble them or fry them or make an omelet. The best thing to put into the omelet are sauteed onions and/or mushrooms, or fresh spinach.

Eggs can be poached. Our household had this aluminum pan that allowed for three eggs to be cooked, with the water between the bottom of the pan and the trio of cups. Now, I just poach them in boiling water and utilize a slotted spoon. Now that I think of it, I haven’t made poached eggs in a while.

For the longest time, when my choir was having a party, I would bring deviled eggs, always. Secret ingredient: dry (powdered) mustard.

When I go out to eat, I often have eggs, especially a Western omelet, that has many different ingredients, because it’s too much work to keep all of those items fresh at home. I’ll even eat an Egg McMuffin if I were in a hurry.

I’m told that, despite scares about it, when dietary intake of cholesterol is decreased, the liver compensates by producing more cholesterol, leaving total cholesterol levels relatively unchanged, and vice versa. So one should be able to eat a reasonable number of eggs each week.

Growing up, I proved to be pretty good at the raw egg toss; I had soft hands in catching the oval projectiles.

Hmm: The CEO Obsessed With Making Eggs Without Chickens.

Culturally, I deeply mourned the terrible death of Humpty Dumpty. I never tried Green Eggs and Ham, but I own the book; it’s GREEN, after all. When I sing in excelsis, it sounds more like “in egg shell cease”. I groaned at Jaquandor’s eggscelent pun he swiped from Facebook.

And of course, I AM the eggman.

I also like the chicken, which came first, but that’s for another day.

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