A Watched Pot Never Boils

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

Actual excerpt of conversation I had with my daughter

Me:” I have the oven preheating, it will beep when it is done, just ignore it. Now, when the water boils I need you to add the noodles and set the time for 8 minutes, when they are done drain them and leave them for me. Got it?”

Kid: “Yes!”

Me: “Okay, I am running out to pick up the two other kids from their after school activities, I will be home in a few minutes. You sure you’re okay with watching the noodles?”

Kid: nodding vigorously “YES.”

I drive off and as I pull into my son’s school I get a text, it‘s the Kid “The oven timer went off what do I do?”

I text back that it is just letting her know it’s preheated no action necessary. My son hops in the car and I continue on my merry way to pick up the next kid.

As I pull into that kid’s school, I get another text. This one is a picture of the noodles happily boiling away. Great, I can just finish making the sauce for the mac & cheese when I get home and supper is done. I am pleased that we will have a nice meal together, since we haven’t because of various after school activities.

This kid takes a little longer to get to the car so I am a few minutes late getting home. I walk in and kid number one greats me a tad sheepishly. Before I can even ask, she tells me that she accidentally set the timer for 80 minutes instead of 8 minutes, and then got involved in a TV program. She remembered the noodles, but it was too late they are way past al dente.
She looks so remorseful that I can’t even chastise her for not keeping track of the noodles.

Since, we don’t have any other noodles in the house, so I work with the mushy noodles. The macaroni and cheese is still edible, but my other daughter keeps making pointed comments about the texture of the noodles.

I think from now on she is in charge of frozen pizza night.

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12 thoughts on “A Watched Pot Never Boils

  1. That’s right, Doris. My daughter will listen to part of what I say, tells me she understands, then complains that I didn’t explain things better when she doesn’t follow the very clear directions. Ah, kids. Great post, by the way.


  2. I really enjoyed this post, Jennifer. It makes me think of my daughter many years ago when I asked her to do laundry while I was gone for about half an hour. She was 13 at the time. I wrote out instructions but for some reason she got them mixed up. She put the wash on easy wash and the dryer on hot. A few things got a little hot, but there was no damage, so we laughed about it. Since she was my only daughter we had to establish a working relationship and I’m proud to say that not only is she a great cook, but she does laundry extremely well! This problem is one we’ve all dealt with, I think.


  3. So funny. I have so many cooking stories. Lol. One time, when microwaves first came out, I put corndogs in for three minutes-lost track of time until the buzer went off at 30 minutes. The sticks inside the corndogs caight on fire. My husband and teen son made so much fun of me, that I made them eat them anyway. Well, they at least tried, while I cooked them something else. Cher’ley


  4. Funny–and so true! Even frozen pizza isn’t safe, if I’m anyone to go by–and I’m an adult. I stuck a pizza in the oven the other night, set the timer (or at least thought I did), and then started checking email, reading blog posts, etc. The next thing I knew it was 40 minutes later and I ran to check on the pizza. It was still edible, but just barely. I don’t know if I forgot to set the timer or if I was just so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn’t even hear it. Anyway, hopefully your daughter will do better than I did with frozen pizza night, Jennifer. 🙂


  5. Don’t know what to comment… I’m the guy who could mess up microwaving oat meal and cream of wheat. Screwing up the time… I’ve done something similar as a newspaper reporter, putting down budget information in a story and adding a zero by accident and me, the copy editor and the city editor not catching the mistake.


  6. Jennifer- I love it! We have had quite a few disasters recently. My daughter wants to do her share of cooking and housekeeping but she’s still feeding the baby herself and there’s my 3 year old granddaughter to get to dancing class and playgroup etc. My OH and I have come home to find dinner isn’t even out of the freezer and the oven not yet on… We have a good take out just along the road – which is very good!


  7. I burned scrambled eggs the other day. Thankfully, I have a husband who makes great omlettes, so I pulled out the eggs from the fridge and handed them to him and said, “Now you’re in charge, as you should have been in the first place!”


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