For those who don’t already know, my eyesight is … well, let’s just call it unpredictable.
Years ago, when I was young and thin, good-looking and not very bright, I made a horrible decision for cosmetic surgery which ended up screwing up my vision for life. It can’t be corrected, only … I dunno. Accounted for, I suppose. I have to sort of average it out. So, anyway, long story short, I have really poor vision, especially early in the day (whenever that comes for me).
So this morning, I stumbled out of my bed and got started with my job hunt and things like that. I spent some time online with blogs and Twitter and whatnot. Then I got the kids fed and decided to have something to eat myself. Not a major decision for most people, but lately, food and I aren’t getting along very well and I have to walk on eggshells with it. So on tenterhooks I go to the fridge for something tummy-friendly to eat.
And there, nestled in a black plastic container from a favorite local Chinese delivery joint with the clear plastic lid covered in condensation, is a pile of what looks for all the world like my wife’s amazing twice-baked potato filling. She’s made some pretty amazing stuff of late – twice baked potatoes being a favorite for the kids and me – and some of it managed to be left over. So I thought I hit the jackpot.
I peel the lid off the container and set it on loose, to allow the steam to escape while I re-heat what will eventually be a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes. I’m considering digging for the leftover chicken that went with it too, as I pop it in the microwave and tick the timer over to two minutes. It’s a large heap, so I figured I’d start with two minutes and if it’s still cold in the middle I can zap it a few more seconds and see how that does it. But I want to be careful, because I don’t like how the microwave alters food, so I don’t want to ruin this delicious lunch I’m prepping.
I catch a glimpse of one of the many makeshift cookie jars my wife has, and see it’s been left apart from the others on the counter. Intrigued – because I’m famished at this point – I open the lid and see the sugar cookies she made for the kids to decorate last night. Good stuff – not too sweet, not heavy, great texture. I decide against sneaking one, though. Again, I’m set on those spuds. Don’t wanna mess it up for myself.
I give up on the chicken idea and return my attention to the microwave, as the final seconds wind down. And I’m still smelling those sugar cookies even though the lid’s securely placed back on the jar. Hm. Interesting. The pleasant, sort of starchy scent is a bit doughy considering they were mixed and baked last night. And my wife stored the leftover cookie dough, so it’s not out on the counter turning rancid.
So what’s with the smell?
The electronic chirp of the microwave cries at me and I pull the black container out of the chamber. But something’s … not quite right. No, not right at all.
The lid of the container, set atop the black plastic bowl, is pushed up and aside a little. The potatoes under it seem to have … to have grown somehow, like some mutating blog monster from a bad 50s Sci-Fi movie. They’ve … expanded. Bloomed. And as the steam slowly drifted around the edges of the circular plastic lid, it almost looked like it was breathing. Exhaling.
No, no, no!
Rip the lid aside, take a big sniff. Yep, it’s this stuff. This … this is not twice-baked potato filling. Not at all. No, this … this is …
… cookie dough. The leftover cookie dough from the night before.
I shove a spoon into the puffy mixture and more steam escapes. I stir, wild, vigorous cranks of the spoon, trying to get the dough down, down, cool, dammit, cool off!
Finally I slam the lid back onto the container and stuff the still-hot plastic back into the fridge. A few hours, yeah, yeah, just a few hours and it’ll be all right, it’ll be fine, two minutes, c’mon, how much damage can two minutes do? It didn’t harden, I could still stir it, who’s gonna notice, right? Right?
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