Hey good lookin’, whatcha got cookin’?

Old faithful hand-me-down. First published by McCall in 1963.

I was having lunch with an old friend not long ago who asked me how I manage to stay so thin. I told him it has a lot to do with my lack of motivation in the kitchen.

The term “cooking” is defined by my trusty internet dictionary as the act of preparing food for human consumption with the use of heat, such as boiling, baking or roasting. There’s more to it than that, of course.

When my son was a youngster, most evenings I would come home from work and prepare a proper, well-rounded meal for him and any other kids from the neighborhood who happened to show up at the dinner hour (I was a single parent at the time). But now that he is grown and has moved out, and with me being a confirmed bachelor, I no longer cook often enough to keep my chops up (heh heh). And though I still enjoy putting together a nice repast for myself on any given Saturday or Sunday evening, I am rarely inspired to do so on a weeknight.

Okay, listen to this: dinner at my house tonight, a miscellaneous Wednesday (I’m sure you will want to save this too-lazy-to-cook recipe.):

Start with two fingers of Jim Beam, one slice of pizza saved from last Friday night and a solitary grilled pork chop from Saturday, two weeks ago (it had only one bite taken out of it—judging from the dental impression I’m pretty sure that bite was from me). Fold the pizza over and wrap it in foil together with the pork chop and then warm in the toaster oven at 350 for 15 minutes or so, or whatever, depending on how the Jim Beam works out. I also boiled up some water for an ear of sweet corn I stumbled upon in the refrigerator’s meat bin. (Had it been in the veggie bin I would have found it sooner. Days sooner, probably.) If you forgot to do that first, put the foiled stuff back in the oven and turn the temp down to “warm,” apply another jigger of Jim Beam where it will do the most good, and wait for the corn to be done. It will be done when the Jim Beam is gone. Remove it from the pot and immediately smother it in butter and salt. Dessert? Three of four remaining sections of a navel orange I peeled last weekend as a snack while watching the Cubs get their butts kicked by the St. Louis Cardinals—again (what is it about those Cardinals?). For the record, I discarded that last orange section: it was dry as a bone (I do have my limits).

In case you haven’t already figured this out, let me share with you a hint to my secret for staying so thin (so far, anyway): Years ago, back in my corporate days, I would sometimes grab a quick lunch at a sandwich shop near the office. The food wasn’t great but it was cheap and fast (insert old joke about the women I typically date). Well, one day I bounced in the front door only to find one of the elder senior executives at the company where I was employed seated alone at a table. When I returned to the dining area with my pita and tuna salad, he invited me to join him. I sat down and asked if he came in there very often. In full earshot of the owner and all his customers, he said, “I try to. The food is so bad it discourages me from over-eating.”

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