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If you have not done
much cooking before,

Read This

On eggs:
If you are not good at breaking eggs, buy brown eggs. Then, when some shells fall into the egg while the pan is hot, you'll have time to get something to fish it out, and be able to find it in the already cooked egg white. With white shells, that's almost impossible

And one other thing – Prune juice
I'm not kidding. Look at what you are eating and tell me you don't need it. I drink about a quarter of a cup a day (well, 1/8th). Normally right out of the bottle - who else is going to drink that stuff. That's not a question, that's a statement.

And this is very important:
No matter what you are cooking, before you take the pan off the stove or before you are taking your food out of it, turn off the stove. I just lost a Teflon, or one of the dozen brand names under which it is manufactured, because I did not. I put the pan back on top of a low flame which I did not see in my rush to eat. Second pan I have lost in two weeks. Cooking for myself is getting sort of expensive. Also, fortunately I do not have budgies. Teflon is deadly for them. They die terrible deaths when breathing in the fumes from a very hot or burning "teflon" pan. See Pet Birds Care/Hazards.

You may think that you're not getting enough of whatever you need in the way of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, sugars and vitamins. I will deal with all of that next time. In the mean time, hang in there. You'll be all right.

Continuation of Helpful Hints On
Eating Right Without Trying

If you have a stove (if you don't, and I am serious about this, go out there and find someone quickly), here are some things you can do with it.

You can order it, but that costs plus there is always the tip. Or, you can buy it already made and frozen, but that is pretty big to carry any distance, and in any case they never have the amount of cheese on them that they show in the picture. In relative terms, it costs a lot. The only alternative is to make it yourself. I do not mean baking pizza the way some people say mama used to make it. I mean instant pizza. Buy pizza sauce (if you plan on eating a lot of pizzas, buy several at once), whatever topping you like, some cheese, and spice (I use oregano), and of course the dough. I use already frozen pizza dough shells (slabs of dough which you do not have to roll or anything). There are alternatives such as tortilla shell for pizza, sourdough, cornmeal, yeast free rice shells for pizza (you don’t believe me, look it up). Each culture has its own form of shell. Get anything besides rolling the dough yourself which I am totally against. Of course, you can put it in an oven, but I cook mine in a frying pan which for me is much faster. One side gets toasted and then flipped. Important note: At this point, put it on low flame or you will not have time to put everything else on it. But be sure that you have everything ready to pour/spread/place on top, because when you turn it over and the other side starts cooking, you do not have much time to get things opened, sliced, grated, and so forth. Cover it tightly so the cheese will melt. That's it. Be careful not to burn the bottom. I did the first time but ate it anyway.

Things that last for several meals
Cook up a large batch of rice or a large batch of spaghetti (not at the same time unless you want to freeze it, and certainly not cooked together).

Spaghetti first
I boil water in the coffee maker and pour it into a sauce pan. Saves time and gas (but not electricity, but then I do not have to call the electric company when I run out).
Turn on the stove.
Put in the spaghetti. Do not use more than one third a package – will last you at least three meals unless you really love the stuff.
Stir it if you don't want it to glomb (do not attempt to look this up in the dictionary - it isn't there). If you do not separate the spaghetti, serve it with a knife.
I eat it al dente which means just a little bit chewy (firm but not hard according to Wikipedia, and certainly not soft) because I don't have the patience to wait the extra 3-4 minutes or so (my nerves are on a tight schedule). By the way, if you are not familiar with Wikipedia (the biggest multilingual free-content encyclopedia on the Internet), you should be. It is the most accessible and amazing collection of information in the world, not counting all of the List of national libraries (I am easily sidetracked).
After it cools you can freeze part of it, but be sure to break it up into meal size quantities or it will be impossible to get apart, and you definitely do not want to refreeze what you froze once (this is a law).
If you have a strainer - you don't have to use one or even get one. But, if you do, it is useful to strain the spaghetti because when it gets cold, the water which is filled with starch, coagulates. However, be sure to rinse off the strainer very well after straining the spaghetti or rice or whatever. Once that starch dries it is almost impossible to get it out from all of those holes.

Oh yes, I almost forgot –
Same as above, but here you want it to be eatable and not all watery, and well, you want it to be, what is the word – fluffy (I didn't say that and will deny it if challenged).
So do the following:
Put two cups of boiling water from the coffee pot into a pan. A cup is anything you have handy – this is not a measuring device. Than put in the rice, one half of that "same cup" and stir. The problem with rice is that it takes a long time – relatively – and you have to watch it, otherwise you end up with a severely burned pan which you will have to throw away. I lost a pan this way just last week. But just to be on the safe side and not have you accuse me of leading you down the wrong path, a "how-to-do-it" by someone who really knows Make Perfect Rice

Timing depends on attitude. Did I say attitude? I meant altitude. Well, if you are cranky and fed up, things can seem to take forever and it can get you upset. Anyway, cooking time is quite different if you are sitting on the bay of Bengal, or cooking just below Machu Picchu 2,430 meters high in the Peruvian highlands, or just below the new height of Mount Everest which was found to be 8850 meters as determined by satellite based technology (and not the old measurement of 8848). See boiling water below. So, forget all that. The best guess measurement is when you stir it and there is no water – it's done. But be careful, if there is just a little bit of water left, stand over it. Do not leave it even for a minute because that water dries up quickly and the burn starts.

Cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes (all the rest buy at your own discretion)
These are the only things I buy. I should add carrots to this but then I have to peel or scrape them, and then cut – well that is just too much work when I am hungry.

I just boil a whole cabbage – cut up of course, and then fry small portions whenever I eat. If you eat quite a bit of it, be sure to use a lot of caraway seed, or fennel, or cilantro according to the link below (personally, I have never heard of the last two so use them at your discretion). It doesn't matter when you put it on, just get it on there. Otherwise, stay indoors for a day. A helpful page on spices and their effects is but I vowed that I would not get too deeply into this stuff.

Cherry Tomatoes
They tend to keep for a while in the refrigerator so if you eat a number of them every day, you can keep two week's worth. If you put them inside a bun with whatever you have in there, you better buy the large tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes just don't stay in there and if you are pacing the floor as I do, there is a lot of cleaning up to do.

Head lettuce, or already prepared baby lettuce in a box require less washing but that is according to taste and how you feel about where it came from. However, it is the easiest to prepare. Just do not boil it – have you ever tried to boil lettuce – don't!! But then, it has been done by many cultures, and quite successfully.

So that you will not go away without some knowledge of the nutrients and health benefits of onions here is Onions by the World's Healthiest Foods. After you read it, you will eat more. But, what I want to tell you is a method for getting diced onions. Once peeled (with your mouth closed), cut the ends of the onion off, cut the onion in half and then make 8 to 10 cuts across the onion to a depth of about 3/4 down. Then swivel it 90 degrees and cut another 8-10 time so that you have lots of little squares. All you now have to do to get minced onion is to slice the onion the way you always do. Now I know why they say that a picture is worth a 1000 words,

_|_|_|_|_|_ _|_|_|_|_|_ _|_|_|_|_|_ _|_|_|_|_|_
except my onions are never square

Coffee maker
By the way, if you use a kettle or electric water boiler to make your instant coffee and do not have filters or bottled water, or have and don't use them, then you will have calcium buildup at the bottom of the kettle. So, I have learned the following: Let the boiled water settle for at least the count of 10 before pouring into your cup. Do not drain ALL the water from the coffee pot into your cup. Rinse out the appliance before making a new batch or even between cups. AND FOR HEAVENS SAKE, do not drink the cup to the last drop. I poured the water through a strainer (tea or larger is fine), and what came out was amazing – and the worst part of it was all of the little stuff smaller than the strainer holes. If you do not have a very fine mesh strainer built into the nozzle of your coffee maker, buy one that does. It's worth it. Over time, the plak (I have to find a word the dictionary recognizes, but you know what I mean - o.k. calcium) comes off in pieces so you really do not have much of a problem except that they are usually little pieces. I have never fully found out what conditions are conducive to this happening but when I find out, I will let you know. I hear that they have some plak cleaning solution out there but that costs. I am also told that white vinegar will do the job (thanks to Sonia Penny and Tricia Semmelhack). Another idea is to put some filtered or mineral water in the maker for a number of times. Then when the old stuff does flake off, there will not be any new and you should end up with a clean pot (almost). I'm in the midst of trying that out (that was written several days ago). So far, I can now read the letters 'stainless steel' on the bottom plate but most of the stuff is still there. I think I will try the vinegar - I've been advised 1/4 cup with boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Now my problem is to figure out how to get my coffee maker, which flicks off at the first hint of boiling, to hang in there for 6-7 minutes. I don't think he's going to go for it.

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