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Sunday, August 13, 2006


Master of Snacks

My wife's been out of town since Thursday and you'll notice that I haven't done nearly the whining about it that I usually do when she's not around. Kinda proud of that. There are a few things I have to thank for keeping me on a somewhat more even keel this time.

First, I've had myself on a schedule this summer. I mean literally. I have it posted right on my desk. I have my week neatly divided into blocks of time in which I blog, eat, exercise, walk the dogs and write. And I've done a pretty good job of sticking to it. So I haven't had my usual wifeless issues with wandering around in a fog wondering what the hell I ought to be doing. I just look at the schedule and say, "Oh! I'm meant to be cutting my toenails right now. Better get on that."

Another thing that's made things a bit easier is that one of my best friends moved to town this summer. Which means that this weekend, while I haven't had the love of my life around to cuddle and talk with, I've at least had someone who I can toss a frisbee with. Thanks, Deni!

And then there's the Snackmaster.

I do the cooking in our house. I've discussed this before. Like anyone else who normally cooks for the entire household, when I'm suddenly preparing food for just myself, I get a little lost. I make too much. I skip meals because it's just not worth the effort of cooking something if it's just for me. I give up and order pizza. Not this time, though. This time, I've kept myself quite happy by using my trusty Snackmaster, not just to whip up an effort-free grilled cheese. No, no.

This weekend, I've been exploring the infinite variety of sandwich-based foods one can prepare with a Snackmaster. I've done tomato-and-cheese toasties. I've taken left-over burrito filling, slapped it between two slices of multi-grain bread and grilled it up nicely. I'm thinking of trying it with a ragout of roasted eggplant and heirloom tomatoes.

It's been nice. I don't have to do a lot of clean-up. I'm not making too much. And it usually involves melted cheese, which always makes everything better, don't you think? It also takes me back to family camping trips when I was a kid. We had several "hobo pie" makers and we'd eat cheaply the entire trip by jamming a turkey & cheese sandwich into them, laying it in the fire for a few minutes, then popping it out onto a paper plate. I've wondered, in my adult years, how homeless people might feel about campers blithely enjoying "hobo pies". But not too much.

Anyway, my wife's back tomorrow. So I'll put the Snackmaster back up on the shelf and resume my culinary duties. I much prefer sleeping with my wife to cooking with the Snackmaster, even though sleeping with my wife generally involves less melted cheese. Except that one time. Which we won't discuss here.

My sister gave me one of those and I haven't used it once. I'm always worried about the filling oozing out and making a mess. How did you become an expert?
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