For those who’ve read my previous post regarding Chef Nav’s culinary crimes against humanity, there are certain inferences that one might draw about me. I am highly adept at devising original coconut milk extraction protocols, for one. For another, my general ineptitude in all things culinary would seem to rise to epic proportions on those tragic occasions when I happen to be in a position of importance in the kitchen.
By way of background, your friendly Navigator had become a bit too physically resplendent in his post-Christmas magnificence. Given that my mid-winter “arctic survival kit,” which may be known to you by its alternate name of “the spare tire,” had grown to ice-age proportions, The Namless One, who is so named as she may not be named, decided that it would be in “our” best interest if “we” embraced the Dukan Diet.
And so was my illusion that there was simply more of me to love to die a sudden, instant, and even immediate death.
To begin the Dukan Diet, one must be betrayed by a sister who volunteers to give you her Dukan Diet book. It’s like getting rid of your Edgar Allen Poe “Monkey’s Paw” – the curse now rests upon another. Thanks, Sis. I love you, too.
Not only are there delicious and healthy recipes in the book, there are also delicious and healthy Dukan recipes on the internet. And thus does my story truly begin.
The Nameless One is a planner. She is disciplined. All that happens must happen as has been foreordained. By her. In advance. As part of a Master Plan. As a result, there are these things that mysteriously come into being. Quantum mechanics and metaphysics and the Higgs Boson and all that. Only these things — these mysterious, just-come-into-being-from-out-of-the-aether things– are called “lists.”
And, for some reason that I’ve yet to fathom, I must do what are written on these “lists,” without question. Kind of like the Ten Commandments, only different. How, I’m not exactly certain.
Just as there are different flavours and spins of the mysterious things that come into being in quantum mechanics, so there are different types of lists. The one in question was a “grocery” list, which contained mysterious and alchemical ingredient for the Dukan Diet. One of the list’s ingredients was more mysterious than quantum foam or Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which seemed to apply.
It was “seafood medley,” and I was uncertain as to what it was. A collection of lobster-eating songs?
It just so happened that during a spiritual sojourn at the local Farmboy temple, I encountered a bag of frozen seafood medley. I returned home, a culinary Indiana Jones, my triumphant frozen prize from distant shores held aloft. And there was much rejoicing.
However, The Nameless One is a High Entrepreneurial Sorceress of Interior Design. Navigator must tread warily about the home, lest he disturb the Enchanted Forest of otherwise functionless cushions. As it happens, The Nameless One had become busy with a series of long-hours Interior Design corporate spell casting sessions to exercise a certain demon of distaste, and so the seafood medley had become in danger of summoning a stinky seafood rot demon within kitchen’s stainless steel, counter-depth, French-doored root cellar. Thus was Navigator bidden to take the seafood medley and, in the lesser cauldron, perform some unholy incantation upon the magical ingredients.
Nav did not disappoint.
Unbeknowst to Nav, The Nameless One had requisitioned the seafood medley based upon an internet Dukan recipe. Innocent Nav, in his innocence, wondered why he could not find the stupid seafood medley recipe in the stupid Dukan Book that his loving sister had lovingly cursed him with. He thus consulted with the Oracle at Google Delphi, and came upon a non-Dukan seafood medley recipe in the internet aether. In retrospect, Nav should have checked for an Underwriters Laboratory’s “UL” approval seal before venturing forth. The listed ingredients were: butter; garlic; seafood medley; white wine; lemon; and green flakey dried herb thingies, to taste.
“Brilliant,” thinks Nav. “What the hell could possibly go wrong with six ingredients?” What, indeed?
Based upon a 30 year professional career history of dealing with dangerous fluids, Nav reads the recipe and realizes that it calls for 1/4 cup of white wine. Let’s see. 1/4 cup = about 60ml. One bottle of white wine = 750 ml. 750 ml – 60 ml = 690 ml of residual white wine. Nav immediately recognizes the danger to women and children, and then gallantly makes the required sacrifice.
He notes that the name of the South African white wine is “Two Oceans.” Nav makes the near-fatal error of thinking this relates to the geographic intersection of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. He is to later learn that it actually refers to the pending torrential output of his two tortured kidneys.
Already weak from his heroic defence of defenceless women and children, Nav turns to the task at hand. He follows the instructions with great care, and gets the seafood medley a’cooking in the lesser cauldron. The one with the non-stick coating, for easier cleanup.
He then begins the accompanying garlic butter sauce, in his poor-man’s KitchenAid le Creuset knock-off saucepan. Which looks remarkably like a pot to him, but which, for some unfathomable reason, is a saucepan, in the Enchanted Forest.
Sadly, advancing Two Oceans renal failure interferes with Nav’s renown recipe-reading skills, and he botches the butter measurement.
Meanwhile, the lesser cauldron is gently cooking the tender and delicate seafood medley. Into something that the chefs at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company would be proud of. “Ding!” goes the bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble timer, and off the fire does the lesser cauldron come.
The unholy and most rubbery concoction is transferred into a large white bowl, as no other bowl may exist within the Enchanted Forest of functionless cushions. As to why, Nav is as uncertain as Heisenberg was.
Then comes the garlic butter sauce. Only Nav’s botched the butter measurement so badly, what he’s actually made is semi-rotten rubberized Creature from the Black Lagoon garlic butter entrail soup.
Yum, yum. Nav uses a spoon, to get every drop.
The next day, Nav’s high-class Mexican goodwill ambassadorial friend, Monseigneur Montezuma dela Revenge, pays Nav a little visit. Several little visits, in fact, tactful diplomat that he is. Thankfully, the previous evening’s buckets of molten butter prove more effective than WD-40 in dealing with dela Revenge’s topic of primary interest. The only way it could have been better was if Nav had used goose grease instead of butter.
For some strange reason, Nav is reminded of this Vitamix beet & coconut milk adventure, and he knows, deep down inside (once it calms down), that somebody is trying to tell him something about Nav’s being in the kitchen. Some things are contrary to the laws of God and nature.
Nav in the kitchen is one of them. }:-(>