Iron Chef

So last night I had plans to cook a big dinner…

I hit Canadian Living’s recipe guide, found one I liked, went out to Publix, and got what I needed. So what if I was starting at 9pm? It’s Friday, I don’t have to be up tomorrow morning!
As I was unpacking the groceries, I popped into MSN Messenger to see who was online. Bad move. Ran into an old friend who badly needed to chat.
When all was said and done it was two hours later. I ate pasta ‘n sauce instead and put the remaining groceries in the fridge. Cook-fest would be tomorrow instead.
Rolled out of bed at 11:30 this morning. Did some chores, and decided to start making dinner early; around 5pm.
My printer’s out of black ink; actually, it’s still in the box I shipped it to Sarasota in. But because my computer’s in the living room, instead of scribbling down the instructions, I just copied and pasted them into a new TextEdit document and jacked-up the font size to 48. Using that and the shopping list (which I *had* scribbled onto a piece of paper) I was in cooking nirvana.
That is, until the recipe asked me to cook the entire 500g package of tortellini at once. My only saucepan would only just hold that much tortellini uncooked. In the past I’ve used my wok to get around this problem, but this time I’d had enough. You can only cook pasta so many times in one of those things before your patience goes to all hell.
So, I turned off the saute pan — which was frying onions and mushrooms — and ran out the door. Destination? Target. I left Massinova playing.
Got to Target, and at first I thought I was screwed. Seemed like all Target sold was 8 or 10 piece kitchenware sets — you know, for $100-200, including 3 frying pans, 3 pots and 4 lids. That kind of thing. I just wanted a big pot.
But I found it. Like a priceless jewel buried in dark layers of soil and stone, the Calphalon Hard-Anodized Covered Stock Pot (8-quart) called my name (for just $50.99). So I took it to the cash register and was home within 5 minutes.
The pot performed magically, with easily enough volume to hold twice the amount of pasta I needed. The rest of the job was a breeze; the dish came out even better than I had imagined!
I wholeheartedly recommend this dish — Vegetarian Tortellini Bake — if you’ve got company; it will feed about 5. Total cooking time (including prep time, sauce preparation and baking): 3 hours. But oh, so worth it. Highly recommended if you’ve got guests, or if you’re like me and don’t want to cook every night!
What’s your favorite thing to cook?