Party Animals… and Vegetables

The two suspects.
Notice the sly look on that teakettle, though…

I’m starting to realize the grim truth: I’m outnumbered and surrounded–by my appliances. Last week, the toaster oven and the gas stove rebelled… on the very same night.

In support of our quest to eat more super-healthy foods, I picked up some sea scallops on special. A salad and a dish of fresh veggies, ready for stir-frying, sat in the fridge. The plan? Broil the scallops and cook a batch of quinoa to go with them, while stir-frying the, um, stir-fry.

Simple enough, right?

But I reckoned without those appliances of mine.

According to the package directions, quinoa cooks up like rice, taking about 15 minutes to absorb all the water once it’s come to a boil. So when the quinoa and water boiled, I turned down the flame to simmer, again according to directions. Then my attention turned to the plump discs of seafood greatness.

It seemed silly to heat our large oven just to broil 3/4 pound of scallops, so out came the toaster oven. Lightly crumple up some foil, spray it with olive oil, and fit it into the shallow toaster-oven baking sheet. Boom — a makeshift broiling pan.

After giving the quinoa a sportsmanlike head start, I set the toaster oven to “broil” and cranked the temperature all the way up. A dash of olive oil on the neatly arranged scallops, and into the oven they went. Now for the veggies.

Several stir-frying minutes later, I opened the toaster oven to turn the scallops. To my horror, they weren’t browning on top. A broth had formed, nearly filling up the makeshift foil pan. The scallops looked more like they were relaxing in a hot tub than getting cooked.

What to do?

I’ll spare you the sad details of scallop broth splashing over the floor as I ferried the little pan to the sink. No seafood was left behind, though. Or in this case, none went down the drain.

I’d have to sauté the scallops.

Fine. I shoved the veggies to one side and popped the scallops into the same skillet.

Minutes later, they were ready. Great–now to serve up the quinoa.

I lifted the lid to access the fluffy side dish.

Instead, the little seeds literally floated around in the pan, still up to their necks in water. Here we had yet another hot-tub party, and me not even invited.

Tasting a few grains, I found them pretty much done, so I cranked up the flame to accelerate the process.

Eventually everything was done enough, the floor mopped up, and dinner was


Perhaps some day I’ll be able to regulate the stove flame, and maybe even find a true broiling pan that will fit in the toaster oven.

Meanwhile, sandwiches sound more appealing all the time.

Thanks for reading,


About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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8 Responses to Party Animals… and Vegetables

  1. Lucky me, I wasn’t invited. Just kidding… I’m sure your family are enjoying every thing you serve them. Being in good health, every thing is tasty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeannine Johnson says:

    Your appliances want you to be more creative, and it does sound very good and healthy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I guess you’re right! And the meal WAS good… although I could have just stirred everything together and called it “soup.”


      On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 8:39 PM, Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story wrote:



  3. I think your appliances have a pact of some sort. When one acts up, it is inevitable that another gives you grief as well. Hang in there, girl. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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