Jon Acuff’s blog, Stuff Christians Like, is a hilarious twist on the funny side of faith that challenges thinking people with brilliant wit and a side-hug. (Excerpt from previous Make Time For Family post, “Meet Jon Acuff”) Jon has joined the Dave Ramsey team and invited E-Mealz to be a sponsor of SCL. Enjoy this exclusive revelation of Jon’s expert (“Queso is apparently not a vegetable”) cooking advice….
Tip: Your counter-top is not a magical refrigeration device.
I’m not a great cook. I can fry eggs, barely. I say barely because the other day I had to make scrambled eggs for my five-year-old McRae. Turns out she only likes egg whites. I’m not sure who told a five-year-old it was possible to separate whites from the yolk, but I am not terribly pleased with this person.
Things were going well until I put the butter in the pan for too long and it kind of burned. Then when I dropped the eggs in, instead of fluffing up to a winter sky white perfection, they turned dark gray. They looked like a pan full of really depressing Counting Crows songs.
When I put them on her plate I tried to play it off like they were fine, but McRae was definitely not happy that I found a way to make eggs appear like a slab of elephant skin.
So the idea of me, giving cooking tips is a little ridiculous. But maybe it’s not, because one of my goals this year as a dad, as a husband, as an absurdly handsome blogger, is to learn how to cook with E-Mealz. As I do, I’ll pass on the things I learn to you. And there’s one tip that jumped out at me during Christmas.
Whenever family comes over, you inevitably run out of space in your refrigerator for all the dishes you’ve made. In order to accommodate the amount of company you have, you need to do things you normally wouldn’t do. Like leave a casserole sitting out on the counter for eight hours.
This is not a great plan, because as the title of this post indicates, “Your counter-top is not a magical refrigeration device.” And when we do this, we justify it with one of three statements.
1. “It will be fine.”
When I ask you if it’s safe to leave a sausage and egg breakfast casserole on the counter until lunch, and you reply, “It will be fine,” that’s not really a complete answer. That doesn’t explain anything and actually wouldn’t work in other areas of life. “Is it safe to have a mongoose in the house with all these kids here?” “It will be fine.” “Do you think lighting a tiki torch inside is a good idea?” “It will be fine.” See, no one would use “it will be fine” in other situations. It’s a woefully incomplete answer that dismisses the issues. If you hear those four words, be very careful.
2. “Don’t worry, there are so many preservatives in it …”
When called to the carpet on our belief that our counters will provide the proper cooling support a meal requires we suddenly become molecular biologists. “Oh yeah, sure. The preservative structure of the base elements in that meatloaf is designed to retain freshness despite the breakdown of the amino acids. We can leave it on the counter.” No offense to any cook out there, but I never like to roll the dice with science when it comes to eating something that might have gone bad.
3. “We’ll eat it before it goes bad.”
When exactly is that happening? I need to know because you’ve apparently just entered us into a food eating race. It’s us against the clock. Can I get a ballpark idea about the moment it’s going to go bad officially? Will a flag pop out of it like an elaborate “turkey is done” reminder to let us know it’s too late? Will we have a countdown clock like the bomb squad trying to diffuse a dangerous package? Will I have to do any agility obstacles like in the TV show Fear Factor as I attempt to beat the clock? So many questions.
I hope this Christmas you got creative and found ways to fit everything in your fridge. Or maybe you have cooled counter-tops, we used to install those for pastry chefs when I wrote advertising for The Home Depot. If not, if you had to leave some food on the counter for longer than you liked, don’t worry.
It will be fine.
Jon says in one of his recent posts, “I’ve had breakfast, lunch and dinner with the E-Mealz team. My wife and kids were with me two of the times.” We are witness to one true thing about Jon… he is a blessed man!
Jon swapping cooking tips with E-Mealz sisters.