A Kitchen Conversation I Never Did Figure Out
By J. L. Salter
Sometimes spouses speak totally different languages… yet continue to try to explain (in their own language) what they really mean. [It’s not all that different from those movie scenes where someone tries to communicate with a foreigner and they figure if they just speak SLOWER and LOUDER that somehow the foreigner will suddenly comprehend the meaning of their words.]
As an example, take this actual conversation, which occurred in late November, 2014 — though I won’t reveal the identities of the individuals involved.
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Him: [observing her dealing with pots and pans in the kitchen]: “What’s cooking?”
Him: “Then what’s baking?”
Him: “Then what are you doing?”
Her: “Just No-Bake.”
Him: “Ha ha. And I guess it’s no-cook, too.”
Her: “No, you don’t cook No-Bake.”
Him: “Okay, let’s start over. What are you making?”
Her: “It’s No-Bake.”
Him: “Something you don’t bake?”
Him: “And something you don’t cook either?”
Her: [Possibly wondering why he’s so dense, she just shakes her head].
Him: [After quickly – and mentally – ruling out broiling or frying or roasting, as well.] “So what is the process you use to create it?”
Her: “It’s the no-bake process.”
Him: “Har har. Let’s try again. What are you preparing that you are not baking and not cooking?”
Her: “As I’ve said repeatedly, No-Bake.”
Him: “So, whatever it is, you don’t bake it.”
Him: “And you aren’t allowed to cook it either?”
Him: “So, technically, it could just as well be called ‘no-cook’.”
Her: “No. Not no-cook. It’s No-Bake.”
Him: [experiencing a sudden revelation] “So it’s raw?”
Her: “No, it’s set.”
Him: “Right, you set it here on the counter when you’re through no-baking and no-cooking it.”
Her: “It only needs to set. Very simple process… No-Bake.”
Him: [Trying to think of a different approach] “This whatever dish has ingredients. Right?”
Her: “Of course.”
Him: “But after you mix those ingredients together, you don’t bake them or cook them? You apply no heat of any type for any duration?”
Her: “Correct. No-bake.”
Him: “So this whatever you’ve made, that’s not heated — can humans eat it?”
Him: “So presumably it’s not totally raw.”
Her: “Yes. And we already covered that.”
Him: “Yes it IS raw or yes it’s NOT raw?”
Her: “It’s just plain, ordinary No-Bake.”
Him: “Let’s start over.” [He exits the kitchen and returns right away]. “What’s cooking?”
Well, folks, as you’ve no doubt guessed, at least from the photo if not from prior knowledge… these were cookies. The ingredients are mixed and then little blobs are plopped onto a sheet. Next, they’re allowed to “set”. No heat, no baking, no cooking.
However, one of my Facebook contacts admitted that (in a typical No-Bake endeavor, one does MELT one or more of the ingredients before mixing it/them with the other stuff. When I inquired whether that made this dish a “No-Melt instead,” I was met with deafening silence.
Have YOU ever used this NO-BAKE process? How did you explain it to your significant other?