July 27, 1997

Things I Can Cook

No, contrary to what you think, this is not going to be the shortest column on record.

Instead, I thought Iíd tell you about some of my efforts in the kitchen. Yes, since Iíve entered the freelance world, I have to be watching my budget, and that means a lot fewer meals on the road, and more home cooking!

So far, my biggest project has been making Taco Bell at home. "But Colin," you might be saying, "donít you mean ĎTacosí?" Turns out, no. You can now, in the convenience of your own kitchen, prepare actual Taco Bell tacos!

Now on sale at a grocery store near you, the Taco Bell company has branched out in to providing all of the fixings for you to have a perfect taco experience. You can buy official Taco Bell Taco Shells. You also need the official Taco Bell red sauce (curiously in Mild, Medium, or Hot Ė there is no "medium" at the restaurants). You need the official Taco Bell Ground Beef Seasoning. So far, there is no official Taco Bell cheese or lettuce, so those, you provide on your own, along with fresh ground beef.

I was surprised, nay, shocked when my Tacos turned out almost as well as the official version. My dinner guest was equally impressed at this feat of culinary duplication. Next up: Using the official Taco Bell Refried Beans to make the perfect Taco Bell burrito!

The other night at the grocery store, I did go on a bit of buying binge. Not of food, mind you, but of cooking supplies. Now in the Colin Campbell Kitchen Collection, youíll find new medium and large sized cookie sheets, along with a pair of big glass bowls. Now, the big glass bowl is an oft-overlooked key component in the kitchen. I learned that the hard way when I recently tried to prepare Jell-O. After boiling up the sugary mixture, I realized I had no place to put the quickly congealing substance. Rather than leave it in the big kettle-like pot I had used in boiling the concoction, I poured small amounts in to three separate flimsy aluminum foil pie tins. Simply put, this was a disaster. The Jell-O never achieved an adequate depth, leading to a very unappealing film forming across its top. Yuck.

One of the new cookie sheets got a workout tonight, as I whipped up a batch of healthy, baked (not fried) Ö pizza rolls. Well, theyíre baked, right? Thatís kind of healthy.

I do have a new food goal. One piece of fruit or one vegetable per 168 hours. If that sounds a bit weak, hey, Iím working on building up to that whole five servings a day thing. That just seems like an awful lot of fruit, and I want to start with realistic goals. Today, I had a double-play of sorts, eating both a banana and a large chunk of fresh watermelon. I figure I wonít have to eat another fruit until October.

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Colin Campbell - jenolen@earthlink.net
Last updated July 27, 1997