Not long after my adventure with soybeans, I was inspired to make lasagne. Except that I didn’t know how to make it and didn’t own a cookbook. But, you know, how difficult could it be? It’s just lasagne noodles, sauce, and cheese. I knew what it was supposed to taste like, and I knew what it was supposed to look like. I just had to figure out the stuff in the middle – the sauce. Easy.

So I went shopping and bought all kinds of ingredients:

  • Lasagne noodles
  • Tomato paste
  • Parmesan, cheddar, and ricotta cheese
  • Some dried herbs
  • (TVP a/k/a Kibbles ‘n Bits)

Then I launched into what must have been the most complicated method of making lasagne possible. I cooked everything separately before combining it and blitzed the kitchen in the process. There were bowls all over the counters, the sink was full of dishes and I’d used just about every pot, pan, and utensil I owned. I pushed everything back to make space for the baking dish it was to be cooked in and began layering the wet pasta, TVP, the runny sauce, and with a lot of fiddling, managed to get the cheese to lay flat. In short order, both of my hands were covered in tomato sauce, and it was creeping up my wrists, so I took my watch off and laid it next to the pan. When I’d built up perhaps five layers, I stood back and surveyed it, pondering how to best go about cooking it.

The only thing I ever really liked about lasagne was the crunchy pasta around the edges, but I knew the centre was supposed to be soft. So I covered the baking dish with tin foil, painstakingly tucking it around the sides, and put it in the oven, preheated to 350°.

An hour or so later, I opened the oven door and, with both hands wrapped in tea towels, pulled the pan filled with gluey overcooked lasagne out of the oven. I was about to slam the door shut with my knee, when I realized with no small degree of horror that I was looking at my Timex watch hanging from the metal rack by its buckle.

Ack! It had been caught up in the tin foil when I wrapped the pan. I ditched the baking dish on the counter and fished my watch out of the oven. The glass face had exploded and the leather strap was cooked into two hardened curls, but the second hand was still moving!

”Timex! Takes a licking and keeps on ticking!”

About a week later I took it to a jeweller, had the glass face replaced and bought a strap for it. Aside from changing the battery periodically, it has been trouble-free and keeps perfect time. Not bad considering it was baked at 350° for an hour some 25 years ago.

Oh. What happened to the lasagne? I turfed it. Gooey horrid mess.

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