Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Is More Better?

Brian and I have a long-standing joke between us.

Standing for approximately 23 1/2 years, that is.

If I am ever running late with dinner, or we have a last minute need to rush things - he encourages me to turn the heat up a hundred, or so, degrees.
Want those muffins ready in five minutes? Turn the oven up to 450!
Need that roast done in half an hour? Crank it up to 500!
It's a joke now, but in the beginning my man really thought things would cook faster (and adequately) if you just increased the heat. Not sure how it happened, but one day he realized when it comes to baking - time and temperature are a science, not a math problem.
And when that happened? I thought I was done with the silliness.

Until last week - when I discovered my son suffers the same affliction.

He was being helpful as I was getting clothes out of the dryer, by putting the next load in the washer for me. I was delighted in one moment, flabbergasted in the next. Because I watched my 19-year-old son - who has been doing laundry for several years - dump two cups of detergent into the washing machine. (I might be exaggerating a little.) My jaw dropped as I witnessed him pour detergent directly from the bottle into the machine - around and around. Never mind measuring the necessary amount in the handy measuring cup, i.e.LID - he just poured it out. And I do mean POURED.
I'm all, "Whoa, there, son! That's too much!"
And he's all, "What??!! This is what I always do." I believe I then heard him mumble something about the clothes getting really clean. (And I might have mumbled something about hoping the machine didn't overflow with suds.)
Not long after that episode, the same son was boiling dried-out corn with the goal of softening it up so he could use it for fish bait. (The lengths he goes to for his fishing habit...) He'd been doing this for a couple days (Got 100 lbs. of said corn at the animal supply store, and wanted to make lots of bait.) and wasn't happy with the fact that it took a over two hours for the corn to get soft. As I was coaching him to turn the flame down once it reached a solid boil - to put the lid on it and let it simmer - he insisted that he needed to keep it at a rolling boil.
Because he thought it would cook faster that way.
My attempts to convince him that boiling water is the same temperature as simmering water, that I have been cooking things with simmering water for longer than he's been alive, that fast-moving 212-degree water is no more effective than slower-moving 212 degree water - fell short. He just continued adding water to the huge pot of corn whose liquid kept boiling away.
And I?
I shook my head in wonder, and tried to understand why the male species seems to always believe that more is better.


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