As editor of the “Foods and Industrial Waste” section of the Daily Movement, I often receive inquiries on how to cook various dishes. Many of you who saw last Thursday’s recipe for Hot Water have asked that I elucidate the most difficult stage in preparing the dish, i.e., how to boil water.
First, and most important, you need some water. Several of you asked if it would be all right to leave out the water. It isn’t! You must have water, if only for appearance’s sake. Besides, it improves the flavor.
Next, you should have some sort of cooking utensil in which to prepare the water — a saucepan, bedpan or yarmulke (please note: Peter Pan is not a cooking utensil, although he may be roasted over a slow fire with very positive results). Again, a few of you asked whether the cooking container was necessary. Believe me, it is. All those years I spent in the Navy weren’t wasted, I can tell you.
You’ll also need a stove, campfire, forest fire, liquid metal fast breeder reactor, or other reliable heat source.
Now then, collect the water. Any amount will do, but discriminating chefs make a point of using neither more nor less than can be drained from the lungs of a drowned man. Of course the advantages of this method are obvious.
Carry the container of water to your heat source, bearing in mind at all times that seven-tenths of the world’s surface is water, and that the Sun is 93,000,000 miles away from Earth.
Let the water cook for about three days or three shakes of a dead lamb’s tail. Stir the water constantly to keep it from burning. Use a spoon, the branch of a tree, or your fingers.
After the water has stewed in its own juices for a while, it should start bubbling (what scientists call “boiling”). At times you may hear plaintive, piteous cries for help from inside the container. Ignore them.
At last your water is ready. Pour it into porcelain teacups, if you have them, or directly into the hands of your dinner guests. It must be imbibed quickly, or it soon cools and loses all its flavor.
Now, slouch back in your settee, light up your meerschaum, and just listen to your guests compliment you. Bon appetit!