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Will called twice this week for cooking instructions for some of our basic meals at home.

He is moving beyond frozen pizzas and corndogs.

Like ironing, the lessons mean much more when he has to sink or swim, when his choices are corndogs or spaghetti, frozen pizza or pork roast prepared in the crockpot.

So we gave him instructions over the phone. It is sort of like operating a robot blindly.

On Wednesday, he wanted to make our version of Barbecue, which is really hamburger and onions with his father’s doctored tomato sauce.


1 pound hamburger sauteed with chopped onions sprinkled with salt and pepper. Stir in one 8 oz can of tomato sauce with brown sugar, oregano and garlic. Simmer until the right consistency. I don’t know the proportions. This is his father’s recipe, so Ralph gave the instructions. We don’t know if he is getting it right because we can’t see him preparing. Oh yeah, I think there might be ketchup, and a little mustard.

Crock pot pork roast, rice, and Dorothy sauce. (Dorothy was a friend of my mother.)

1 pork roast; place in crockpot; empty envelope of onion soup mix on top; pour 1/4 cup water around the edges so the onion soup mix is not washed off. Turn the knob on the crockpot on high for four to six hours, then on low for two hours. (I tell him the crockpot must be turned to high to prevent food poisoning).

Then how to cook rice the Korean way.

Then how to make Dorothy sauce. Combine 1 cup ketchup with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, and two squirts of yellow mustard. Cook on low (1/3 inch flame), stirring slowly until bubbles appear around the edges and the color turns a deep maroon.

It must have worked; he ate it all week for his lunch at work.

Most of our family recipes are simple.