Every now and then, every teenager is expected to take on a few extra duties around the house. With more and more families having both parents working, getting supper on the table means either ordering take-out, or the oldest child learning how to cook. After seeing Kim's performance in home-ec, I think it's safe to say the the twins would be safer with the former. Sometimes though, simple ingredients can make for healthy meals.


Possible Pasta Night

Kim pulled the lines on her parachute taut. With the accuracy that had become habit, she landed squarely on target. As she gathered the silk, Ron landed a few feet away. Over the years, he'd gotten better. He hadn't gotten caught in a tree in a long time. That afternoon, he even managed to land on his feet and step out from under the canopy.

"Good landing, Ron. I told you we'd make better time if we didn't wait for the pilot to get the plane down."

He gave her a scathing look.

"KP, you are an adrenaline junkie, you know that don't you? You insist on jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, even when we aren't in a rush."

Kim just laughed. For all that he complained she knew that he would follow her anywhere. He was far more competent than he let on. Deep down, she suspected that he enjoyed the thrills of their lifestyle as much as she did. He insisted on going on the fastest rides at the Middleton Days fair. Even if they did leave him 'crummy in the tummy'.

The teens stuffed the equipment into the packs and took off their helmets. Another mission successfully completed, they had jumped into the Possible back yard. It was too late to go back to school, so they would just pick up missed assignments from the teachers the next day.

Walking into the kitchen through the back door, they were hit with total silence. As a rule, Anne Possible was home early in the afternoon, to meet her children when they got back from school. Being a surgeon, she was pretty flexible in her hours. James was able to take time as he needed, except when under tight deadlines, as he was now with the new communications satellite in testing at the space center. Today, the place was empty. The light on the answering machine was blinking. Kim walked over and hit the recall button, putting her helmet on the counter.

"Beeeep. Kimmie, it's Mom. I have an emegency patient in the recovery room and won't make it home for some time. If you get there before the boys, would you make supper for them? They've had pizza twice in the last ten days. You know how I am about proper meals. If you don't get back before them, I've left a message telling them to go to Ron's house. Beeeep."

Kim looked around the kitchen in a panic. She was hoping that maybe there was something out to put in the microwave. After a moment, she remembered that her mother had said an emergency patient was delaying her. That meant that dinner was not planned.

"Oh, snap. What am I going to do, Ron? The tweebs won't touch anything I make." She sat down and frowned at her own inadequacy. The girl who could do anything was still not comfortable with a chef's knife in her hand.

"Look, KP, why don't you go ahead and get cleaned up, and let me look around? There's half an hour before Jim and Tim get home. I can have something going before then. You can leave it with me." The Possible's were like a second family to him, so helping out around the house was nothing new. Besides, the twins thought his cooking was even better than PJ Bearymores Pizza.

"Please and thank you, Ron. You really rock." Kim leaned over and gave her best friend a quick peck on the cheek. "I'll make sure there are towels and soap in the spare bathroom, and you can shower before supper." Fortunately, they both had extra clothes stashed all over in case of a mission emergency. Theoretically, they could change anywhere.

While Kim went upstairs, Ron walked over and scrubbed his hands at the kitchen sink, rolling his sleeves up to his elbows. He then went to the source of culinary inspiration, the pantry. Opening the doors, his gaze went over the organized boxes and cans. With a practiced eye, he put the contents of the cupboard into a subliminal program, and decided on a quick and easy dish that would fill the family up, and make the least possible mess.

A box of fettuccine, two cans of cream of mushroom soup and powdered parmigiana cheese went onto the counter. Looking in the freezer, Ron pulled out two chicken breast fillets, putting the package next to the other ingredients. Without looking, he opened the lower cabinet next to the range and got out the largest pot, which he then filled with water. He started a good amount of water boiling and put the chicken in.

While the chicken was cooking, he put the colander into the sink, ready for the pasta when its turn in the pot came.

Just as he was getting ready to pull the chicken from the water, Jim and Tim walked in from the front hall.

"Ola boys. How are the twin terrors this afternoon?"

Both boys dumped their books on the table.

"Hi, Ron. Is Mom or Dad not home to make supper tonight? We're both..." Tim began.

"Starving. Even Kim's cooking would be good at this point." Jim finished.

"Almost." both added.

"Nice, tweebs, real nice!" Kim walked into the room, running a brush through her auburn mane. She looked at the items on the counter. "One of these days you'll appreciate just how hard cooking can be. So what do you have in the pot there Ron?"

"Chicken, and it's time to take it out." Reaching into the boiling water with a pair of tongs, he matched action to words, putting the fillets into the colander and running cold water over them. While they cooled, he deftly measured out a generous helping of fettuccine and put it into the water, which was still boiling hard.

"KP, would you and the guys watch this while I have a quick shower? I hate being in a kitchen in sweaty mission clothes."

"I don't know, Ron." Kim looked at the pasta dubiously. "How do I know when it's done?"

"Oh, man. Don't leave us alone with her at the stove!" both twins cried.

"It's not that hard, KP. You just stir it once in a while until it's soft and tender to bite." Looking into her somewhat panicked eyes, he continued. "It'll need at least ten minutes. I'll be out of the shower by then. And don't listen to the nay sayers over there, you can do it. Have a little faith."

With that, Ron handed over a pasta spoon and went out in search of some hot water and a bar of soap.

Several minutes later, Ron stepped back into the room, his usual brown shirt on his back and rumpled hair still damp on his head. Looking around, he assured himself that the kitchen was still standing. and went to look into the pot that Kim was so carefully monitoring.

"Well, how does it look, Kim.?"

"It seems to be about half way there. Do you want to take over again?"

"Nope, I'm gonna stand back and guide you through the rest of this dish."

"Oh, Ron, are you sure that's a good idea." She looked out to the living room, where her brothers were playing a video game.

"Trust me, KP, this meal is simple." He walked up to the sink and retrieved the now cool chicken breasts. He placed them on a clean cutting board and took a sharp knife out of the block. He put it in his friend's hand and placed his fingers over hers.

"Your going to cut the chicken into fine strips. Hold the knife firmly in your fingers, and keep the tip on the board. Push the meat through with the fingertips of your other hand." He guided her hands though the motions of slicing the chicken. As he did so, he eased in behind her, all the while speaking soft words of encouragement in her ear. He watched over her shoulder as the knife easily cut up the cooked fillets.

When they were done, Ron took the knife from her and put it in the sink.

"The pasta is definitely ready, Kim. Slip on the oven mitts and dump it into the colander over here. Be careful, it's really hot." Steam rose from the sink as Kim slowly strained the fettuccine. She put the pot on a cool burner as Ron turned off the one it had been resting on.

"Alright, what's next?"

"Just open the cans of soup and put them into the pot. When that has started cooking on low heat, put the pasta back in, and add the chicken." Kim got the contents of both cans into the pot and set the empty tins aside. The colander was dumped back onto the pot and the chicken put on top of it all.

"Good, KP. Now just stir that all up, and add a little bit of pepper." He handed her the shaker from the counter.

"Okay, Ron, now what do I do?"

"You lean out into the hall, like this and shout. 'Jim! Tim! Wash up and come eat!"

"That's it?"

"Yep. Told you it was easy."

While the twins were getting cleaned up, Ron and Kim set the table in the kitchen with plates and forks. The powdered cheese was set in the middle of the table, along with a pitcher of juice and a loaf of bread.

"See, KP. You can cook, you just need the right recipe and a little confidence."

Notes and Recipe

I put this dish together because I needed a quick dish one night that wouldn't use up every piece of cookware in the apartment. It is very simple, yet tasty and very filling. Cooking doesn't have to be so difficult. Ron Stoppable may be a whiz with fancy dishes, but every good cook has to start somewhere. Use your imagination. I had Ron make enough to serve Mr. and Mrs. Possible when they got home. Reheats well.

Ingredients

1 frozen chicken breast (boneless and skinless preferred)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 handful of fettuccine or enough of your favorite pasta to serve two to four.

pepper to taste

parmigiana cheese

As Ron did, boil the frozen chicken until thoroughly cooked, should take about twenty minutes. Make sure that it is well done. Remove from water and cool in colander or strainer. Add pasta to water that chicken was cooked in. While pasta is cooking, slice chicken into thin strips. Drain pasta and empty soup into pot. When heated, return pasta and chicken. Mix well. Serve with parmigiana cheese. Goes well with garlic bread or Caesar salad.