Let's cook! A lesson with pictures!

For my first attempt at a cooking lesson for your edification, I thought I would prepare a little dish that is a specialty of mine. My kids love it and consider it a special treat when I make it for them. Don't be intimidated by the several steps that are required -- the end result is worth it!

Let's start with the ingredients:

First, the reading glasses are crucial; they're just so important for reading the instructions printed on the package. Some people skip this step -- but not me!

You'll need to make a decision about the flavor of Ramen you want to make. My family is partial to chicken; we have tried the shrimp flavor, but food poisoning was a problematic result, so we have gone back to chicken. But hey! -- whatever your family will eat, I always say!

Two cups of water is important. Some have tried to use less, but they have come home from Boy Scout camping trips disappointed -- not to mention dehydrated.

A pot -- so key!

The spicy no-name Tabasco-type sauce is an extra, but I do feel it's important to add those little touches that let my family know I care. If your sauce came back from a Boy Scout camping trip with no lid, here's a little tip: you can stick it in the fridge and hope no one notices. Eventually someone will meticulously craft a new lid. Try it -- it works!

OK! Let's get cooking!

Pour two cups of water into a pot of sufficient size. Don't forget to turn the stove on!

When the water is boiling, carefully open the package of noodles. It is important to tear the package is such a way that you can still read the directions (with your reading glasses, of course!). Boy, did I learn this the hard way!

Now add the noodle square to the boiling water. The noodles must cook for exactly three minutes, so make sure you set a timer.

Here's a tip: when you set the timer on your microwave, make sure you press the "TIMER" button, and not the "START" button. Nobody wants to make a baby with six eyes!

If you want to stir the noodle square, feel free -- but there's no need! I use a butcher knife for stirring -- because that's how we roll at my house.

After three minutes, turn off the heat. Now, we're ready to really spice things up!

First, fish the flavoring package out of the trash, where it got placed accidentally.

Now carefully add it to the cooked noodles and water. This crucial step turns the dish into a soupy masterpiece! If you want to add fake Tabasco sauce, now is the moment. I'm going to skip it this time.

Mmmm! Just look at all of that savory goodness, waiting to be stirred into your creation! Could there be anything tastier?!

Now choose a pretty dish that your best friend covets. This kind of serving piece is perfect for such a fancy dish -- it really brings out the color of the noodles.

Doesn't that look delicious? You can really be proud of yourself when you serve up a meal like this for your family. This is what memories are made of!

Bon appetit!