Friday, January 7, 2011

Cooking: An Art of Trials and Tribulations... Mostly Tribulations.

In considering the 7 deadly sins, I'm most definitely guilty of gluttony. I mean, moderation was never my middle name. In this instance, my gluttony pertains to food! This was especially epitomized last week while I was scarfing down prawn tacos, carne asada, salmon filets, garlic bagels covered in cream cheese topped with black olives and green onions, crab legs, lamb skewers, cioppino, sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder, and many more tasty creations I shamelessly indulged in while I had access to fresh seafood... despite a rising number on the scale. My point being, I love food. COOKING FOOD, however, hasn't exactly been a forte of mine. Three specific examples of traumatic cooking debacles are forever burned in my mind.

Number one: Ugh.

My "first junior year" of college, when I was 19 or 20, and was introduced to my very own kitchen in a crappy little on-campus apartment. Let's just say I had trouble boiling water at this point in my life. I was absolutely clueless as to what to do in a kitchen. So, one night I invited my then-boyfriend over for dinner.. little did he know after accepting this seemingly harmless invitation, he would spend the rest of the night defending my burned-noodle-overcooked-chicken-flacid-asparagus dish in an attempt to console me. I figured it wouldn't be exceedingly hard to follow a recipe, so I found something on the internet that caught my attention which entailed a chicken and asparagus pasta. Easy, right? Well, I had no idea how long to cook noodles, how to tell if they were done, and how to go about baking chicken. The directions were no help at all in this matter. By the time my victim arrived, the smoke alarms on campus were going off, I was crying, my apartment was filled with smoke, and every door in sight was open as I was frantically waving a binder around trying to usher in fresh air. To go further into detail, my noodles were cold, the chicken was overcooked and too dry to swallow, and the asparagus had no life to it. Told you it was traumatic. To my dismay, he asked for seconds. I started crying again and refused to serve him seconds because I knew my food wasn't edible and he was just trying to be nice.

Number Two: Spaghetti-Crockpot Shit Show. This happened in my current kitchen.

I'll give you a preview, it looked about like this:

This was the day that Alicia and I wanted to cook her delicious spaghetti for a large amount of people. Alas, I did not have a big enough pot. Somewhere in the cyberspace of brilliant ideas, we came up with using a crockpot. Now, that sounds pretty normal, but, there's more... We were pressed for time and couldn't wait a few hours for the spaghetti sauce to cook in the crockpot, so we decided to put it directly on the stove. Disclaimer: Never put glassware on a hot stove. Most of you little geniuses out there are aware of that universal rule. I was not. I had some qualms about it, but decided to defy them and see what the outcome would be. My general learning style is learning from my numerous mistakes. As you can see from above, the crockpot exploded and all of its contents spilled out. Gotta admit, that was a pretty good life lesson. We saved the sauce and put it in a pan. Pans are evidently more durable.

Number Three: Best Friend Visits.

This last example isn't as terrible as the preceeding two. Thankfully. Sadie came to visit me in Oklahoma and I wanted to make her a tasty dinner that her appetite would thank me for. So, I bought a pork loin. I don't have much experience with pork loins, so I threw it in a 13X9 glass pan, cut up some fresh vegetables and threw them into the mix, and doused the entire concoction in some kind of marinade. I let it cook for maybe an hour to an hour and a half.. whatever the directions stated. Then, I pulled it out. It was still frozen. I pulled it out of the pan and threw it in the microwave to defrost, then let it cook for maybe another hour. Everything looked alright after that. I got our plates out and began cutting into my prized pork loin. The middle was an unmissable pink. By this point, Sadie and I decided we could probably eat the ends because they would be cooked enough. Wrong. I served my bff a raw, pink, chewy pork loin. Not exactly desirable. But, we're still friends so it's ok. Just make sure you defrost your loins first. Nobody likes raw loins.

I am proud to say that as of late, I think I've learned a thing or two about cooking and I'm kind of getting decent at it. Chicken, anyway. I stray from pasta and pork. I can report that last night I made a successful dinner! If you don't believe me, here's some proof.

I defrosted my chicken and seasoned it without a hitch.

Added the good stuff.

Prepared a salad without losing a finger.

And ate a delicious dinner!

If practice makes perfect, I'm going to be practicing cooking for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. While you did almost poison me, I'm glad you pushed through and learned how to make at least chicken.

    Miss you!