I’m cooking. Like right now. You think I’m writing this blog post, but mostly I’m cooking. I like to do other things while I cook my food so I can forget about it. That way I’m not just cooking, I’m also testing the efficacy of my fire alarms.

My cooking skills are…well, calling them skills is generous. Cooking is to me what designing the Titanic was to that one guy who did it. Only way more people died horrible deaths, obviously, because of my cooking.

So usually I leave the cooking to the people who will later issue a recall for the food.

I’m not a wasteful person in general. I use all the parts of the animal that the store presents me with, from the nugget to the bacon.

I rub chicken grease into my leather chair. Not because it’s good for the leather. I just like to eat greasy chicken. And apparently, despite my enjoyment, I’m not very good at it.

I also eat ice cream straight out of the container because I care about the planet! If I used a real dish, I’d have to wash it and humanity’s dependence on water is killing the planet!

Recently I went to the store and had the brilliant idea of buying lettuce that WASN’T already chopped up and in a bag. I don’t know when they started making it that way, but I thought I should try some. I thought it would be easy to find:

-Green & leafy = lettuce

-Round and other colors = probably not lettuce

But there were so many green leafy things, I had no idea what was lettuce and what was something else, like fennel.

I left with salad in a bag.

Right now I am all gung-ho to learn how to cook. Just like any natural disaster, I just get the urge to learn to cook every few years. And every few years, on approximately day 1 of me learning to cook, something goes horribly wrong. Pretty soon things are on fire and I get frustrated and I have to console myself with Mexican food take-out.

In my defense, I think most cooking instructions are not understandable unless you’re part of the secret chefs club. To even get into the chefs club you have to pass some really rigorous tests, like cutting an onion without crying and/or screaming “It burns!”. Or you have to look at a whole table full of stuff and be able to properly identify which one is fennel.

For example, in this recipe I’m making right now, step 4 says “Add some lemon zest”. That’s not very specific. I mean, I know generally how to make some lemon zest:

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But should I have made my lemon a cummerbund? I don’t know. The recipe didn’t say how much zest to give my lemon. These are the kind of details that keep me from being able to become a great chef.

I also needed “Smoked paprika”, which the internet says cannot be interchanged with regular paprika. But I don’t smoke. So I had to go down the street and ask that neighbor to smoke my paprika for me. He looked at me funny. It was like he’d never heard of herbal cigarettes before.

I’m just glad the recipe didn’t call for “Stoned paprika” because I don’t like that stuff. The more you eat, the hungrier it will make you.

This recipe also calls for scallions. That was horrifying. I didn’t want to eat a scallion. Wasn’t Black Beauty a scallion? I can’t eat Black Beauty. That book already makes me cry hard enough.

After much Googling, I found out that a scallion is not horse meat, but an ungodly mix of onion and garlic. I don’t know why they they decided to call it a scallion. If you cross two things, you’re supposed to make a delightful mix of their names, like labradoodle. They should call it gonions. Or Oarlic. Maybe Onlic. Or if they were going to name it something completely different, it should have been “Scallidoodles”, because it’s so much fun to say! (I also recommend yelling “Scallidoodles” the next time someone’s yelling at you. Just to see what the other person will do…)

Another problem with cooking is all the equipment. You need a lot of equipment to cook these days. Grills to burn your food on all at once, slow cookers to burn your food over the course of a day, basters to squirt people who get in your way in the kitchen, and the elusive food processors. I don’t know what a food processor does, but it sounds amazing. I imagine I could present my food processor with cream cheese and tell the food processor to not bring it back until it’s cheesecake. For the amount of money a food processor costs, it had better work that way!

I don’t have any of this fancy equipment. I have a microwave and a cutting board.

Okay, I have a microwave and a paper plate.

I’m not even allowed to use my sister’s mandolin for cutting fruits and vegetables anymore. She started to complain it was making her strings sticky. So now I just use a guitar and hope that’s close enough. I still don’t understand why I can’t just use a knife.

Well, it smells like my home-made ice cream is burning, so I’d better go add the scallidoodles and enjoy!

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