Follow my journey as I attempt to learn to cook give a shit about cooking.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Epiphany #1

So dinner last night was awesome. 

I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons I hate cooking is that there is just far too much to think about.  What am I going to fix? Is it a reasonably balanced meal?  Will everyone eat it? Do we have all the crap I need to fix it? Are the dishes done and the counters clear so I have a space to work? And even when all this is taken care of, you still have other things to think about: what time are we eating?  What needs to be done in what order so that all the dishes come out at the same time?

Phooey.

So I realized something: I could just fix stuff, and if one part of dinner was cold by the time the other finished cooking, then that is why God gave us the microwave. (For those of you familiar with Flylady, you will recognize the decluttering of perfectionism here.  For those of you wondering "why hasn't the dumbass thought of this before", shut up and go back to pinning impossible recipes on Pinterest.) 

So after I went grocery shopping, I sliced up some boneless skinless chicken breasts and marinated it in Italian dressing.  Later that afternoon, I found a TO DIE FOR recipe for roasted potatoes (not exactly on the healthy side, but must be better for you than straight out french fries), and steamed some fresh green beans without turning them to total mush.  The chicken got rather "blackened" but it usually does, probably because of the sugar content in the dressing.

I also was terribly excited that I didn't set off the fire alarm, only to realize later that the battery in the thing is dead.  But still, I'll take it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

As you can gather from my recent bout of silence, the ability to care about cooking has been nonexistent lately.  I took a trip to visit my folks (which translates to a week long blissful vacation from cooking) which accounts for some of it.

For my birthday I got the best gift EVER: friends of mine made dinner and dessert for me.  No planning, no cooking.  Beyond awesome.  There was enough to last a couple of days, which accounts for some more.

Then there have been the nights when I have ventured into the the kitchen with a plan and ingredients.  These have not gone so well.  One night I was going to make a roast chicken, and I wanted to try out a recipe where you make said chicken in the crock pot.  (I believe I have mentioned before my adoration of the concept of the crockpot, but the inability to find recipes that we like).  They suggested a large chicken in one of those mondo-sized oval shaped crocks, and that it would cook in 4-8 hours.  Rather large discrepancy of time there.  As I had a small chicken and only a regular (off brand) crock, I guessed it would cook in about five hours. I was wrong.  It took a full 8 hours to cook that baby, and by the time it was actually cooked, it was 8 PM and we had already made a dinner of hot dogs. 

Tonight was your typical venture into the kitchen.  I remembered to thaw pork chops this morning, and had all the ingredients I needed (parmesan shake & bake FTW), but when I opened the package of chops I discovered they were so badly freezerburned that there was no point in continuing. (Freezerburn, yuck.  Yes a first world problem, I know.)

I assume that some day we will eventually stop having these problems (although admittedly I doubt it).  In the meantime, I shall hope to win the lottery so I can afford a cook.