Weekend Plans Post: Learning to Cook
When I was about 14 or 15, Mom decided that we needed to learn how to make dinner for multiple people. So she pointed me at the fridge and told me that she could give advice but she wouldn’t help and, yep, I had to make dinner.
It might have been my first attempt at feeding 3 people.
So I looked in the fridge, saw some cold pizza, and reheated it, plated it, and served it to us all.
It was easy mode, sure, but it was the first time I had ever played the game.
I mean, I knew how to make sandwiches. Mustard, cheese, find some lunchmeat, slap it on. As time went on, I learned about putting lettuce on there. Tomatoes. Even a slice of onion. Wait, that’s too much onion. Okay, some of the rings from the onion slice.
Increase difficulty by using the stove. Breakfast. Okay… scramble some eggs. Okay, I need to use some oil in the pan. Hrm. Can I use butter instead? Hrm. I can. Egg prep itself… It works better to whip them before hand than to scramble them in the pan… hrm, add some milk to them while whipping them… hrm. Better. Add some cheese? Hrm. No. Not as good as sprinkling the cheese on it after it’s been plated. Wait… if I make bacon in the pan first… could I use the bacon grease instead of butter? OH MY GOSH I HAVE NOT LIVED UNTIL THIS MOMENT
What about Mac and Cheese? Holy cow, this is easy. The box comes with a packet and everything. Huh. I could add a hot dog to this. Huh. I could add two hot dogs to this. Huh. I could add salsa to this.
Hamburger Helper is like Mac and Cheese, but with a risk of salmonella. Okay. Start by browning the meat. Huh. That worked. Maybe add some… onions? Okay, you’ve got to add them as you’re browning the meat instead of after you browned it. Maybe add some jalapeños? Huh, don’t used pickled ones. Use fresh ones. What do they put in the box, anyway… you know, we could make this ourselves without spending a whole… 79 cents… for the box. (It was the ’90s.) Okay, maybe we don’t have to get all the ingredients onesy-twosy. Huh… maybe some button mushrooms?
Holy cow. They make books about this sort of thing. Books with recipes in them. The recipes have… ingredients. You just buy the ingredients then you just make the recipe. I’m pretty sure I remember my mom using a slow cooker. Maybe I should try one of those? Huh. I guess these are for when you want 4 liters of something. Well, I guess we both have lunch until the end of the week.
Wait, didn’t I used to work at a French Bistro? What did the boss do? Um… always use real butter instead of margarine, always use cream instead of milk, always use fresh herbs and spices instead of dried ones… and don’t overdo it. Don’t add 5 or 6 different herbs/spices when you can add 2 or 3. Huh. Yeah. This is better.
Wait. You can make desserts that are more complicated than Hershey’s Syrup on vanilla ice cream and then sprinkling salted peanuts on it?
(And then, the breakthrough)
“Huh. This is kinda fun.”
This weekend, I’m going to be cooking for the coming week. I’ve got to make some crock pot chicken for Marianne and some beef stew for me. (Wait, maybe it’s the other way around.) That involves going to the grocery store to get the ingredients for the cooking for the coming week. I’m looking forward to it.
So… what’s cookin’?