The Cooking Crisis

My favorite!! A boiling pot of self-loathing!!

Look, I’m telling you this so you shut the hell up:  I’m terrible at cooking.

I know this.  So don’t start with all of your cripplingly-high expectations and unsolicited encouragement.  It won’t change the fact that the spaghetti I’m about to eat tastes like someone put too much ketchup in taco sauce before covering it in monkey farts.  I’m sorry, but it’s not Iron Chef in this motherfucker.  I don’t just have cookable stuff lying around and then whip up a tasty meal relying only on my extensive, previous experience.  I do what everybody does:  I find a recipe on the internet, buy 90% of the ingredients, assume I have the other 10%, discover I don’t, and compensate for it with whatever bullshit seasonings I slap my hands on first in my cupboard.  This is where I observed that my improvisational skills are unappreciated in the kitchen.

Do me a favor:  imagine a truffle of wild wallabies (I assume they come in truffles…I don’t know, it sounded cute) frolicking in the bush.  Now, give every one of them a different cooking utensil, like a spatula, dull knife, ladle, wooden spoon, long chopsticks, spork, etc., and then scare them poopy-pellet-less in the middle of a pile of raw foodstuffs.  This should give you an approximation of my cooking process:  frightened, confused, and supremely satisfying when replayed in slow-motion.

I would say I don’t know what happens when I’m in the kitchen, but we all understand this to be unfortunately untrue.  I have a visceral play-by-play of exactly how I fucked up the most basic of pasta dishes running through my perturbed brain for the next two weeks, until I’m forced into making the exact same dish over again because my cooking repertoire is as barren as Columbus’ internal code of ethics.  It all begins well:  I have the basic pasta sauce, the required seasonings, ground beef, a deafening hunger.  Then I start cooking the ground beef, and, for a very misguided health-conscious reason, decide to half the salt I think I should add and replace it with red pepper.  I like red pepper.  My mom’s spaghetti is spicy; I know she puts red pepper in her spaghetti sauce.  Let’s throw some red pepper in this bitch!  Yeah!!  I fuck with red pepper all day!!  Woooooohhh!!  Red pepper, motherfucker!!  NEED MORE RED PEPPER!!

And before I know it, surprise, I’ve added a pinch too much red pepper, due to my arbitrary excitement on remembering the deliciousness of my mother’s spaghetti.  This happens to me ALL THE TIME.  It’s like, I know what the recipe says.  Anyone can follow a lame-ass recipe.  But if I want the most ballin-ass spaghetti a mother has ever made, I’m gonna have to take some liberties with this shit.  The same can be said for any other dish I attempt—I’ve obviously eaten it somewhere else, and me, being the incredibly knowledgeable individual that I am on the subject of culinary arts, can immediately deduce exactly what it would take to make this recipe into a masterpiece.  Hey, I’m sure it looked like Picasso had a bunch of arm spasms on canvases before people started shoveling money into his house.  Same principle.  Freedom!! Expression!!  Motherfucking Red Pepper!!

I find myself with a much-too-spicy sauce, now, so I decide to combat it with a once-around of honey.  Because fuck you it makes sense shut up.  Now, I’ve got to combat that sweetness with extra savoriness, so double up on the basil.  After that, it still feels like it’s missing something, though I’ve yet to taste it (a terrible habit), which means cumin to the rescue.  Then some black pepper.  A dash more salt.  Let simmer for 15 apprehension-soaked minutes.  And BAM!!  Spaghetti so terrible they wouldn’t feed it to prisoners in Guantanamo.

Thus, here I am—staring at slop on my plate like a scientist investigating a new species of mold. 

I will eat all of it.  Every.  Last. Painful.  Bite. 

Mmmmm, mmmm, bitch.

I always hear people talking about how, when they actually tried cooking for themselves, they found out they were pretty good cooks!  Now they cook all the time and they save so much money and it’s actually really fun and now they’re putting together a cookbook for snooty twenty-somethings and—

LIES!!

I’ve been cooking for myself for over five years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed  a meal at home more than one purchased before—from anywhere.  That includes convenience stores and shady food stalls.  What I’m saying is, shut the hell up, you culinarily-adept bastards.  Let me be miserable without your constant food porn postings on social media or your seemingly-doable recipes.  Seriously.

Unless you want to share…

Please.

I’m so, so hungry.

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