Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Morning Topic: Cooking

It's Saturday morning, 9:30, I'm drinking Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut, and trying to come up with a plan for the day. I have nothing to show on the knitting front but an hour glass sweater with about 6 more inches (but click here, if you insist)

I am the type of person who is so excited and eager about things that I just don't have the skills or talent to execute. I think about it, talk about it and plan and strategize consistently - but it intensifies about this time (9-10am) on this day (saturday). I have a full day ahead of me and so much promise. But it just NEVER works out. The two biggies are home design and cooking. I will touch on one today. Cooking.

First, I should introduce you to my boyfriend, Alton.

I love Alton Brown. In fact, Hart also loves Alton Brown. I became obsessed with the Food Network, I don't know, maybe 4 years ago? At that time the obsession was bordering unhealthy (Barefoot Contessa, Easy Entertaining, Everyday Italian, both live and on Tivo) but I've relaxed a bit and while I watch the others once in awhile, I'm currently only loyal to Alton. If you have never watched Good Eats, you don't know what your missing.

Hart and I have, I think, 72 episodes of Good Eats on Tivo. We watch at least 1 episode, if not 2 almost every night. It is not at all likely that said episode will be "new". Most are repeats and most we've watched at least once before. And we save almost every one of them. We talk throughout it too. Alton has taught us a lot and we now anticipate what's going to happen. When he's slicing apples for a pie we say "get out the lime juice, you need to prevent browning". wow, we're weird.

With all of this, I don't cook. We don't cook. We are seriously, as strange as it sounds, a household that literally orders in or goes out to dinner every single night. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

Do you want to see how much worse it gets? Look at what is located in our apartment. The counter space.

This is not Brooklyn kids, this is actually a kitchen in Manhattan. I'm not saying this is the best kitchen ever, but it's not a galley kitchen with zero space. I didn't realize how uncool it was to tell the owners that we didn't cook until she said, "see the granite slab within the regular tile? this is for pastry making, it keeps it cool". I do not deserve this kitchen at all.

The reality is that neither of us can cook and we don't have the skills or the insight to be creative. We love to watch it and we actually seem to know a lot about how to do it but we're "armchair chefs". We watch and talk and know, but just don't take action.

But when we do try, we go all out. And it's so exhausting that we all but swear it off for the future. For example, we went to cooking school in Thailand a couple of years ago, and at the end of class you receive a cookbook with all of the recipes you made. A few months ago we made dinner one night from a couple of recipes and it literally took 2 hours of shopping and two hours of cooking. It was delicious, yes, and I guess it sort of proves we can cook, but this just isn't sustainable. And it demotivates us.

Yes, I can make spaghetti and sauce but I don't really like eating pasta. I can also make a vegetarian lasagna. Hart can make chili, with meat. And he claims that he is a great cook but that my being a vegetarian prevents those dishes from surfacing. I actually think he's lying and has no dishes up his sleeve but I do think the vegetarian/non vegetarian thing is a huge issue for us. It's overwhelming for someone who can't cook to try and do something that is great for vegetarians and carnivores. And to be fair, to the situation and to him, Hart is as much a carnivore as I am a vegetarian. So yes, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes that we both can eat, but I frankly don't think it's fair that he have to eat vegetarian all the time.

Anyway, I see a glimmer of hope and it looks like this:

I admit that my magazine subscriptions are random but after seeing this at my mom's house a few years ago, I became addicted and have been reading ever since.

Real Simple recipes are, well, real simple, and not boring, like spaghetti and sauce. The current issue has a few great recipes for really easy things and I think I'm going to go out and get some ingredients today.

But, after writing all of this, I'm hungry and I don't want to cook anything. This is a total example of the first two sentences of the second paragraph of this post. Am I going to take action? Not likely. Actually, that is not very positive. I will take action but I'm simply not sure when.

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