Adventures in Cooking
I have decided to learn how to cook.
(Okay, family, you can stop it with the spit-takes. It's not THAT funny.)
Just to clarify, I don't mean "learn to cook" in the sense of braise a roast or whatever. I don't even know what "braise a roast" means. Sounds like two verbs to me. I mean very basic feed-yourself-to-avoid-scurvy cooking.
You see, I lack the kitchen equivalent of a green thumb. I have shattered glass and melted dish drying racks while attempting the oh-so-complex task of cooking pasta. I have transformed hard-boiled eggs into oozing globules. I have failed to toast toast.
You're probably wondering how I've made it this far in life without cooking. I can answer that in five letters: PIZZA. Also, chocolate.
Anyway, I started this adventure a few days ago by declaring my new resolution on Twitter, and one bit of advice that I got was that learning to cook is like learning to write -- more art than science.
So I've decided to test that as I learn how to cook.
First lesson: You have to know the rules before you can break them.
Obvious enough advice in writing. For example, in general, you want to avoid the passive voice. But sometimes, if you use it sparingly, a sentence in the passive voice can pierce with as much power as a sword strike. Or, conversely, it can soften something that might have felt too much like a sword strike.
Apparently, this advice is also true in cooking. My first real from-scratch meal was supposed to be Thai peanut butter pasta with chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms. But I kind of didn't pay attention to the amounts of ingredients.
Turns out "heaping tablespoon" is not the same as half the jar of peanut butter. You know how they put peanut butter on the top of Mr. Ed's mouth so he would move his jaw as if he were talking. That's how I felt while eating this dish.....
Also, the verb "mince" means more than "chop garlic in half." Who knew?
Since my first attempt was such a disaster (or perhaps "a teachable moment"), I thought I should turn to you guys. How do you all feed yourselves? Do you have any recipes you'd recommend that I try?
Please keep in mind that it MUST be quick and easy. If you tell me to poach an egg, I'll think that I'm supposed to steal one from the king's royal forest. Thanks!