The product of my attempts at cooking isn’t usually inedible. It is, however, most-frequently ugly and could’ve been done in a better way that might’ve not only produced a more appetizing-looking presentation, but one that might taste like something you might actually want to continue eating.
I rarely learn from my culinary mistakes. I claim to have learned something after each one, but I never really seem to. In fact, though I may recall past errors, I forge ahead horribly, anyhow, doing shit that would make the least-experienced chefs want to smack me upside the head.
Last night’s meal was full of a lot of that.
It began as “fried rice”. It turned out to be something that the family claimed to like. They’d have liked it more had I done it correctly. But there’s little chance of that happening. I cut too many corners during preparation. I don’t have everything ready during preparation. I overcook. I undercook. I burn, I get measurements wrong, I use too much salt, not enough salt. I use too much pepper. Black pepper, crushed red pepper. Everything I make absolutely must have too much black pepper in it, too much crushed red pepper in it. Everything I make has to make you cry, it’s so spicy. It makes you sweat. It must, or I’m not happy with myself.
When I cook, it usually takes more time thaan it should. I was surprised when I finished as soon as I did, last night. But I burned half of it. Made too much rice for the pot to handle. The dish was too savory, not sweet-enough. I added eggs — but did so lazily so that what I got out of the effort was gross-looking. I used canned Mandarin oranges that didn’t do anything positive for the overall flavor of the dish, and- SPAM. Yes. Yes, I did. Well, fuck you — we like SPAM in this house. That was actually one of the good points of the meal. Needed more of it, though.
I tend to use items scattered about the pantry and refrigerator/freezer for meal preparation; this is mandatory for any true bachelor chef. Canned or frozen vegetables, boxed macaroni and cheese, hamburger, American cheese slicees, salt, pepper, and ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup. Bachelor meals are often consumed directly from the pot with a big wooden spoon while leaning over the stove or kitchen counter, chased down with cheap domestic beer or Kool-Aid. Hot dogs figure prominently in bachelor cuisine. As do potatoes. And the microwave. We really don’t enjoy cooking for ourselves. When it’s just us, we’d much rather be able to go over to the wall and speak into a box and have a panel slide open with a ready-to-eat meal like on “Star Trek”. Anyone who argues with me about any of this is full of shit. Bachelors like nothing better to live next door to a Dominoes, a McDonald’s, a Chinese restaurant, and a Taco Bell. We only cook when we’re out of money and are forced to have to open that last can of condensed tomato soup. Bachelor cooking is not an adventure, it’s a necessary evil.
Tonight’s necessary evil has yet to be determined. It’ll probably be fried egg sandwiches. Or ramen noodles. or booth. I don’t wanna think of it until I actually have to do it. Another requirement of bachelor cooking. Pre-planning is for pussies. Like spaghetti sauce made from scratch, the idea of it is pointless.