How To Be Amazing and Terrible At Cooking At The Same Time

As you all know, I’m trying to expand my horizons in the kitchen. I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I can some day call myself a good cook. As you learned in my last kitchenly post, I couldn’t be further from earning that title.

So last weekend, I was doing some grocery shopping. I was crossing off the usual items on my list:

      • turkey breast
      • American cheese
      • apples
      • oranges
      • 9 lbs of chicken (seriously)

As I was tossing my chicken in the shopping cart, I heard an old man in his motorized chair yell to one of the meat men (not sure that is his exact title, but you get the point), “Hey, where’s the corn beef?” At first Ron the Meat Man (yup, he just went from grocer to professional wrestler) didn’t hear the old man, so he said it again. “Hey! Where’s the corn beef?!” and I’m standing there thinking to myself, Yeah, where is the corn beef? 

That’s when I realized I was standing right next to the corn beef brisket section. I grabbed a package to see what the deal was, and two pieces of information that I saw pretty much guaranteed I’d be buying some CBB (corn beef brisket for the kitchenly impaired).

  1. The cooking instructions on the package was 6 lines long, I can do that.
  2. $1.79 per pound?! I’m in!

With Juices?! Don't mind if I do!

So I bought the CBB, went straight home and cooked that hunk of gross looking meat up! It was so easy:

    1. Place CBB into pot.
    2. Cover with water.
    3. Bring to a boil.
    4. Add spices (which were included so I didn’t have to think)
    5. Simmer for 3 hours.
    6. Eat that bad boy! 

So I followed the instructions, 3 hours later, I came back to the kitchen and pulled this glorious piece of meat out of a disgusting pot of water.

I know, I need to work on my plating/presenting skills but I'll get there.

Delicious much? Too much! Much too much! Though it becomes a lot less appetizing when you look at the pot of water it came out of.

Buzz, your girlfriend. Woof!

So I bought the meat and I cooked it to near perfection. Here’s where it becomes obvious that I’m still an amateur cook. I called my mom to brag about the new addition to Chef Telian’s Cook Book (after sending her a picture of that stunning lump of meat of course.)  She gave me the, “Oh I’m so proud of you. You’re the best son ever. Why did we even keep your sister,” response that she always does. Then she asked a question that made me question my self worth.

“Did you make any potatoes or cabbage with it?” 

And of course, what was my response?

“No. Because I’m a stupid idiot face who doesn’t know how to cook and can’t even think to buy a second food to go with his CBB!”

That’s why today for lunch, I had corn beef brisket and nothing else. And I’m freaking starving! I need some starches up in this beast!

What kind of a moron doesn’t know to make cabbage with some CBB. More importantly, how stupid am I to not even make anything at all. Even if it was completely wrong and didn’t go with corn beef at all, at least I could’ve shown some sort of coherent thought process, but no. Instead, I’m stuck with my tupperware of corn beef brisket and no sides.

Either way, I have taken a step forward in my journey through the Kitchenly Forest. It doesn’t matter that it is was a very small step forward, a step with accompanied but 0 sides.

32 responses

  1. Adam, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess you’re not Irish. I’m proud of you for liking Corned Beef, one of the best foods in the world. Go boil some potatoes and cabbage and there’s lunch for tomorrow! I think it’s great that you’re learning to cook, women will appreciate that some day.

    Erin go bragh!

    April 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

    • haha how’d you guess. Actually, I’m Armenian and the best cooks I know are my mom and my aunts so it’s embarrassing that I haven’t figured it out at this point.

      PS I think we both know you’re referring to yourself when you say “Women” will appreciate it. It’s okay to admit it. This is a safe space.

      PPS Ireland forever?! Ugh. Fine!

      April 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

  2. No potatoes? NO POTATOES? Pfft! – Adam, I don’t even know what to say without being cruel. Like, are you missing a chromosome or something? GO to the store. Buy the already made mashed potatoes, they are decent (the meat man will direct you). Apply to side of leftover corned beef. Enjoy.

    PS, don’t even bother with the cabbage, hot cabbage is just weird. (and yes I am Irish).

    April 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

    • I know i know! I’m such an idiot. Don’t worry, I won’t make that mistake again. Irish and you DON’T like hot cabbage? That’s just kray!

      April 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

  3. I’m so transparent. Yes, I await the day when I meet a young hot Armenian guy who can cook a good boiled dinner. Let me know the next time you’re in Oregon.

    Yes Ireland forever! What would you expect from Margaret Mary O’Connor???

    April 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

    • Haha I’ll keep you posted on my travel plans. I’ve never been to the great northwest actually. Am I missing out?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:53 am

      • You are missing out if you like good food and beautiful sights. If you love bizarre behavior and bad government, then you are also missing out. Have you not seen Portlandia, it’s funny because it’s true.

        April 10, 2012 at 11:14 am

      • I actually have watched a few episodes. It was pretty funny. I loved the one where the couple was in the restaurant asking about the chickens they were going to be eating. I do like good food and bizarre behavior though.

        April 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

  4. Oh, and here is your next Mission, should you choose to accept it. GO to the store, buy a Half Pork Picnic. (Should be cheaper than corned beef.) You can get a whole one, but it mostly adds a bone and lots more skin, which you don’t really want. Throw it in a baking pan, like you would bake a cake, or brownies in. Put the thick white skin side up. Set oven 325 F. Don’t even preheat. Walk away.

    Unlike beef or poultry, which when cooked too long can get tough or dry, this type of pork has enough fat in it that the LONGER you cook it, the tenderer-er it gets. It will be not-raw in a couple hours. In Four or five hours it will be unsliceable because it is so tender and juicy. Viola, how you get pulled pork. Add potatoes like a pork roast, or bread and barbeque sauce as needed.

    Optional bonus. The skin on top will be brown and crispy. This is an actual “Pork Rind” (the thing that is yummy enough, in it’s own way, that someone to try to duplicate them and put them in a bag for easy snacking) You might try it. You will either like it or hate it. If you like it, be careful. It is 100% saturated fat. Like the worst (tasty) thing you will ever put in your body. But at least you will understand what prompted someone to try to duplicate them, in a bag.

    (I’m Southern Irish) 🙂

    April 10, 2012 at 10:12 am

    • I can’t turn down an easy/cheap recipe. This will be on my grocery list next time I go shopping and I’m sure I’ll have a post about it.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

      • I honestly have a motto about food (because I hate to cook, but love to eat). There is really good food, and there is really easy food. When you find something that is really good **AND** really easy, sign me up.

        April 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

    • Pork shoulder is good food. You can also boil with water and orange juice or beer or whatever you have around and it will break up and fry in its own fat. It’s weird that I need to lose weight 🙂

      We Irish know our fatty meats…so to speak.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

  5. PS: You need a crock pot. Seriously. You can do the corned beef or the picnic or a pot roast AND THE POTATOES together, at the same time and (a) not watch the stove or (b) not heat up the house using the oven. I call it “Yummy, Walk-Away Cooking”

    God, now I am really hungry.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    • I actually have one. I was going to ask if I should use that instead

      April 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

      • Do at least your first picnic in the oven so you can try the pork rinds. The crock pot may take longer, but it is hassle free (and more energy efficient than the oven). It was designed for working moms to throw the stuff in in the am, before leaving for work, and when she and family arrives home at 6pm, (8 hours?) just set the table and serve. You can google tons of crock pot recipes for ideas and times. I have never made the picnic in a crock pot, but friends I stayed with did once when I was there. She literally threw the meat in and a bottle of BBQ sauce and turned it on (I prefer my sauce on the side.) But she added no water. At the time I thought you had to have water. Also, one I learned from her. Meatballs for many, (potluck, super bowl party, etc) Throw into crock pot, 2 big bags of frozen meatballs, add one bottle of preferred (or cheaply generic) barbeque sauce and one jar of grape jelly. Walk away. Viola, sweet and tangy meatballs. Take entire crock pot to party, and plug it in to keep warm. You will have to google how long because you are just heating up the already cooked meatballs. She also did stir them once or twice.

        I don’t really like meatballs, but everyone else does.

        When you are ready to tackle a turkey, PLEASE let me know. I make a spectacularly perfect turkey every time and, as you might expect, it is “walk away” easy. Plus there is the bonus that the method is like none other, and makes for a GREAT lifelong story, the kind of things you pass down to your kids (and yet, still DIRT easy. Just unique.)

        I really have to go eat something 😀

        April 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

  6. Since you are making travel plans, have you ever been to Florida? Some people think it’s nice. Please put me on the list. I wont hit on you like Mary Margaret, and I would like to say it is becuuse I am too old for you, but the truth is, you just dont cook well enough yet.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

    • Have I ever been to Florida?! That’s kray, of course I have. I’ve been there probably 20 times I would guess. I’ll be down in Orlando for Memorial Day as a matter of fact. Gonna get my tan and my fish on.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:13 am

    • Ack! Kathleen! He started it! And it’s Margaret Mary, my cousin is Mary Margaret and I’m also waaaayyy too old for Adam the Funny Armenian.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

      • Who me?! Fine, I started it. And I like that name. When I become a dictator someday, that’s what I will go by.

        April 10, 2012 at 11:42 am

      • Sorry about that Margaret Mary. I am dyslexic. Plus it was late. And I was hungry.

        (How did he go from Young Hot Armenian to just Funny Armenian in like 6 posts?) You’ve obviously peaked Adam.

        April 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      • Wait wait wait. since when are hot and funny exclusive characteristics?!

        April 12, 2012 at 8:59 am

  7. Can you fix my happy faces above please, I think they need a space between each. Lets see? 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

    April 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

  8. najaorama

    Haha, reminds me of this guy.
    I haven’t tried any recipes but they are fun to read.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

    • I just checked out that site, it’s pretty awesome. Gonna have to give those a shot.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

  9. Hysterical. And very much reminded me of my husband. : )

    April 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm

  10. Baby steps my friend. Side dishes can come later!

    One of my favorite “cooking for dummies” websites is this one:

    April 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

  11. If you buy the corned beaf in a can ( it looks really gross), you can make corned beef hash and it is delicious! You fry it up in a pan with onions and boiled potatoes, and it is delicious! For added deliciousness, you can get some mustard pickles for the side/mix in a bit. My favorite meal as a kid (and still is)! here is a similar recipe.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:07 am

    • hmmm Im gonna have to give that a try! Thanks!

      April 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

  12. And now that I think of it, why DID they keep your sister?

    April 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

  13. you can also make reuben sandwiches with corned beef

    April 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm

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