Let’s be honest, dieting is the worst. It makes everything around you boring as hell.
Your food is boring.
Your choice of restaurants is boring.
Your experimental cooking is boring.
And as I noticed this weekend, your grocery shopping is boring.
When you’re a kid/an adult who doesn’t care about his weight, grocery shopping is like a bi-weekly Christmas for your stomach. It’s exciting, refreshing, fulfilling, and you never know what amazing things you’re going to get. Think about it.
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).
- The cooking instructions on the package was 6 lines long, I can do that.
- $1.79 per pound?! I’m in!
So I bought the CBB, went straight home and cooked that hunk of gross looking meat up! It was so easy:
- Place CBB into pot.
- Cover with water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add spices (which were included so I didn’t have to think)
- Simmer for 3 hours.
- 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.
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.
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.
I eat chicken…and lots of it! It’s easy, it tastes good, and pretty much everything goes with it. But I think it’s time for me to exit early 20’s cooking, and enter mid 20’s cooking. I’ve begun to experiment a little with some new sauces (by that I mean buffalo, teryaki, and BBQ out of a bottle), a couple of pork chops here and there – I even bought some ground turkey the other day and cooked it up into some Ragu with pasta. Nailed it!
Here’s the thing. I’m curious if am I the only one doing this? And by this, I mean cooking the most basic things ever over and over again. I mean, have you guys already figured out the kitchen, what tastes good, what the hell fennel is, and how to cook portions smaller than a weeks worth of food? If so, good for you! I’m proud/jealous of you and I’m a little upset you haven’t invited me over for dinner. If not, I think we’ve both got a lot of learning to do.
The question I’m struggling with is where do I learn to cook? Do I just buy a cook book and do what it says? Do I just get random ingredients and start splashing them around the kitchen like an episode of Wet, Wild, and Crazy Kids?
Or do I just go with the classic, ask Mom!
Having said all that, I have to admit that I have learned a couple things along this journey throughout the kitchen and I’m going to share them with you. And don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted with my progress and if I some day happen upon a successful recipe, I promise to share it with you, pictures and all.
Now before I get to Adam’s Lessons of the Kitchen, I will recognize the fact that I don’t know anything and that me giving advice to the world on cooking is like me giving advice to the world on not being awesome but still. Here’s a couple things I stick to when I’m cooking. (I didn’t originally plan on making these rhyme, but the first one did so I thought I’d just keep it going.)
Smaller pieces of chicken = Yum! Finger Lickin’!
Cut your chicken up and cook it in a pan instead of cooking whole chicken breasts in the oven. I just learned that one recently and it has revolutionized my world! No more struggling through the thick part of a boneless chicken breast because none of the seasoning/sauce made it in there and it’s just boring old (literally old, I make chicken for the whole week) baked chicken. Oh no, now every bite I take is covered in what ever sauce my little heart desires!
Eggs AFTER bacon, delicious breakfast (or brinner) you’ll be makin’!
Yup, added bacon to my repertoire this year. I know what you’re thinking, what’s so hard about making bacon. And I’ll tell you… nothing! No clue why I waited so long to start making it but I did so just deal with it. Anyway, cooking those scrambled/fried eggs in bacon grease? It doesn’t get much better than that. If it does, I don’t wanna know because I probably won’t be able to cook it and that’ll just make me sad.
For flavor that never ends, you must marinate my friends!
DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying you should marinate my friends, I don’t know how that would improve your cooking. Unless of course you’re cooking and eating my friends, then I guess it does apply here. But I’d have to ask you to stop doing that because I don’t have many friends and the more I lose to your insatiable appetite, the less I’ll have to high five.
Not really much to say here, just marinate that chicken! Let Sir Clucksalot soak up the delicious goodness before you cook him so you don’t just burn it all away in the pan.
As always, my ears/eyes are open. If you have any suggestions or lessons that you have learned a long the way on your journey in the kitchen, I’d love to hear them. My cousin Derek suggested I bread my pork chops next time I make them and so I’m going to give it a shot. Any ideas like that are more than welcomed.
Don’t forget to enter your email on the right so you can get these sweets little nuggets in your inbox.
Here’s an additional video for you. I realize it has absolutely nothing to do with this post but I found it while searching Wet, Wild, and Crazy Kids and it’s just too good not to post.