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.
Welcome back to another installment of the Friday Top 5. As you may have noticed from my previous posts, like Top 5 Snobs and Reasons You Got Defriended, there are a lot of things that annoy me. I’m going to use this week’s FT5 to continue that trend. While the other posts were more about the people we all hate – hipsters, facebook stalkers, and Apple snobs – this is going to be a little different. For this Top 5, it’s more about the little things, usually out of anyone’s control that just have a way of quickly and efficiently ruining my day.
5. Finding Out Your Coffee Is Cold
It’s 10 AM, you’re sitting at your desk working. You’ve been sipping on your coffee for the last 30 minutes which has allowed you to hold off on eating your breakfast. This, in turn, means you’ll be able to make it past noon before eating your lunch! That’s a great start to the day if you ask me. You can’t remember how long it’s been since you last sipped your coffee, but you’re yearning for more of that sweet, sweet nectar. You grab the mug, put it to your lips, and boom goes the dynamite – room temperature coffee.
Talk about a surprise that can ruin your day! Little known fact, room temperature coffee, or as I started calling it just before writing this sentence, RTC, is actually the leading cause of work place semi-upsetedness in America.
4. Noticing A Stain On The Way Out The Door
I don’t know about you guys, but in the morning I usually get dressed in the dark. As most of you know after reading, I’m Not An Adult and Here’s Why, I love my snooze button and I challenge myself to get ready as quickly as possible. So usually, when I’m getting dressed, I’ve only been up for about 30 seconds and I keep my lights off to be kind to my eyes. I throw on my clothes, run upstairs, pack my lunch, and breakfast and head out the door, only to notice a small little stain left behind from my buffalo chicken last week.
Time to rewind! I sprint downstairs as I’m ripping off my shirt, rifle through my closet looking for something that goes with everything I’m already wearing. Boom, blue striped shirt? Done! I sprint back upstairs, run to the car, slide over the hood Luke Duke style, peel out and make it to work with 12.3 seconds to spare.
I’m just glad I didn’t show up with the stain on my shirt. It’s impossible to be taken seriously when that happens. It’s just like there’s a poppy seed in your teeth or a boogs in your nose. I’ve got no clue what you’re saying because I can’t take my eye off it. But here’s the rub. That shirt I tore off this morning? There’s a 97% chance I’m going to forget why it’s there, hang it back up in the closet, and go through this whole ordeal again next week.
3. The Coldest Bathing Suit In The World,
Its Day #2 of your beach vacation. Yesterday was awesome; you grilled, you drank, you threw a football at a group of girls and made a diving catch to impress them and convinced them to come back to your epic beach party to wrap up the summer with Stifler and the gang.
Anyway, after a long day of swimming and and relaxing, you toss your bathing suit on the bathroom floor and pass out. The next morning, everyone is ready to go at it again. You grab your bathing suit, slide it on, and then it hits you like a ton of wet bricks.
Your bathing suit is still wet. There is honestly no piece of clothing that is worst to wear than a wet bathing suit. It’s cold and it’s heavy and it’s just terrible. Honestly, I assume death just feel like one giant wet bathing suit.
2. You’re Missing An Ingredient
In some of my posts, I’ve made it clear that I am not the best cook in the world. I’m still learning my way around the kitchen, but one mistake that I have made dozens of times and I’m sure you have too is starting something without being properly equipped. A couple nights ago, I decided I would treat myself, so I poured a bowl of my favorite cereal in the world,
Grape Nuts Fruity Pebbles. Unfortunately, I didn’t put the in necessary leg work. I soon realized, as I opened the refrigerator, I had no milk! No freaking milk!
Ever wonder what it would be like to run down stairs on Christmas morning and see no presents under the tree? I did, then I poured that bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Now I know exactly what that would feel like: epic disappointment, utter failure, and a tiny bit of your soul dying. It doesn’t even matter that you get milk the next day and eat that bowl, it’s too late, that was the worst day ever.
PS I’ve also done this with PB&J (forgot the J), made meat for a spaghetti meat sauce (forgot the sauce), and made a hotdog (no buns or bread).
And the number 1 way to ruin my day…
1. I Try To Impress You With A Stat And You Crush Me!
Me: Hey! So guess how many pounds I’ve lost this month on my diet.
Day Ruiner: I dunno, like 15?
Me: No… 6. Whatever.
Here’s a breakdown of what just happened. I asked a question with an answer that I assumed would impress my friend. My friend realized that so he, in turn, guessed an answer that would impress him. Unfortunately, the real answer has not broken his “I’m impressed threshold.” So now I’m just a loser for thinking I’m impressive when Im not and on top of it , I’m mad at myself for not losing 15 pounds this month.
Day = Worst Ever!
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.
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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.