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Cooking for Dipshits Who Don’t Know Fuck-All about Cooking

September 6, 2013

Wednesday at sundown began the Jewish New Year. It’s, like, the year 5785 or something (okay, Google says it’s 5774, so I wasn’t that far off!). Obviously I don’t really pay attention to that sort of thing, since I can find more proof for the yumminess of bacon cheeseburgers than of the existence of a wrathful Yahweh.

So it was mostly an exercise in eating lots and lots of food, enough so that I commented on Facebook afterwards about the necessity of jettisoning my spleen in order to make room for all the kugel, Jell-O (that’s the salad course in my family), peach soup, and ice cream cake, among others. Including apples and honey. I’m sure there’s a reason behind that tradition, but whatever it is has been overwritten in my brain with the knowledge that bacon cheeseburgers are yummy.

In short, Rosh Hashanah isn’t nearly as well-publicized as the Common Era’s New Year’s Eve and Day. There’s no countdown, no glitzy disco ball dropping in Times Square, and most importantly, no proclamations of the next day being the day the diet starts (although I, for one, decided to pass on breakfast) or you finally fulfill your lifelong dream and begin the process of becoming an underwater basket-weaver.

But in spite of my clearly shaky affiliation with the faith of my forebears, not to mention my plastered-on sneer when it comes to people’s beliefs that they will magically transform themselves overnight (how many New Year’s diets do you know that ended in the office break room two days after the fact upon discovery of the cookies left over from the Christmas party, stale and crumbly though they may be?), I still feel that there are some improvements I could be making in my life.

But nothing big, like climbing mountains, getting published, or firming up–nope, I’m working on those already, thankyewveddymuch. Nope, the fly in my peach soup is one that, as evidenced by the likes of Pinterest, is such a non-issue for a lot of my fellow females that one of my X chromosomes must have flown the coop at some point. The battles I must fight in order to grow as a person (inward, rather than the outward direction begun after Wednesday’s dinner) are purely on the domestic front.

I’ve come to accept that my desk, walls, and kitchen counters are never going to be Pinteresting, except as a means of inspiring some kind of subgenre of horror for the Fifty Shades of Grey reading crowd. Frankly, I pat myself on the back when I manage to do the dishes that have been accumulating for two weeks AND the laundry that’s been Manifest Destiny-ing the shit out of itself in rays extending from the hamper in the SAME WEEK. And since I don’t have a dishwasher and my apartment’s laundry facilities are outside my building, getting me to tackle those chores more frequently would require divine intervention (perhaps a Baconator reward each time I wash a dish or do a load of laundry?).

So instead, I’ve been making slow forays into that other area of the kitchen that has heretowith remained sparkly clean: the stove. Thanks to the Chipotle a block from me, the Arby’s a block the other direction, a plethora of Chinese and Thai delivery establishments on speed-dial, and a best friend who loves to cook, I’ve never really needed to bust out the pots and pans in order to eat. The nights I did want to save some dough, Safeway’s premade foods section was right by the store entrance I use.

Alas, I’ve had occasional cravings for things that Safeway doesn’t premake. Like grilled portabella mushrooms. I’ve also got a landlord who, far from being the money-grubbing cheapskate populating pop culture, is a nice guy who has a garden behind the building and occasionally gives me stuff he’s grown in it. Like eggplant. Which kind of needs to be cooked to be enjoyed.

Add into this stew of change a peppering of pure snobbery. Back in February, I pooh-poohed a HuffPo writer for giving some sexist and simply stupid advice to her daughter. Among the issues she extolled as being worthwhile for her child to contemplate included thinning her eyebrows and splurging on pretty shoes and handbags she liked. Among the issues she dismissed as being too trivial for her benighted baby girl were learning math and learning to cook.

This was a list compiled as part of one author’s New Year’s resolutions list–things to share with her daughter as well as things she, herself, could improve upon. I don’t have a whole list, per se, nor is it common to come up with a Rosh Hashanah resolutions list (although there is better alliteration there!). But if nothing else–not the money I could save, not the calories I could spare–prompts me to use someone’s new year to make myself a new start, it’s the motivation of not being a frivolous twat who, paradoxically, sets the women’s movement back fifty years with her insistence that learning to do certain things is hard, ergo it must be pointless.

Although it’s a good thing I don’t have losing weight anywhere on my to-do list. The first couple endeavors to make the frozen vegetables less frozen have mostly made me want to jettison my spatula and load up on the Baconators.


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