If this blog has made one thing clear, it’s that I’m no cook.
Whether it was the post about my failed attempt at a 25-minute pasta recipe or the one in which I set off my smoke detector three times on Valentine’s Day while toasting bread, I think I’ve established that cooking is something better left to the professionals.
So it should come as a surprise that I’ve been on a real tear in the kitchen lately.
“Really?!” a friend asked. “What have you been doing?”
“Well. I’ve been putting fruit on my salads instead of just using other vegetables,” I explained.
She looked underwhelmed.
“Oh – and you’ll like this,” I continued. “I’ve been making flavored water.”
She put her hear down on the table.
“Tell me that you’re not just adding some fruit from the salad to a glass of water,” she pleaded.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” I said. “It’s nothing like that!”
But it’s sort of like that. I bought an infuser pitcher from Crate & Barrel and I’ve been trying all kinds of fruit and herb combinations – like lemon and basil or watermelon and mint.
“Well it sounds good,” my friend conceded. “But I was expecting you to tell me that you’ve been, you know, cooking.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Not if I can help it,” I said. “But I did get a Nespresso machine and I’ve been making myself a latte every morning.”
She can joke all she wants, but I actually wouldn’t mind juicing through lunch every day. The thing that stops me – besides the cost and the counter space and the clean up – is that I’ve seen a lot of reports about unhealthy levels of heavy metals found in kale and other greens. Call me crazy, but I don’t like juice enough to risk that.
“When was the last time you cooked?” my friend asked.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “A full meal in the oven? Something from scratch? Cook what? Dinner?”
The fact that I didn’t understand the question was very telling in and of itself.
“The last time you used a recipe,” she said.
“Well I looked up something for the water –“
“Not the water,” she snapped. “Something else. Something that you eat. On a plate.”
I thought carefully.
To the best of my knowledge, I went the entire summer without doing anything more intense than boiling a bag of pasta and tossing it with tomatoes and fresh basil.
Since I haven’t dated anyone of real significance since the winter, I haven’t had much need to put together dinner or breakfast. In fact, the Valentine’s Day chicken dish and encore French toast might have been the last time I cooked this calendar year. Coincidentally, it was also the first.
And if I have any say in the matter, it will stay that way. Toast for breakfast, salad for lunch, dinner can go fuck itself.
That might not be the best attitude to have in the kitchen, but I raise a glass of herb-infused water in my own honor for getting two things very right: Spending time doing the things I love. And skipping the rest.
Let’s drink to that.
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