Monday, December 27, 2010

Cooking... Something

I'm feeling left out. I've never written about cooking before. So now I'm gonna.


Although, my dog Starbuck is feeling left out, as well. He'd much rather me actually try to cook something instead of write about trying to cook something. But, that ain't happening right now, so he's gonna have to deal with staring at the back of my head for a few.

Starbuck staring at the back of my head

Anyway, some background. I suck in the kitchen. Suck. Completely. Primarily because I've never really tried to cook anything before (spaghetti and steaks don't count). Oh, sure, I've long thought that I'd be awesome in the kitchen - given ingredient lists, recipes, and instructions - but that's just vanity speaking. One just doesn't know until one just tries.

So, after a friend of mine sent me a custom-made cookbook, I decided to put my money where my vanity was.

Step one, obviously, was picking a recipe out of the cookbook to try. The three frontrunners were: Thai Chicken Curry, Pepperoni Linguini, and Salt and Pepper Squid (Laxative Pork didn't make the list... yes... there's a recipe in my book called "Laxative Pork").

Well, the pasta looked a bit too simple (I wanted to challenge myself) and the squid looked a bit too challenging (I wanted something simple), so I went with the obvious choice of Thai Chicken Curry.

Step two, obviously (I'm gonna say "obviously" a lot since I'm assuming most of you can actually cook... I, however, cannot), is to go to the grocery store and buy what's on the ingredients list.

*Before I continue, let me iterate that upon discovering that I was being made a custom cookbook, I specifically requested that each recipe have a comprehensive list of ingredients so I know what to buy.

Okay, so I went to the store. Some immediate issues with the ingredient list:
  • It called for Red Thai Curry Paste. The store I went to only had Red Thai Curry Sauce. So I bought Red Indian Curry Paste. I was scolded for this later.
  • It called for a can of bamboo shoots. As I would learn later, adding bamboo shoots is nowhere in the recipe.
  • It called for sprigs of fresh coriander. I asked if cilantro was an acceptable substitution. This caused a great deal of confusion. Not that it mattered... adding coriander is nowhere in the recipe.
  • I forgot to get baby corn.
  • I also forgot the brown sugar.
  • And I might as well tell you know... the recipe DOES call for water chestnuts... which weren't on the ingredients list.
So, all in all... pretty much a disaster from the get-go. But it's all good.

A few days after my shopping spree, I went ahead and attempted the dish. After filleting my chicken fillets and cutting the onions so as not to resemble onion rings, this is what it all looked like:

Starbuck looks delicious with onions... er... forget I mentioned that...

Of course, I forgot that I needed knives and shit (yes, I used the word "shit" when writing about cooking... deal with it). Luckily, my mother has a propensity to worry that I don't have everything I need to succeed in a domicile and somehow hid a box of knives (complete with wood cutting board) in the stuff my sister brought down here last summer. I had to learn what each knife was properly called since, you know, I used to just call them by my other trade names (decapitator, de-finger-er, de-eyeballer, etc.)

The Torture Tools... to be used on myself, apparently

Oh, yeah... from left to right: paring knife, sharpener, roast fork, utility knife (on top of the roast fork), cleaver, carving knife (on top of the cleaver), bread knife (that's the de-finger-er), boning knife (de-eyeballer), chef knife. Take that!

Here's a picture of the ingredients that I know I didn't mess up. Because, well, they're pre-packaged.

The, well, pre-packaged crap

And here's what the dish looked like in stages of cooking:

Stage 1: Chucking Shit In

Stage 2: Turning Shit Orange

Stage 3: Shit's Getting Watery

Stage 4: Thicker Shit

Stage 5: Shit on Jasmine Rice

I screwed up the rice, by the way. In the microwave. That takes skill.

After completion, I fed some of this (Indian) Thai Chicken Curry to my buddy and he seemed to not hate it. More importantly, he didn't keel over and die, so I was able to subsist off of curry for a couple of days.

Hmm... I might have to stick with the spaghetti and steak.

That, people, is how write to about cooking.


Baino said...

Soz, I didn't tell you what to do with the Red Chili on the Satay either, you just chop it and sprinkle on top. Should have tested the recipes, I do it instinctively. What you made was Chicken Korma so be proud. I had no idea you were taking photos, I just thought you bent over the stove in a retarded way. Nice view of yer bum tho!

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Well, though the results weren't everything you expected, at least it is encouraging to see you are making strides in overcoming your "chef's block". Actually, I suspected that such a post was coming when I recently saw a vicious rumour on Facebook that you had gone out to buy cilantro. Cook what you may, I hope you are enjoying Christmas (which goes on until January 6th here) and holiday season and that 2011 will be very, very good to you.

Tom said...

haha. nice caption writing too. stick to the recipes on the back of boxes and bags of chocolate chips

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Practice makes ... better and better. Congratulations on your alchemic attempts and future successes. -J

Betsy said...

I smiled through the whole thing. :)

Hope each attempt gets better. There's nothing like home cooking. really!

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