Monday Dare: The Underachiever’s Guide to Not Setting Your Home on Fire

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Learn to cook.

My general attitude towards cooking has always been I Don’t Know. I Don’t Care. Not My Problem. This would be fine if I lived alone. I could run to 7-Eleven at noon and then again at 7:00 p.m. for one of their burritos, which I would carefully heat in their industrial-strength microwave. It would only be twice a day since I’d eat a hearty breakfast at home. Something like a bowl of Trix cereal and almond milk. But since I probably wouldn’t go to the store that often, it might sometimes be a few handfuls of Trix cereal. Or just a glass of Orange Shasta. BAM. Got my weekly serving of fruit right there. This is the problem with not being a katrillionaire. You have to do all kinds of shit for yourself, and frankly, I don’t like it.

I won’t even watch cooking shows to “get inspired” or learn how to make “quick” and “easy” 30-minute meals. Fuck that shit. You know what’s inspirational? Watching people act like dummies on reality television. I always feel so put-together afterwards, and it inspires me to just keep being myself. And you know what’s quick and easy? Restaurants. Other people cook and clean and all I have to do is remember to use utensils occasionally so I don’t look like an animal.

The problem with my piss-poor attitude about cooking is that I have a family. I don’t know what kind of family you have, but mine wants to eat all the time.

The great thing about having a piss-poor attitude and a family who demands food is that concerned friends will step in and stage an intervention but couch it in a non-threatening and casual way by saying, “Come over for a few days and relax on the Central Coast and maybe we can do a couple of fun cooking lessons.” Well, I don’t know if that’s how all interventions work, but it’s what my friend Jen did. I was totally bamboozled because she used words like “relax” and “fun,” and I tuned out the rest.

My mom was happy to hear about the cooking lessons. “Remember, Elizabeth, God helps those who help themselves.”

“That’s true, ma, but didn’t God also say something about not burning down other people’s houses?” I asked. I think she called me from her cell phone and it was a bad connection because the line went dead after that.

Because I like to practice Good Friendmanship whenever possible, I asked immediately upon arrival if Jen had fire insurance. “I double-checked our policy before you got here.” That Jen, so prepared.

We started out with something “easy”: a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. She would demonstrate. I would watch. She would step aside. I would mimic her last action. After we had sliced the bread, buttered each side, cut the cheese, made the bacon, toasted the bread, assembled the sandwich, and laid the sandwich in the pan, she asked if I had any questions.

“Yeah, just one. Which step does the microwave come in? That’s how I make my grilled cheese sandwiches.”

I saw a little tear forming in the corner of her eye. “It’s called a GRILLED cheese sandwich for a REASON.”

The sandwiches were delicious. But I ain’t gonna lie. I was fucking tired after that, so I asked if I could go lay down for a few hours. Also, I asked for some alcohol because, I mean, seriously guys, did you not read all the steps I went through to make a sandwich?

When I finally came out of my hiding place, Jen put me to work again. We were making gnocchi with a tomato sauce for dinner and my job was to open 7 cans of tomatoes. Do you know what makes me feel better than knowing I opened 7 cans of tomatoes all by my goddamn self without the help of an electric can opener? NOTHING. It’s a pretty important job if you think about it, because without me, there wouldn’t have been any sauce.

I love my friend Jen so much for letting me into her home and taking the time to teach me. I’m not so afraid of the kitchen anymore. But if I ever open a restaurant, every menu item is going to cost one katrillion dollars. This cooking shit ain’t no joke, playas.

Do you enjoy cooking? Any quick and easy meals you consider your “specialties”?
If you don’t enjoy cooking, how do you feed your family?

P.S. I’ll be at BlogHer in New York this weekend where I will be reading a Post Which Is A Secret Because I’m Not Allowed To Mention It Right Now in front of 4,500 people. “Like” the Flourish in Progress Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all the ways I will probably embarrass myself. And for funny pictures. And Thug Life thoughts.
image via pinterest

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