I can cook one thing, and one thing only: popcorn. Anything else I cannot cook. At all. I’m like Homer adding milk to Mr. Burns’ cereal and it bursts into flames. I think I’d be able to use a microwave, but unfortunately my wife thinks they’re “bad for you” and refuses to get one. Yes, that’s what she thinks. Plus, we don’t have room for it anyway - outlets are at a premium in our old San Francisco house, especially in the kitchen.
So I decide on Saturday that I will learn to cook something for my wife as a surprise. I’ve got all day. How hard could it be? After all, there’s instructions, right? Aye, but there’s the rub. The instructions assume a certain knowledge of what they’re talking about, which I do not possess. Here are the results of my fun day of trying to cook:
Chili - The very first word of the very first instruction killed this one: “Brown.” Brown some ground beef. Uh…what? Brown it…how? I boiled water and put the meat in there. End of experiment #1.
Chicken - Bake the chicken - OK, no problem, the word “bake” exists on the stove. We’re dancin’!!! Uh…how come the stove isn’t getting hot? Why does the kitchen smell like gas? Is the stove broken? Does the burner I use for popcorn still work? Better check… FOOOMP!!! End of experiment #2.
Vegetable Stir Fry. Thanks to the Internet I know what a Wok is. So THAT’S what my popcorn bowl really is! OK, let’s get started: “Blanch some snow peas.” You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. End of experiment #3.
Chicken Stir Fry. OK, I’ve got the chicken and the Wok, so I think I can cook the chicken in the Wok. Wok is heating up, no problem. Chop mushrooms and broccoli, “stir in” - I think I understand that. Add chicken. We’re making progress here!! “Let simmer.” ??? Let simmer? Why isn’t “simmer” labeled on the little dial? Simmer for how long? How do I know it’s simmering? Let’s check Dictionary.com: “to stew gently below or just at the boiling point.” OK…but for how long?!! I suppose I have to guess. I’ll check the hockey game while it’s busy “simmering.” … … … … Too long, it’s burned and ruined. And I can’t seem to get that burned stuff out of the Wok. Was I supposed to add water or something to keep it from sticking? Eh…I think I’ll just put the Wok in the dishwasher and hope she doesn’t notice. End of experiment #4.
Brownies. OK, I’ll just make brownies. Dessert can’t be that difficult, can it? “Cream butter and sugar together.”
I don’t have the first fucking clue what that means. “Beat in eggs one at a time; add vanilla; blend well; add syrup.” Beat them in …where? Why one at a time? OK, here’s a bowl, I guess that means crack the eggs and scramble them with this fork. Add vanilla…where would that be? Here it is - OK, blending well, I suppose, adding syrup. I guess I’ll just add the butter and sugar and scramble them up with the same fork. “Sift flour and baking powder together, then add to mixture.” What? “sift”? SIFT?!! Dictionary.com again: “to put through a sieve <sift flour>.” And again: “Sieve: a device with meshes or perforations through which soft materials may be forced for reduction to fine particles.” You could put a gun to my head and I would be unable to come up with what this device looks like, if we even have one. End of experiment #5.
Ground beef, chicken for dinner: ruined.
Ingredients for dessert for wife’s office potluck: ruined.
Wife: Not the good kind of surprised.
Will I ever cook again? No.