So, What Would Phoebe Do had a post a bit back in which she basically argued that cooking can be a hell of a lot of work, and those people promising fast and easy simple recipes need to stop lying to people:
because food and health writers whose topic of choice is home cooking do this for a living, their entire concept of how much cooking interferes with the life of someone whose life doesn’t revolve around cooking is warped, warped, warped.
I enthusiastically agreed, because I have this argument with my sister all the time. If you do not cook regularly, cooking is a big-ass hassle, and it is enough of a hassle that it makes it very difficult to develop the habit of cooking regularly.
However, Phoebe missed a few items on her list.
I decided to make quiche, because it’s really handy to have some real food around that requires nothing more a microwave to create a meal. I have eaten quiche, so I know what it’s supposed to taste like. I have made quiche, so I know it’s not that hard to get edible and that 6 eggs and 2 cups of milk requires TWO pie shells even though none of the recipes tell you this. I don’t need to spend 30 minutes trying to decide which quiche recipe on the internet I should follow, because I have How to Cook Everything on my phone and I am going to just trust Mark Bittman.
So I am happy and optimistic about the quiche plan, even though I don’t cook. I am going to use ingredients from my trip to the farmer’s market this morning to make pesto for pesto quiche, even, because I love pesto.
In the Grocery Store:
- wonder exactly how 4 oz of basil correlates to 2 tightly packed cups and maybe I should just spend $10 on two packages of organic basil but that seems fucking ridiculous.
- peer at labels and price per oz to try to figure which of the 25 fucking brands of imported extra virgin olive oil I should buy
- wish pathetically for a grocery store that only offered each item in a single brand.
- read labels on pie crusts looking for whole grain ingredients.
- stare hopelessly at the eggs, wondering what’s the difference between free range and cage-free and access to outdoors and does omega-3 mean they put some kind of injection into the eggs or what?
- since I am at the grocery, decide to buy brown rice. Google to figure out whether brown rice is healthy or I have to go all the way to the $9/lb wild rice. Ponder whether I am more likely to enjoy long grain brown rice, short grain brown rice, short grain brown rice (pearled), or sweet brown rice. Wish I could call my mother and ask her but she’s traveling this weekend. Note that this is a high-stakes decision, because if I have to add “overcome the memory of the nasty-ass food I cooked last time” to the beginning of any intent to cook, it’s not gonna be good.
- change clothes and put on apron because I am a messy cook.
- start to prebake the pie crust per the recipe, worry that I have no aluminum foil, wonder what the fuck a pie weight is, think that maybe prebaking the pie crust is only if you actually made the pie crust, curse Mark Bittman.
- call my mother on the cell to settle the prebaking issue.
- scale back plans to make pesto-cheese quiche and spinach quiche in favor of getting a goddamn cheese quiche in the oven asap.
- resist urge to cry, say fuck it, and order pizza. Turn up music instead.
- skip the recommended fresh basil because I don’t know whether to include the stems and am pissed about how the fuck I’m supposed to only wash a 1/4 cup of basil when it’s on a fucking stem still.
- guess I needed the fucking pie weights. Tamp down the blown up pie shells, hope they are browned enough, since I can’t really tell with the whole grain spelt flour.
- wonder what “beat until well-blended” means when I have 2 cups of grated aged cheese that is not going to blend without some sort of machine getting involved. Decide it can’t really matter because how you can screw up cheese and eggs and milk, but curse Mark Bittman anyway.
- feel smug about having the necessary two pie crusts ready.
- put the quiche in the oven. Realize I just exerted all that mental energy on making something completely unhealthy.
Maybe the thought of the basil rotting will convince me to cook again soon, but maybe not.
ETA, from my comment, because I think this sums the heart of my issues: I went from happy to fucking furious, as little annoyances accumulated from 5pm to 7pm. What food is worth that?