It’s not about the time. Two hours from leaving for the grocery store to getting two quiches in the oven, on a Saturday afternoon, is perfectly fine. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t in a hurry, I was happy to spend the time.

It’s not about the quiche. Quiche IS easy, and forgiving. The grating and mixing and cooking of Saturday’s quiche was perfectly smooth, didn’t even spill it getting it in the oven. I actually made quiche myself, twice, two summers ago, without having a mental breakdown, and even produced something I was willing to serve to my neighbor. You know the difference? I didn’t try to follow a recipe. I said, I’ve helped my sister make quiche, I called her to ask roughly how much half-and-half goes with how much eggs, and I winged it. I didn’t prebake the frozen crust, because I’d never heard of that. I didn’t worry about why onion quiche calls for 6 cups of onions but Bittman’s instructions on substituting other greens say use no more than 2 cups but doesn’t spinach cook down almost as much as onions and maybe I should use more spinach than 2 cups and do I measure that 2 cups tightly or loosely packed because the pesto recipe specified but the quiche instructions don’t say? I just sauteed all the spinach I had and threw it in.

Why didn’t I just do that again? Because it was edible, but not actually very tasty. I don’t have the skills to diagnose it, so I thought maybe listening to the experts would produce better results.

This is why I’m blaming cookbooks. “If you can follow instructions, you can cook.” Fuck that bullshit. They pretend recipes are all you need, but recipes are written for people who already cook.
The other point some of you are not getting is about human nature. Fool me twice, shame on me. What did I learn from Saturday? I did not learn how to make a better quiche. I did not move any closer to the holy grail of mastering six-to-ten simple recipes or making cooking a habit. Instead, I exerted a ton of mental energy for something unhealthy and unsatisfying to consume. In terms of health, time, money, and energy, I would have been FAR better off ordering Thai from down the street. So I learned that cooking is not worth it. Now how do I unlearn that lesson?

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