Cooking Tips From a Do It Yourselfer Who Would Rather Not Be Doing It.

I’ve burnt my dinner again. Not because I’m a terrible cook, but because I can’t focus on cooking. After about the 100th or more time of this I decided that in this culture of DIY that seems to have sprung up everywhere, maybe I’m not the only one. I am not a hipster cook who owns all the latest hip gadgets like this coffee thing. (see coffee thing) I cook because I have to or I’ll die. I could eat out? No. I’m too poor because I’ve got it in my head that my latest feather earring collection, blog entry, painting, song, album, etc, will pay the bills and then sadly it doesn’t. Plus who wants to eat out every meal?

I’m known to burn things. I put something on then I’m like, ok now while this is cooking I can: water the plants, finish that piece I was working on, the drawing, sawing, hammering etc. Then I get all absorbed and smell something burnt in the air. Shit! I run to the kitchen and the pan is all black with remnants of what I was making. Then I grab the applesauce and just eat that. Well, I fixed it this time. I discovered that if you pour just a teaspoon of water onto your sweet potatoes as they are frying in their own black that the water removes a lot of it and then you can poor some out. Then you get a toilet paper wad and wipe the burn out while the food is in a pile. This worked rather well. My cooking strategy is more like, how can I fix this so it’s edible, than “mmmm doesn’t that look good?”

So my theory about this all is that DIY’ers are all so busy DIY”ing” that we don’t have time to make food. I might be alone, but I’m hoping I’m not. I’ve put together a list to help you in the kitchen so you don’t set your latest teapot on fire, like I have actually done.

Number One!
Focus! You have to eat so that you can make your, whatever it was your going to try and sell on etsy and hope doesn’t wind up on regretsy, so focus! Do not try and do ten things while cooking and this will help you to not burn everything.

Number Two!
Don’t let people help you! This is enabling. You suck at cooking and allowing someone to come in and help is just preventing you from learning how to do it and you will probably just stop and go finish what you were doing so you don’t have to deal with it. Then your boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate/whoever takes over and after a while this becomes a pattern and they resent you for it but are terribly glad they don’t have to eat your crappy food. I say no! Make it yourself! Practice rule number one and you might surprise yourself and your friend.

Number Three!
There are instructions for this cooking thing. They are called recipes. No, I don’t mean the instructions on the back of your Top Ramen. That kind of thing is OK in your early twenties but after the mandatory colonoscopy’s to find out why your bowels are bleeding when you are 27 you will quickly reconsider doing that nightly. A good way to find recipes when all you have in your fridge is a carrot is to go to type in carrot in the search and suddenly you have all kinds of ideas for what to do with your carrot. No, pervert, I mean ways to cook it.

Number Four!
Follow the recipe! It has a little list like 1. chop carrot. Do that!
About now I get bored. Ugh, chopping sucks, oh no, that’s my finger, ok focus, chopping still sucks. Now I want to leave. So I chop the carrots as fast as possible and throw them in the pan that is too hot and run out to go do what ever it was I was doing. Do not do this! Stay in the kitchen!

Number Five!
The stove thing with the fire does not have one setting. I turn mine all the way up because this will make things cook faster. This is not true. Things burn faster. You want to keep it on medium, yes it takes longer to heat up, but your carrot will not hate you forever for ruining its end purpose. And you will not have to eat black stuff.

This is all I can think of. I’d be glad to hear your ideas on how to not suck at cooking. Just remember to focus, don’t turn the heat up too much and don’t chop your fingers off.


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