[ The following was not posted on April 1st for obvious reasons ]
If you’ve been following me on twitter for more than a few years (you brave soul, you) you’ll remember how my cooking skills were limited to “makes a fine bowl of cereal” then hovered around “can successfully boil water” and it was a rocky road to “omg, this chicken is edible!”
These days I’m reasonably confident in the kitchen, though I still check thick chicken, fish, and steak with a digital meat thermometer to be absolutely damn sure. I’m not terribly adventurous since I like pretty basic things and don’t get tired of staples easily. There were two solid years I had the same thing for lunch every day and it never bothered me, even though friends thought I was a little sad for it. Nuts to them! My lunch costs were approximately ninety cents a day (Canadian) freeing up more cash for gaming. Mwa ha ha.
It took forever, but I’ve finally nailed <protein> + <carb> + <vegetable> and having them all ready at darn near the same time. I still do a little party dance when I get it right, that’s how recently this has become a thing. Now I’m feeling cocky and it’s time to figure out some foods I pay other people to make for me.
Goal the First: CREPES
Crepes are the freakin’ best. When on childhood trips to visit my Grandfather, he’d get up mad early in the mornings to make the batter and have a truly massive stack of crepes ready for everyone when he kicked us out of bed. I can’t say “for when we woke up” since he was an early bird and I would have slept an extra two hours given the option. But his crepes were always worth it. I don’t actually expect to recreate those masterpieces since I lack talent, his recipe, his jennair* stove, and special crepe pan. I just want some reasonably edible crepes for myself for breakfast since there’s only so many bowls of oatmeal I really want each week. I’ve given up cereal, the only pancakes I like have chocolate chips in them (thus, a sometimes food), and I prefer eggs for lunch instead of breakfast. Bring on the crepes! I can stuff them with fruit for the rare times I’m not enjoying them plain with a touch of syrup.
I think I’m going to go with a slightly modified version of the Canadian Living recipe. Will probably add a bit of vanilla. Maybe a pinch of cinnamon if I’m feeling particularly bold. If you have an old family recipe (or something equally tried and true), feel free to pass it along!
Goal the Second: MEAL PREP
I’ve already started on this one a bit, though I don’t see myself going full out like this amazingly organised soul. Seriously, click that even if just to see the pictures. My meal prep goals are far less ambitious. I don’t need to cook a whole week ahead, but I should try for a couple of days. Last night I made salmon, linguine, and steamed green beans, while also cooking a chicken breast in the oven to have with the leftover pasta the next day. And some other chicken to mix with my eggs at lunch. See? Just simple little things.
Seriously, look at that.
I need to keep up doing dishes almost immediately after eating, too, a habit I’m trying to clone from my brother. If I wait until the end of the day, it’s gross and a lot more work. Also, I only have a couple of pans so washing them frequently is pretty critical.
Finally, I plan to chop a whole bunch of vegetables on the weekend so I can just toss them into a salad. All the washing and chopping honestly dissuades me from making a salad when I should. Present salads per week: 0. Goal: 3-4.
Goal the Third: CUT THE POP
I’ve got no hockey for the month of April. None. Not even a practice. That’s not really related, but that’s the excuse I’m using to cut out the crap. This is one habit I have to keep RE-breaking. I have a great 3-4 months but then I snap and drink way too much coke/energy drinks for the next 2-3 months. This is gonna be the hard one :(
By the way, MarthaStewart.com has some pretty great videos for basic kitchen stuff that can otherwise be annoying to look up. Scroll down under the video to see other series like: knife skills, fruit preparation, seafood, vegetable prep, and meat & poultry. Wanted to link those separately since they cannot all be found from the main video page. It’s just nice to have quick well-produced videos that say “here’s how to do the thing” while leaving out “because you’re a moron that somehow made it this far in life without any kitchen skills whatsoever.”
*this is not why my name has two Ns, I swear.