Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Personal History Tidbit and Things I Learned on the Internet

I originally intended to include this Personal History Tidbit in my post last week about cooking and cooking competition TV shows, but I totally forgot. I remembered when I was watching Master Chef last night.

When I was a kid, I hated the idea of cooking. My step-mom could tell you a story about how I once said that cooking to me was putting a piece of lunchmeat between two pieces of bread, or something along those lines. I also remember telling my parents (probably when I was even younger) that when I grew up, I wanted to either marry a guy who was rich so that we could eat out all the time or marry a guy who liked to cook so that I didn't ever have to.

I was really resistant to learning in the kitchen. I didn't want to cook, so why did I have to learn? I knew how to make a sandwich - how much more complicated did it need to get? I could live off sandwiches.

As you know, I'm still single. But somewhere along the line, I learned that cooking is fun, that I really do like it, and that I want to do more of it. I don't need a man to do my cooking for me, and I can get rich on my own if I play my cards right (which means I probably shouldn't be updating my blog right now - I should be working instead).

To tie my two subjects together, I'll admit here that I'm still a complete novice when it comes to cooking. I'll call my aunt for tips on how to cook things, sometimes my parents, or I'll pick up a few tricks from the Food Network if I'm actually paying attention. But if none of those sources work out, I turn to the Internet.

Before a few weeks ago, I had no idea how to bake a potato. That's right. 29 years old and completely clueless about basic cooking. I had made a "baked" potato in the microwave before (but that's gross), but never in an oven. How long was I supposed to cook it? What temperature? Do I need to flip them over or poke them or anything? Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to quickly find step-by-step instructions. Lo and behold, about an hour later, I had piping hot, delicious baked potatoes.

However, I didn't retain this knowledge. It left my mind shortly after I finished washing the dishes that night. Last week, I wanted to make a baked potato because I realized I had all the fixings for my very own loaded baked potato (bacon, sour cream, cheese, and chives). I couldn't for the life of me remember how to bake a potato - I remembered that it took a long time. I also remembered that I had to poke holes in the potatoes. But what temperature and for how long? Thank you, trusty Internet! You always come through for me.

50 minutes later, I checked on my two potatoes that were in the oven. I had poked holes in both of them. The potato on the left (let's call him "Horace") looked beautiful - golden brown and tasty, just like a potato should look. His buddy, on the other hand (let's call him "Maurice"), looked as if he had fallen victim to a zombie attack: the top of his skin had split open and his innards and brains were splattered all over the right side of the oven. Maybe Horace attacked Maurice to make himself look better. Maybe Maurice couldn't take the heat and got out of the kitchen by taking his own life. Maybe it really was potato zombies. Whatever it was, it was total carnage.

In the end, I ate both Horace and what was left of Maurice. They were both delicious. I think the problem was that Maurice was a bit too small and I cooked him too long. I probably should have gone for 30-40 minutes and then checked on them. Next time, I'll do that. Or I'll just choose bigger potatoes. (I picked smaller ones because that way I didn't feel guilty about eating two).

All right, that story was considerably longer than I was planning. I was also going to talk about the Kanye New Yorker Tweets, where my favorite comedy-music duo Paul & Storm decided to take Kanye West's tweets on Twitter and use them as captions for New Yorker cartoons. They're funny. Check them out.

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