Boring Cooking Observations - 09.15.97

Well, I'm officially into the third month of living alone and I haven't killed myself yet. I'm not even malnourished, and I have yet to cook myself a microwave dinner (although spaghetti-O's are pretty damn close). I was one of those crazy people who lived in a dorm throughout my four years of college. Even though I had a single my senior year, it was still nothing like living completely on my own.

The main reason for this is that I always ate in a cafeteria while at school. I've never really had to cook for myself, except for random intervals when I was home for the summer or during a break. This was probably one of the main reasons that I was dreading getting out on my own. I originally thought that I would probably buy a lot of microwave stuff, but after seeing how unhealthy (and expensive) they were, I decided to fend for my own.

Since I moved in during the summer, I stayed away from the stove as long as possible, not wanting to heat up my apartment even more. I could cook baked potatoes and whatever other vegetables I wanted in the microwave. After a couple weeks, though, I got daring and thought I would light up the stove to do some actual cooking. I came to the conclusion that a big batch of stir-fry would probably be the easiest, so I laid everything out. I had two one and a half pound bags of vegetables and about two pounds of chicken ready to role. The actual cooking of everything didn't take long. I made sure the chicken was free of any salmonella, then threw in the veggies and a few shakes of teryaki. To my amazement, everything came out pretty good (how hard is it to screw up stir-fry anyway?).

As I was eating the first batch (out of the 8), I thought about the taste of the food I had just prepared. Although it was decent, if I had paid much money for it in a restaurant, I would have probably been kind of upset with its quality. As I munched on it, however, I thought back to putting everything in the pan and cooking it up by myself. For some reason, it tasted a lot better knowing that I had spent the time preparing it myself. I had a sink of dirty dishes and my apartment was hot from having the stove on, but I had just made a big batch of food without setting off the smoke alarm. I found myself agreeing with that old saying, "You'll apreciated more if you do it yourself." It's strange, but that stir-fry got better each time I ate it that week. By the time I had finished it off, I was almost ready to get out the pots and pans and turn on the stove again. Almost.