I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve wasted hours upon hours watching Food Network. It’s not a guilty pleasure, it’s a regular pressure. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a fat ginger Italian (I swear I didn’t know they existed) cook for three random strangers? Who hasn’t spent an entire road trip imitating the dubbed over announcer voices on the original (read: good) Iron Chef. Who hasn’t been spellbound by the enormous head yet strange hotness of Giada de Laur…di Laur…Di Lo…that one chick? I’m sure you can agree that an afternoon spent watching the Food Network is not an afternoon wasted.
Unless, of course, you’re like me, and you can’t cook.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve just never cooked before. It never was something I thought to do, out of fear that I’d cause a white-hot structure fire and have to chew on a charcoal briquette that was at one time a tender, succulent loin of some grass fed beast, choking down my own deep, bitter tears all the while.
But then I realized that the inverse might be true: it could work out great. I could unearth latent skills I never realized I had, kicking it up to notches heretofore undreamed of my man or Emeril. Why not me? Why can’t I cook?
It started two weeks ago, when I decided I wanted to make chili. I figured it would be hard to screw up. I went to the store and bought myself all the needed ingredients (and why the hell not, I’ll share the recipe, borrowed from that amazing sports blog Deadspin:
This was an afternoon well spent. As this Mexican-inspired nectar of the gods simmered in a pot I bought at Target strictly for this occasion, an aroma not of this earth filled my apartment. This chili was fantastic, and I nearly cried I was so happy. I greedily devoured two bowls of the stuff, and although it could probably have used a bit more heat, I was very happy with my first effort. Heartened by my success, I decided I’d try cooking again very soon.
That brings me to this very day.