For those of you who don’t know me well, you should know that kitchens hate me. Really.
Okay, that’s not true. The room itself is fine. I just hate cooking.
It takes so long, and it’s sooooo much work. Not to mention that I don’t have the necessary skillset. Anything from the rice family ends up burned while somehow still raw. I have no idea what adds flavor to foods. And I need specific units of measurement. Listen up, peeps: A “pinch” is NOT a unit of measurement. “Golden brown” is NOT a unit of measurement. “Salt and pepper to taste” is NOT a unit of measurement.
But I’m working on it.
It started because I felt bad that Catie was constantly watching the ingredients on what she was making because of my allergies. (Technically, they’re “sensitivities.” I won’t die, I’ll just feel awful.) And I found a discount for Hello Fresh, so I looked into it and the food looked good. Like, really, really good. So, I hopped onboard and started making the meals. And it was great. The only thing I had to guess was how much salt and pepper to add. Otherwise, there was nothing to measure. Everything was just so neat. Just follow the directions, and you’re good to go.
Bina loved it. She actually makes the meals more often than I do.
But it started getting old. Mostly because, even though the guessing game was mostly gone, it was still a lot of work. At the end of preparation, I often had two or three pans, and a huge mess to clean up.
My favorite meals ended up being the one-pan soups. Peel, chop, and throw it in the pan. Done.
And then I started thinking…
How difficult could it be to: go to the store and buy the ingredients? I mean, come on… I was blessed with working arms and legs, I have a working car, and I’m smart enough to follow a recipe, right?
Got the stuff. Start prepping everything. Bina asks if she can help, and I gave her my favorite task: chop the onion. She cuts one up for me, then walks away because her eyes are burning. Enter Catie. She finishes chopping it nice and little, then starts on the second.
Grabbing the spices, but I can’t find rosemary. Catie, knowing that I’m looking for it, says, “I don’t think we have any. I don’t use it.” I shrug. I have thyme and garlic.
Fast forward to almost the end. The soup boils for ten minutes, and should be just about done. I scoop a potato from the soup and it’s fully cooked. Great. It’s done.
But the broth has zero flavor. I think about it, but at no point did the recipe mention salt and pepper. And I say that out loud, “hm… When do I add salt and pepper?”
Anyway, both Bina and Catie hear me from the living room, and both say something along the lines of, “Any time.” So, I sprinkle some of both, stir it up, and…. wave the white flag after trying another spoonful of flavorless water.
“Catie… Please come fix it…”
Bina comes in and, knowing how little of each I typically put into the Hello Fresh meals, she starts with the fresh pepper. Catie pours salt into the palm of her hand, and I’m cringing at how much, but she just does her thing. “Don’t freak out!” she tells me as she sprinkles cayenne pepper into the pot.
Turns out you need more than just a tiny sprinkle to have flavor.
Until next time….
Hi there, Catie here – Lena isn’t really a bad cook, she just needs to add some salt and not fear spices 😉