I’ve taken up a new project in the month of September: Operation Ariela Learns How to Cook.

So far it’s going worse than I expected.

I burned two fingers today, it took me 30 minutes at the grocery store before I figured out that “fresh coriander” in my British cookbook is what we call “cilantro,” and who could have anticipated all the dishes I’d have to wash?

This whole endeavor is because I have eaten the exact same foods since I moved into my own apartment in January of 2008: 1. turkey sandwiches; 2. Morningstar Veggie Sausage Patties; 3. carrots and apples; 4. tuna sandwiches.*

That’s right, looking into 2012, it will be four years of turkey sandwiches, Morningstar Veggie Sausage Patties, carrots and apples, and tuna sandwiches.

On occasion, my palate has bored of such monotony but my skill-lessness always persevered. This time my shame finally caught up to me and I could no longer peer into my daily (pink) lunchbox with pride. Just in time for Rosh Hashana, I am turning a new page in the cookbook of life.

What I had forgotten until today was that past attempts at cooking were never so optimal. I’ve never burned the house down, but I can’t recall anything I’ve cooked ever tasting good.

Today I devoted most of my cooking hours to eggplant and zucchini “pots” which are little ceramic bowls filled with eggplant, zucchini, sour cream and ricotta cheese, all baked in the oven. I’ve re-checked the directions and can’t find the place where I deviated from the plan, but my pots certainly don’t look like the pots in picture. They also don’t look like like anything I would want to taste. (I haven’t made any tastebudular contact as of this publication.)

I will say that my baking turns out about right. I baked a pumpkin loaf today that, although slightly dry, tastes as it should (as far as I can tell).

Hopefully by October things will be looking up, and one day I will be featured in Home & Garden or some other magazine you can find at the doctor’s office. DON’T WORRY: I promise that this won’t become a food blog. I really don’t understand the popularity of reading about what other people do in the kitchen. But maybe I’m just jealous.

*It’s important to note that tuna sandwiches require some preparation time.



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3 responses to “Epicurius

  1. Sean

    Also, curries are really really forgiving and very easy to cook.

  2. Sara

    I suggest starting out small. Try things without long ingredients that you’ve never heard of and without complex instructions. Like roasted veggies for example or a basic pasta sauce. The more you experiment and figure out which spices you like and how you like to use them and get a feel for cooking in general the easier and more fun it gets!

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