Musing on food and cooking ...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When it comes to meat, I'm an idiot

You might think from the few actual food related items I have posted on my blog that I am a vegetarian. I actually am not. But after this weekend's disastrous pot roast attempt – and long reflection on other disastrous attempts at meat cooking – I realized that I just am not that good at cooking meat.

What!?!?! I can see my friends now – what do you mean? What about that roast chicken? What about that time you grilled? Why the hell did I have you come to my friend's house and cook the Thanksgiving turkey if you aren't any good at it? Huh? Huh?

Maybe I should qualify. Yes, I do make an excellent roast chicken, and my turkey is never over or undercooked and it's really very easy to get good flavor with the addition of a few simple herbs. But that's because I cheat. If the cooking of meat or fowl involves a Crock-Pot or an oven roasting bag, I am magic.

And I am a Grill Mistress. Maybe that's because I am in touch with my masculine side (the grill being a traditionally male form of cooking – how silly is that?) or maybe it's because as long as you are patient and have cool friends to spend time with whilst grilling, grilling is easy. Stick the meat in a marinade, light the charcoal, wait until the coals are the right temperature, slapped the meat on, wait, and you are good to go. Grilling is really a no-brainer.

In my attempt to make a pot roast this weekend, I thought it would be simple – some salt and onions and a bit of broth in the cast iron Dutch oven and voila! So not voila. It was just bad. Dry and greasy (at the same time – incredible). I think I cooked it for too long or maybe my oven just heats too high. It tasted so salty although I did not use that much salt on it. I can hardly stand it for cold sandwiches, but I'll be damned if I will throw it out – it's $7 of good beef, and I hate to waste it. Maybe I will throw it in the freezer and use it for soup or something – just to see if I can salvage it.

I think part of the problem is that I cooked it for myself. I hate cooking for myself. I admit it. In the summer, if it's just me, I will live on corn on the cob, tomatoes, microwaved "baked" potatoes, and a little steak cooked in the toaster oven. In the winter, I will make a big pot of soup on a Sunday and eat it all week. Otherwise, I find myself eyeing the Sapporo ramen and thinking, "well, I will just cook that and nuke some veggies and maybe a frozen chicken thigh and eat that." Or I will eat cheese. Just cheese, which isn't bad per say but is very calorie dense and you need to eat a lot of it to fill you up. When it's just for me, my cooking is so boring. Which probably explains why I have gained some weight in the last year. When I cook for just me, I cook boring and boring food – I have often found – tends to be the least healthy unless you are a strict vegetarian who eats no dairy, nuts, or oil.

Sadly, I don't think I am going to get another chance to cook for anyone other than myself any time soon. My coworkers are all married or in relationships and tend to go home and spend time with their families. I try to tell myself that if I cook something cool, I can write it up on the blog and share it with all my friends around the world, but it's just not the same – and involves way too many dishes to wash afterwards, especially when I don't know if anyone even enjoys anything I am posting.

So what is a girl to do? Go raw?

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Oh man, going raw would be hard. I think. You could also have some serious digestive issues.

I think writing about what you cook on the blog is even better than a food journal, because I get to read it.

I haven't cooked anything since August. I miss it.