Just so everyone in the world knows, never in my life did I ever think that I would title a blog post “Love for Cooking”, or honestly even say that phrase without the words “I really just don’t have any” in front of it. But ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at a woman who has found a love for something that she used to despise – and that something is cooking.
Hi, I’m Liz. I live by myself. I have really awesome friends with whom I like to go out and eat food. Translation? I never cook. EVER. I mean, my “cooking” (and I do use the word lightly) usually consists of Lean Cuisine + microwave. Or maybe spaghetti + boiling water. And every once in awhile tortilla + cheese + microwave. But when it comes down to it, I think cooking for just myself is downright depressing. Where am I going to find ONE serving of fajita meat? Or ONE roll? Or ONE serving of anything that doesn’t make me feel super lame?
I’ll tell you where – the grocery store I’m going to start with my friend Anne Marie. Want to know what it’s called?
All By MyShelf.
(At this time, you may pause to laugh uproariously.)
However, until we get that store up and running, it looks like I have an alternative. Because for the first time in my life, I cooked something ALL BY MYSELF and I loved every minute of it. Here’s the story.
Let me tell you about my dear friend, Emily – she is wonderfully fantastic and talented and beautiful. She goes to Baylor and came down this week to perform with me in saxophone studio class and celebrate Thanksgiving with food and movies. (That’s really all we did. All week. Food. Movies. Food and movies together. Movies with food. The end.) Really the only mistake we made with the whole food thing was going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. (Note to everyone in the Hancock Center HEB on Wednesday, November 24, 2010: I apologize if I was rude to you. Or laughed at you. But you were probably pretty funny.) It was slightly catastrophic, but hilarious. We called in the big guns for this particular trip – our dear friend Marshall. (I’m not actually sure if that was an efficient shopping decision, but it certainly was a wonderfully enjoyable one.) I have never said “Excuse me” so many times in one shopping trip. I have never had to actually stop breathing because someone walked by me who was so smelly that I almost choked. I also have never seen so much milk on one floor:
And finally, I have never been so perplexed by children. There were these two kids, walking around HEB with a MILLION other people there, clearly not knowing what they were doing, each with their own cart. THEIR OWN CART, for pete’s sake. It was hilarious. They were lost and in the way and are now probably scarred for life. (But that’s most likely because I took a picture of them, like a total creepo.)
I’m sure Mom and Dad were trying to teach them responsibility (or something equally LAME) by giving them a few things on a list to get on their own, but really? The day before Thanksgiving?? Or maybe M&D were trying to teach them to NEVER GO TO HEB THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I mean, it worked for me. We did survive the trip and made it home in one piece. (Er, 3 pieces – that would be weird if we were some Emily/Marshall/Liz hybrid.)
On Thanksgiving, I woke up strange kitchen-like sounds. I came out and asked Emily what she was doing, and she said, “Oh I just put the pie in the oven.” Yes, everyone, she had MADE A PUMPKIN PIE (crust and everything) before I even opened my eyes. It was amazing. Then came the most amazing part – my adventure into solo cooking. This is largely due to my friend and former roommate, Maggie. Maggie supplied me with the fantastic recipe for the food item that I cooked ALL BY MYSELF. I would like to introduce you to my dear friend, Stuffing.
(Before you ask, NO it was not stuffed in anything. However, I will NOT call it “dressing” because it is not on a salad. Deal with it.)
I put the stuffing in the oven, headed towards my room, whirled around and said:
“What, Liz?” said Emily, nonplussed.
“I actually like cooking!!!!!!!!” screamed Liz.
I know you’re thinking, “Yeah Liz, real cool – we all cook. It’s not that big of a deal. You’re nothing special.” Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. This is a HUGE deal – and I can’t wait to cook more. I am so pumped. And you think I’m excited? You should have heard my parents when I called them IMMEDIATELY after I yelled at Emily. They have been waiting so long for this. So, Mom and Dad, this is for you:
Stuffing: Maggie Miller
Pumpkin pie: Emily’s dad
Mashed potatoes: Paula Dean
Green bean casserole: the can of French’s Onions
Rotisserie chicken: courtesy of the Hancock Center HEB
The best part? We TOTALLY didn’t need the chicken. We both left most of what we took on our plates because the rest of our meal was so AWESOME. Now this may not seem like a gourmet meal to you, but it was to me. We were total pros about it, too. The meal was ready at 1:30 PM. Partially due to this sassy maneuver.
I was so proud. And so thankful for Emily – I could not have achieved such a feat without her. Plus, I still have one serving of everything left in my fridge. Dinner tomorrow night? I do believe so.
What a glorious week. I’ll leave you with this, in true Thanksgiving fashion.
THINGS I’M CRAZY THANKFUL FOR
My wonderful family
My seriously awesome friends
The fact that I like cooking now
Harry Potter (in every form)
The fact that if you buy 6 bottles of wine at HEB you get 10% off
The ability to love with my whole heart
The arrival of cool weather in Austin, TX