Cooking for Dummies

Being raised by Depression-era parents, I learned to cook a lot of things. Liver and Onions. Yum. Kidney and beans. So delicious. Spam. Spam loaf. Spam and eggs. Spam and toast. Spam and Spam with a side of Spam.

I also learned how to make some of the simple things. Eggs. Oatmeal. Hamburgers. Pasta. Sauces. That kind of thing. They also taught me how to BBQ, how to make a roast chicken with skin so crisp and brown, my mouth waters to even think about it. I learned how to overcook veggies and make tea and fry up bread.

Heck, my parents ground their own beef for meatloaf and if a single scrap of food went to waste, I’d be utterly surprised (I mean, nothing like a good casserole to get rid of leftovers.)

black forest cake


In school, however, I learned I had no real talent for cooking. I baked cakes that were so lopsided they looked like someone had sat on one end. I cooked a soufflé that had the appearance of a very dense frisbee. And…I managed to boil all the water out of a pot and burn the pot so badly, no amount of scrubbing would ever get it clean.

Later in life, free of my parents, I learned to cook Kraft dinner, heat up microwave dinners and dial up the best restaurants to deliver.

But now, the-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and I have decided to try a different way of eating, but to do that, I’m having to learn a whole bunch of different things.

In the past 4 weeks, I have learned to make things like smoothies, Swedish meatballs, ham and cheese stuffed pork chops, Caprese chicken, and all sorts of clever salads.

dredging machine

This is dredging to me

I’ve learned to clump, dump, dredge, drizzle, sprinkle, stir, sauté, spoon, scoop, season, pour, blend, mince, blanche, puree, roast, zest lemons, caramelize, clarify, whip, beat and mash. Some of these things I knew how to do, mostly, in a sort of vague way, and some things like ‘dredging’ I did but had no clue it was called dredging. I called it ‘coating’. Or ‘doing that yucky thing with eggs’.

However, the biggest change for us was simply making sure we planned out all our meals. Sure it takes time, but with proper planning, we can try to hit up mass sales on things like chicken or kale or vanilla beans, eat a great variety of foods, and still have leftovers for those days we have no energy.

The new eating plan, you ask? Keto. Seemed like a good idea at the time and we certainly have eaten well, but man, I am getting sick of eggs, cauliflower, and stevia. Still, so far, this month, I’m down 13lbs in three weeks. I don’t think I’ll be able to maintain it for my entire life, as some have, but when I reach my ideal goal, I’ll continue with eating healthy, but have the odd double-double or cheeseburger or bag-o-popcorn with lots and lots of buttery butter.

Keto book.

In the meantime, I’ll continue with no sugar, low carbs and lots of water.

About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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3 Responses to Cooking for Dummies

  1. Paula Third says:

    Thirteen pounds! Wow! Well done!

  2. Karalee Greer says:

    Congratulations for creating healthy habits and keeping at it!

  3. Wow! Wished I had your willpower!

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