Anyway! Here I am, here we are, let's dive right into the fun. Allow me to boast a photo. This photo:
You, my friend, are looking at mofo-ing homemade butternut squash mac n' cheese! With a breadcrumb crust. And crispy sage. (An herb with which I'd never had contact until last night.) (It smells like a spa.)
The kicker? I made this! Me? Her? What? YES!
Allow me to momentarily backtrack. In an effort to discover my inner domestic goddess and/or prove I can follow simple recipes and/or ensure I learn some basic fucking cooking skills so I won't starve to death if ever Chez Claudette went out of business... um... for a combination of these reasons, I've been (ever so gently) pushing myself to get the gas oven blazing and whip up some grub. Until now, I've made tacos (outcome: good) and fettucine alfredo (outcome: depressing).
Then, yesterday afternoon, this doozy of a recipe from Blue Apron snuck into my inbox. Did I stand a chance against all those images of ooey gooey cheesy goodness? And pasta, no less? Of course not. PLUS, considering my batting average in the kitchen from last week, I figured there was only a 50/50 chance I'd mess the recipe up. Sold!
I could go into details about the actual process of putting together this shebang of a dish, but frankly, I don't have the patience. But I can tell you this:
- Post-work, on-the-walk-home grocery shopping is fun! Until your cart gets full and you realize you'll have the schlep all that crap home by yourself (not so fun).
- Cooking has a lot of steps. And requires focus & multitasking. Meaning you shouldn't be watching Modern Family reruns while cooking squash in one pot & frying sage leaves in another because you will probably burn the butter -- which the recipe specifically warns you against.
- You will smell like butter always.
OK. Bear with me. I'm almost done speaking my preachy peace.
Lately, I have made it a mission of sorts to prepare dinner -- not just the old standbys, but something new -- at least once a week. While cooking itself is by no means instinctual for me (read: I fucking loathe doing it), I find myself truly enjoying this new ritual. Pick a recipe. Plot the ingredients. Stop at grocery store on way home from work. (Don't only buy rice pudding.) Get home & make some food, step-by-step. Set the table. EAT (and DRINK if you're lucky)!