Tag Archives: Cooking

I’m Hangry. Please Don’t Jack Around

WARNING:  I’m a big fan of foul language. The following post includes a pinch of spicy and green leafy cuss words. Please avoid this article if you have delicate sensibilities.recipes1

 

Dear Foodie Blogger,

For the love of God, please choose  – preferably in the advanced planning stages before launching your wonderful new blog, whether you are a storyteller, photographer, or, and this is a big one…a fucking cook.  Because here’s the thing:  YOUR BLOG CAN’T BE ALL THREE.  At least not very well.  And definitely not if you want me to subscribe and tell all my friends about it.

I get it.  I know what you are trying to do.  I’ve seen it done well but not often, and not unless you can legitimately add graphic artist to your resume and know how to skillfully design a page with photos of sumptuous food logically arranged around the ACTUAL RECIPE IN A READABLE FORMAT. That’s a lot of work for the average Foodie blogger.  Try not to get too fancy about it.  If you don’t pay a large staff to do everything except the cooking, just post the recipe with a few photos of the finished product. Really. That’s all you need. If you absolutely must write a 17-paragraph narrative about the recipe, maybe do it after you’ve posted the ingredients and cooking directions.  A couple of people will be interested.  Not me but maybe some others.

I love and enjoy each of these specific blog genres  – storytelling, photography and cooking –  but when combing them, if they each carry equal weight, what you end up with is a blog that is, at first glance, big and beautiful and envy-inducing, “Oh my God I wish my hot dogs looked this pretty!”  On further inspection, however,  when I’m trying to find the actual recipe, if the blog becomes complicated and confusing because I’m spending way too many of my expensive minutes searching and scrolling and clicking and pressing arrows to find the F&(*ing  ingredients or oven temp, you’ve lost me in a mad fury.

 

Yum

Bologna sandwich with huge tomato slice. Easy.

The photos may be stunning, the narrative captivating and the actual recipe may be to die for – but I’ll never know. And just so you know, right before I slam my cursor on the X at the top right side of your page, I’ve uttered several violent missives directly at you. Personally. Likely something uncouth about your waste management apparatus. I’m hateful like that.

If your blog is a slice-of-life narrative about how you’ve gotten healthy and trim following a certain eating plan, I’ll follow along because I love stories of success and personal victory.  I love seeing the before and after photos and I’m inspired to try your plan  with you and encourage you along the way.  But that’s different. I only read those blogs when I’m already too full and disgusted with my piggish self. When I’m hungry I don’t care how fat I am.  That’s the point.

If I’m looking for a recipe, bets are, I’m hungry, I’m in a hurry, I have a slab of thawed meat I don’t know what to do with, and likely several people standing around asking me what we (translate: me) are doing about dinner.  If all of these elements happen to be in place at the same time, which they so often are, I may also be approaching homicidal. Now is not the time for me to read about your personal relationship with lean, non-GMO, organic, grass-fed, free-range pork steak. Your farm-to-table adventures hold no sway with me. I especially don’t give any effs about how you filched the recipe from your husband’s mother after she accidentally ate a magic brownie in the backseat of a yellow Volkswagen in 1973.  I swear I don’t. That story is only interesting to you and your siblings.  And maybe your children if they’re old enough to be told about the ‘70s.

If I have to click more than once to get to the actual directions on how to make the recipe—I’m gone. Tempted to do a slideshow style recipe?  Lose my number. I’ll never be back.

Seriously?

Seriously?

Generally speaking, and I’m guessing I’m in the majority here, when I’m looking for a specific kind of food or recipe, I Google it.  I need directions for an interesting way to make something to eat. Something different for a change.  I’m looking for an easy-to-read list of ingredients and directly below/beside that list- the actual directions to mix it all up and cook it.  I don’t want editorial comments after each ingredient. I know cumin is spicy.  I’ll cut it back if I’m feeding kids or sissies. I know cilantro is pungent. You don’t need to warn me that if I don’t like it I should use less.  Let’s assume here that I have at least an iota of cooking experience.  I know where the kitchen is. I know how to turn on the stove. Trust me.  Also, if you must tell me in the list of supplies needed section that I should use a clean cutting board (as opposed to…. what?  A dirty one?), you’ve misunderestimated me. I can’t like you at all and maybe forever if you say something like that. If I’m smart enough to find your blog, you must trust me as a reader.  I know about Hepatitis.  I was in the army.

I love a good story.  I’m a huge fan of photography blogs.  I’m always searching for good recipes.  I never combine these activities. I don’t have time.  Here’s a news flash: NOBODY HAS TIME.

I block out daily reading times and (too) often, I allow myself some (precious) online minutes to admire the interesting collections of art and photos on various blogs, including food blogs. But not when I’m hungry.  When it’s dinner time, I’m looking for food ideas.   I want the deets, the 411, the goddamned ingredients. I don’t want the history of Turmeric and beet juice in America. I also don’t’ want to do an additional search to find out how many shrimps make up eight ounces or what size package of meat makes up “28 ounces of pork roast” (1.75#s, FYI).  For God’s sake.  That’s just cruel. Please. Be merciful. One more thing here while we’re discussing mercy: any recipe that calls for “X amount of cups plus 1/2 teaspoon” is just showing off. Just trying to make the author look like some kind of fancy chef. I mean really.  That extra 1/2 teaspoon is more or less a few pinches. Everybody knows that. Don’t be fancy. You lose credibility.

 

The big payoff in being a considerate Foodie Blogger is that if I like the recipes I’ll be back for more.  I’ll subscribe.  I’ll re-blog.  I’ll spread the word like a stick of softened butter. I’ll tolerate the annoying ads because I get how that works and I appreciate what you are doing.  I’ll even click the ads if they interest me because again, I get it. I do draw the line though with auto-play video ads.  I’ll only stick around long enough to damn you to hell before I click the X and be gone from your site. Forever. Have some respect. Or, lose me. Either way. Plenty of Sushi in the sea. I don’t need a science lesson or a fun story on how you learned to properly boil water.  I need dinner.

Meh... not bad.

So-so Mexican food from a local place. For when Google is down.

My one and only Foodie Post:

Best Black Bean Soup

I’ve never done a foodie post and I may not do another one. This one, half-assed at best, I only thought of while I was making my favorite black bean soup. So, bear with me while I try something completely new. The post, that is. The soup I make fairly often.  Read Article

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Okay, Now What?

Here's the low-revs, high-torque way to move c...

Here’s the low-revs, high-torque way to move cement blocks. And shiny! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the World’s Worst Dancer

My husband and I have a few indigenous dances we do regularly.   One has to do with dinner and my need for him to give a full account of his reaction to whatever I cook for him.    This one is pretty easy to figure out  and only gets complicated because of obvious personality disorders.

I cook because it is the only thing that I can do for him that he can’t – or won’t – do for himself. He does many things that I cannot do.  Changing the oil, putting on brakes, fixing random broken things, plunging out the toilet,  all the dirty, heavy jobs.  I can’t – and don’t want – to do any of that. When I see him carry out these unpleasant tasks, my heart is filled with a joy I cannot even put into words.  Not because I appreciate him and his sense of manly responsibility, but because I am so, so, so glad I don’t have to do it myself.

So I cook luscious meals for him that I know he could not figure out on his own and would not take the time to find a recipe.   This is the one thing I can do for him that he can’t do.  He loves food.  Almost as much as he loves a cold beer on Friday night.  He told me once that he worries about how much he loves food.  It was cute and funny but I realized how powerful food really is for him.

The thing is, I can cook fairly well but I don’t care anything about cooking.  So when I put a meal in front of him I need to know that it was worth my considerable effort. He knows this somehow.  So instead of just saying, “Oh, my gawd, I can’t believe how good this is…how did you do this??,” he pushes the food around and talks about the mower or his job or the upcoming tractor pull (my mind shrieks like a siren here) or how he needs to change some oil.

What he doesn’t talk about is how much he loves the food I have specially prepared for him.  It’s a game.  He knows I want to hear it.  He won’t say it.  So I ask.  And he says, “Yeah.  It’s fine.”  So I say, “You mean, um, like, ‘don’t make it again’ fine  Or, ‘it’s so-so’ fine or, like, exactly, what do you mean by fine?”

“Yeah, it’s good,”  is all I get the first go-round.  But it continues until I get what I want.  Which is to say, some form of, “This shit is so f*&*%&g good, you are a great – no- a remarkable- an unbelievable cook..”   Well actually, it never gets quite that good but the concept is there.  He really means to say all that stuff.  He just needs me to beg.  This goes along with his emotionally constipated personality, of which, he is a text-book example (More on that later).

But this is just the Food Dance.  I need to be told my food is good and that I am a good wife for making it.  And I am willing to beg to get it.  Not so much because I need to hear it.  More because I need to break through his control of the situation and force him to say the words.  That may go along with my controlling personality.  And, I like to win.

Tonight’s dance, though, speaks more to how boring and ill-suited we are to each other.  He was supposed to be at a tractor pull and I was thrilled that,  A. He did not ask me to go and B. I was going to eat Mexican food that somebody else, somebody who loves to cook, was making for dinner.   But he didn’t go to the tractor pull.  It rained. They canceled the tractor portion of the event.   He didn’t feel well.  And, to make things strange right out of the chute, he asked me to stay home with him instead of going to eat Mexican food.  I can’t remember him ever doing that before,  so, because it was so strange a request, I compromised.   I went to eat but promised to be home quickly.

I got home as promised and that surprised him because I am not generally home quickly or early and sometimes not until very late.  I think out of sheer gratitude he figured he would do something that I like to do for a change and play on the computer.  He actually pulled up a chair and suggested we look at something fun on the internet.  I assumed he meant porn so I tried to find some but he insisted he did not mean porn so I landed on – BIG ASS CHEVY TRUCKS WITH 10 INCH LIFTS on You Tube.  He was thrilled.  And felt so generous, I think.  That he would actually sit here and play on the internet, like I like to do, and to be so very gracious and magnanimous about the whole thing made him feel especially pleased with himself.

I did not have the heart to tell him that THIS IS NOT HOW I PLAY ON THE INTERNET.  And that watching big-assed Chevy trucks  in-person or on You Tube is the equivalent of me asking him to help me sew buttons on a new doll dress that I made or for gawd’s sake read a book.  For the record, I do not make doll dresses.

But, here we sat.  Him hating the computer and the internet and me hating big-assed Chevy trucks – which apparently rate a whole 2 minute video if they can sit still and spin their tires long enough to create smoke and all kinds of shirtless guys in boots running around laughing and high-fiving.  We spent 45 minutes watching this.  It was excruciating.  Possibly for both of us.

This is a new kind of dance.  Our kids are all gone now so we keep finding ourselves alone in the evening asking,

“Wanna’ watch a movie?” Nah.     “Wanna’ go fishing?” No thanks.     “Wanna learn to crochet?” Um, no.    “Wanna see if my tires will spin and smoke?”  Seriously?      “Want me to cook?”

 

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