handy girl

Changing tires, changing diapers and changing minds all over town...


fodder: food for thought, or thought for food?

Dear handy girl.
I'm a total failure. I can't cook!!!! I'm not talking preparation of gourmet cuisine. I'm talking pan frying potatoes, boiling eggs, making salad... Even my toast gets burned! My pots are all burned to rat shit and I've lost all desire to enter my kitchen ...except to rinse out a dirty wine glass. Lately I've reposed to drinking my best Merlot out of Dixie cups so I don't have to wash anything! Can you Help me?

dear anonymous,
give people fish, they eat for a day, teach them to fish, they eat for a lifetime. teach them to fish without teaching the bigger ecological picture, they deplete the cod stocks, people go hungry and hundreds of years of tradition are washed out to sea while mass unemployment stifles communities throughout this great land. environmental consideration must always be given toward what we choose to eat, where it comes from, what it’s made of, how it’s prepared, and what effect it will have on our bodies.

healthy eating, and easy cooking are not difficult. they begin with education. a balanced diet consists of a combination of things like fibre, proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, carbohydrates and fat. the more times a food is processed, the less nutritional value it has, so i guess food in its raw form would be beneficial to sustaining healthy bodies. and hey, you don’t have to cook raw food! if the food is not organic, it is very likely to contain things like pesticides or herbicides or hormones or antibiotics, so don’t eat it. if the ingredients have a word that you cannot pronounce, don’t eat it. if it says hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, trans fat, palm kernel or enriched, don’t eat it. if one of the first six ingredients is sugar, glucose, fructose or corn syrup, don’t eat it. really, the best thing to do is avoid processed foods altogether and learn to prepare things yourself.

here are a few things that i know: veggies do not need to cook for very long, just until their colour starts to turn deeper. perfect rice is two parts water, one part rice, bring to a boil, stir, cover, reduce heat to low, and wait. basmati, jasmine and other white rice takes 15-20 minutes, brown rice takes 45-60 minutes, and brown is better. the rice needs to absorb every ounce of water, so resist the urge to lift the lid and peek because water escapes in steam. when it is cooked, fluff it up. the best salad dressing ever, imparted to me by a great teacher, is a quarter cup of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a grated clove of garlic, a tablespoon of dried dill and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, which is very high in b vitamins. a blended smoothie with blueberries, juice and powdered greens is a nutritional antioxidant cocktail. the fewer ingredients in a dish, the better. your stomach is the size of your fist, so eating more than that amount at once is unnecessary and waist-full. melons digest very quickly, so eat them alone, unless you want the melon fermenting in your digestive system while it waits for other food to catch up. chewing slowly is good. salmon with just salt and pepper on top, cooked in an open pan in the oven, tastes amazing. water is excellent and so are whole grains. fresh herbs, ginger and garlic add flavour without bad fat, so eat them. beans really are good for your heart.

if your pots are burned to rat shit and you’re even burning the toast, then you were likely taught to turn up the heat. the good news is this: the solution is easy. turn down the heat. you see, if you heat up oil too much, and by the way, olive oil is the way to go, it not only burns itself, but it transfers that burn flavour to the food, which will taste more like rat shit than your pan. overheated oil also turns to yucky gunk in your arteries. so, just start cooking at a lower temperature, turn down that toaster dial and i bet you’ll be amazed with the results. if this fails, all hope is not lost. there must be someone in your circle of friends who makes things that taste good and are good for you, and i’m sure they would be honoured to know you think so highly of them that they might even offer to show you a few things.

if you are turned off by your kitchen, then change it. go through everything and get rid of the mediocre, let go of the crappy spatulas, the dingy dishcloths, the dixie cups, the old ketchup, the one pickle jars and the useless clutter. repaint the walls, move the furniture and get new tea towels. if you have good dishes, use them and only them. you are the most important person in your world and you deserve to drink the finest merlot from the finest hand blown crystal goblets. if you change this environment, you’ll want to spend time in it and before you can beat up an egg you'll be cooking up a storm. everyone will be eating out of the palm of your hands, and they’ll keep coming back for more. having meals with friends will cut down on the cost and the workload, and without being too corny, sharing and caring is fantastic fodder for the soul. bon appetit!
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Blogger Jorge Gajardo Rojas said...

Very interesting your advices for cooking .I live alone and burn all my fingers and aldo my rice.

5:50 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

hey jorge,
thanks for your comment! hopefully, you can save your fingers and your rice by following the handy recipe. good luck and keep on cooking!

1:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im also a total failure..(^o^);;
this post is quite helpful!! and funny too!
thanks a lotttt!!

11:13 a.m.  
Blogger LJ said...

Damn. You're pretty good at this, aren't you! I especially liked the kitchen Feng Shui suggestions. Extremely sound.

10:05 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

will keep on feeding the masses with words and other handy things....always open to questions from readers, just in case you have any on the back shelf that you're trying to get rid of....

10:02 a.m.  

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