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I’ve been chopped

April 9th, 2014

 

When I wrote my column last week, I mentioned how happy I was I wouldn’t have to depend on the caf for food once I live off campus next year.

 

This idea by itself could bring any college kid to tears.

 

Tears of joy.

 

No more drinks that have unidentifiable floating objects.

 

No more food that takes its problems out on my digestive system.

 

No more sorrow.

 

I get my own kitchen next year. My own clean plates and fresh food bought by my roommates and myself.

 

But that means I have to cook.

 

Not to be so hard on myself, but anyone who knows me will agree that the fact that I have to cook to sustain myself means it’s probably not looking too good for me.

 

What can I say – I’ve been blessed with a dad who is an awesome cook.

 

Dinner was always the highlight of my day growing up. And my dad repeatedly offered to teach me the recipes he knew.

 

Let’s pause.

 

It would have been such a quaint picture, a father showing his only daughter how to cook for both herself and her future family, all while they share laughs and create inside jokes they will remember for years to come.

 

Well, fortunately enough, I have plenty of inside jokes with my dad and we’ve had a ton of Kodak moments that would destroy any competition in a “How Suburban Are You?” contest.

 

Press play.

 

I never took my dad up on that offer to learn how to cook. Sure, I stirred some stuff in a pot once or twice and I taste-tested for several Thanksgivings. It’s all in a day’s work, really. But now I’m a goner. I don’t know anything about food except that I like to eat it.

 

Normally, I would just let my roommates do the cooking.

 

I would clean up and do all the dirty work nobody else wants to do. Just don’t make me cook, girls, for your sake and for mine.

 

But unfortunately, we’re trying this thing called “taking turns.”

 

So we’re back to me cooking.

 

The silver lining in this situation is that my house for next year is right by the fire department. The irony is killing me.

 

Last summer, all I ever did in my spare time was watch “Chopped” on the Food Network.

 

With each episode that aired, I grew increasingly critical of food at restaurants. Needless to say, I don’t watch it while I’m at school.

 

Imagine if I were a contestant on “Chopped.”

 

The pattern of contestants would be people who only know what quinoa is from watching the show.

 

It’s only fair to level the playing field.

 

I probably wouldn’t even make it past the first round.

 

You know how people who claim they can’t cook always say, “I can make cereal”?

 

First of all, find a new joke, this one’s getting old.

 

Second, those people aren’t the real deal. If you can fix yourself a decent bowl of cereal, you’re in the clear.

 

I can’t even trust myself to do this every time I want some Reese’s Puffs. I put too much milk in every time and the cereal is almost always way past the point of acceptable sogginess.

 

Those who can make a bowl of cereal properly, but claim they can’t, maneuver around a kitchen are posers.

 

Leave the art of over-pouring milk to the professionals.

 

I can just see it now – the “Chopped” host who always wears Reebok’s with his suits would lift the silver platter cover to reveal my soggy/burnt/improperly seared something-or-other.

 

He would then say, “Chef Katie, you’ve been chopped.”

 

Most contestants walk away saying, “thank you for this opportunity” or something like that.

 

I’d probably just say, “good call.”

 

At this point, I’m just going to have to rely on basic cookbooks when it’s my turn to cook next year.

 

I’ll just be sure to read the directions first.