Posted by: stillironic | May 14, 2010

Cooking Is Hazardous to My Health (Part 1)

I cooked something for dinner last night and I’m still exhausted. Plus my right hand and shoulder are in pain from the effort. I’m not making this up.

I have no sense when it comes to choosing recipes. We had two humongous bags of greens in the fridge that had to be dealt with. JJ had gone to the farmers market Sunday and bought a pound each of kale and spinach. Feeling guilty I hadn’t cooked all week, I found a recipe using both vegetables. At the time this seemed like a good thing. The recipe called for a pound more of spinach than I had, but WTF. Right?

The good thing was it didn’t call for chopping up and sautéing onions. I have no problem with cooked onions. I love onion rings just like everyone else. Raw onions, however, make me sick. I wouldn’t eat a raw onion if you paid me a million dollars. I have to take that back. Actually I would. For a million dollars, the resultant gagging, throwing up, and migraine would be totally worth it.

At any rate, raw onions have volatiles, which is what makes your eyes water. I don’t have scientific proof, but I think it’s the volatiles that bother me. And make me a pain in the neck at picnics when potato salad or any other salad I like is served containing onions. I get VERY CRANKY.

Any recipe with no onions for me to chop and cook is a plus. That was my first mistake. I was so elated that I’d found a recipe that would get rid of make use of the two bags cluttering in the fridge, I overlooked the fact that the recipe called for making béchamel sauce. The fact became very clear, however, at 5 p.m. I realized that the first thing I had to do was go to another page in the cookbook and make something before I can even start the dish. I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS. I’m not going to fall for it the next time.

But this time it was too late. So I heated the milk in one pot and the olive oil in another pot and yada yada yada. I got the whole concoction back in one pot and started whisking so it would thicken into a sauce. Twenty minutes later, I was still whisking and stirring and turning up the heat higher and higher, and it hadn’t gotten any thicker. What, for the love of god, was wrong? I was trying not to overuse my right hand, which is still recovering from surgery, but I kept catching myself stirring with it.

Luckily, JJ was home by now. Once he got over the shock and awe of finding me standing by the stove, let alone using it, he helped me stir. He suggested adding a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a little water. After I found the cornstarch and dumped half of it in the sink in an effort to pour out a tablespoonful, I added it to the pot and the fucktardious béchamel began to thicken.

To be continued tomorrow. I have hand and shoulder exercises to do.

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