Take me out
Thanks to a rather fortunate series of circumstances, I’ve been able to avoid going for a big grocery shopping trip for more than two weeks. Here are the tactics I used, and you can use them too to be as lazy as me:
1. Get someone else to cook. Writing a food column that people I know read means that people are always suggesting food-related activities. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Just kidding—that’s what people say, but really it’s only been awesome because people send me recipes, recommend restaurants, and best of all, they sometimes cook for me. (The only potential problem is that I’ll get enormously fat.) Last week, after reading my first vegetable challenge column, my friend Deepa offered to make me dinner wherein she would force let me try her Brussels sprouts. After grilling me about why exactly I hate all the vegetables I hate, Deepa was positive I’d like them. My first reaction was wondering what could possibly be done to Brussels sprouts to make them palatable. My second reaction was to remind myself to not behave like an asshole, because Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables I hate offhand without ever having tried them. My third reaction was that I couldn’t refuse because I know Deepa’s a good cook and also we’d planned on rewatching the miniseries of Battlestar Galactica. There’s no saying no to that.
I stood in her kitchen and watched her pour the Brussels sprouts into the pan. “Now, how are these different from the other Brussels sprouts?” I asked.
She looked at me blankly. “What are you talking about?”
“You know,” I explained, “the long stringy ones.” Something in my brain clicked and I realized that this was one of those childhood misunderstandings that you hold onto far too long, like when you realize, ten years later, that your dog didn’t actually go to live on a farm.
Deepa started laughing. Apparently, though they share the sameish name, the stringy sprouts and the oddly cute Brussels sprouts have nothing to do with each other. After a little research, I discovered that the stringy sprouts are actually alfalfa. WHAT. Isn’t that what we feed, like, rabbits? This adds another dimension to my vegetable challenge: vegetable lore. I’d best start studying up so I don’t make any more vegetable related faux-pas (other than spitting out that chunk of onion).
As it turns out, I think Brussels sprouts are actually pretty tasty. (After hearing that many people think they taste like cabbage, which I also hate, I may have to rethink everything. I have experience eating and smelling the trash that is cabbage, all the while keeping my mouth shut because that’s what good Polish girls do. But maybe I’ll have to rethink cabbage. My grandparents would be so proud.) That may be because Deepa cut them in half and cooked them in a little butter, so the bottoms were slightly caramelized, and then added a little cheese on top. I went back for seconds.
2. Travel home.
- Easy. An excuse to eat some Wendy’s and to let your mom cook you a gigantic dinner.
Previously I’ve been too much of a cheapass to order takeout. But I’ve acquired some cash recently, and I’ve been busy and it’s been raining. All great reasons to get into bed and not go outside again once you get home.
On Friday night, I had a spinach and avocado salad and a personal chicken pesto thin-crust pizza from Stone Hearth Pizza. On Saturday, I found a sushi deal at Genki Ya that was two kinds of sushi rolls, soup, and a salad for $10. But you had to have more than $10 to deliver. So I ordered an edamame appetizer. Then followed a delicious four-course meal in front of my computer while I watched Glee in sweatpants.
Why don’t I order in more often? I’m dangerously close to falling off the cooking-for-myself wagon. Grocery stores are for squares. The fear of getting obese and of going broke won’t stand in the way of eating a dinner I didn’t have to cook. And I never have to put on pants.
It occurs to me that I may be too busy. In the meantime, send me your takeout menus in lieu of your recipes.