You all know I don’t cook, right? In my house, my husband Andreas does most of the cooking, vacillating between elaborate terrines and simple stir-fries. But whatever we eat, chances are very good that I had nothing to do with cooking it.
Last night, however, I cooked. Well, that’s the thing: I didn’t really cook. I prepared. Most of my cooking involves melting stuff or boiling stuff, and then artfully arranging stuff. Last night I actually baked stuff. Yes, I poked three potatoes with a fork, and put them in the oven. FOR AN HOUR! Thanks to my excellent fork-poking, the potatoes did not explode their skins in the oven.
Then, I diced half a tomato, some green pepper, and green onion. Then I boiled two pieces of corn. Then I put the potatoes on a plate, cut them open and put butter and the veggies on them with grated cheese. Corn went on plates, and just to make it fancy, I sliced a couple thin spikes of green pepper and arranged it carefully. Oh, and we each got half a pear sprinkled with cinnamon.
And that was it. Potato, corn, pear. But with some artful green pepper arranged on top! Unlike my parents (the people who tried to entice a child by calling lentil stew “poop soup”) or Andreas (“it all looks the same in your stomach”) I’m a big fan of the food always looking good. When it’s pretty, it conveys the love.
This distinction between cooking and preparing is one that always comes up when I talk to Megan about her inability to cook. I’m always like, Bitch, I don’t cook either! That still doesn’t mean you have to eat frozen pizzas for every meal!
Like most Americans, Megan defaults to packaged food… while my hippie parents with their poop soup taught me to default to cutting up produce and cheese and setting them on a plate. Megan’s food might taste better, but my food is infinitely cheaper and definitely healthier.
Sometimes my meals are literally what you see in the photo above: cheese melted on toast, microwaved frozen veggies, sliced fruit, string cheese. It’s simple, it’s healthy, I can prepare it in less than 5 minutes. Some day I’ll convince Megan that she doesn’t need to learn to cook: she just needs to learn to arrange.
So, in the interest of teaching Megan to ARRANGE, what are your favorite whole food meals that taste great? If it takes more than 5 minutes or has more than 5 ingredients, I’m giving it the side-eye.