I’ve seen friends subsist on unhealthy eating for quite some time now. If they at least take care of themselves somewhat, their diet consists of frozen dinners and Chinese takeout. For those who don’t, their bloodstream has nothing but Easy Macs and instant ramen. It’s an express lane to getting fat and unloved.
When I confront them about the option of cooking their own food, the common reply is “it’s too hard”, “I don’t have the time”. What fools. You could whip up a dish for two within ten minutes, costing less than $5. For example, here are the steps for Some Kind of Beef with Potato and Onion Dish:
- Put oil in the pan and leave it on the stove on the highest heat.
- Wet your hand with water and flick water at the pan. If it sizzles, the pan is sufficiently hot.
- Put Prepared Beef into pan and flip regularly.
- Any time before the Prepared Beef starts charring, add in the Prepared Potatoes and Prepared Onion and stir constantly.
- When the Prepared Potatoes completely and subtly changes color, turn off the heat.
- Add some kind of savory spice or something. Stir and serve.
Notice that the entire list of steps could be condensed into “put prepared ingredients into pan with hot oil and cook them”. It’s easier than accidentally setting your Easy Mac on fire.
So what then, is with all the apprehension towards cooking? It turns out that there is a bit of truth to those friends’ comments. The secret steps to the above recipe are in the bolded words—Prepared Beef, Prepared Potatoes, and Prepared Onions.
Peeling and cutting the potatoes? Too time-consuming! Peeling and cutting the onions? Time consuming, plus it makes your eyes water. Not fun. Washing and cutting the beef into suitable chunks or strips? That’s slimy gunk getting into your nails, nope nope nope.
Let us also not forget having to do the dishes afterwards.
From our quick analysis, it’s not the actual cooking that repulses people, it’s the “before and after”. This is when I’d like to introduce the One Neat Trick for Easy, Mess-free Cooking:
Get a guy friend to do everything else.
If you read the recipe carefully earlier, it’s mentioned that it serves two. You can’t finish that much on your own anyway, so why not rope in someone who would appreciate a home-cooked meal in return for helping prepare the ingredients and washing up? If you’re lucky they’ll foot the bill for the ingredients too. Definitely a better idea than keeping it as leftovers for yourself for the next meal.
All you have to do is to call them up, say something like “I feel like making food, but I don’t have a kitchen. Can I come over and use yours? I’ll cook for you, too.” This works regardless of whether you have actually have a kitchen or not, because ideally your guy friend has never been to your apartment. If they have, well tough luck. Call up the next one.
Upon arrival at the friend’s place, set the ingredients on the countertop and announce what you’re going to make. Add, “but I’m scared of knifes. Can you help me prepare the ingredients?” Step back and look thankful while he does all the messy stuff for you.
Make the dish (it only takes ten minutes). Sit down and eat together. Refuse any alcohol.
When you’re done for the night, get up, thank him for the time, and head home, leaving him with all the dirty dishes. He won’t mind anyway.
If there’s a guy you fancy, you could do this regularly with him instead of going through a list. An added bonus is that if you ever get married to him, he’ll be conditioned to prepare the ingredients for you, perhaps the night before he goes to work. Think of it as a life long investment.
So, what are you waiting for? A world of healthy eating awaits.