I have a confession to make. It’s really bad. I can’t tell my family, my friends or anyone else. It haunts me constantly, following me around like a ghost. I can’t sleep, I can’t think and I DEFINITELY can’t eat. This is a cry for help.
For the sake of self-preservation, though, I will tell my story. Throughout my entire life, I literally never even learned to cook a damn pasta noodle. Nachos? Can’t do it. Spaghetti? I will burn the pasta water. Grilled cheese? Terrifying—the process of making it is unclear. Pancakes? That’s some level-100 garbage for this generation’s MasterChef. Toast and avocado? I’m intimidated by the fruit; I feel like an avocado could beat me up or write some really mean things about me in a shady subtweet. Oatmeal? Too much to ask from me at this point.
This is a heavy secret I have to keep on a day-to-day basis. Even warming bread scares me. Those big things at the Deece that people shove their sandwiches inside and somehow they come out warm? Terrifying. I don’t understand.
I see these individuals stroll over to Your Kitchen (a section of the Deece I am not familiar with), pick up a pan and then start cooking like they’re a finalist on “Chopped,” and in the last minute they forgot to plate their sauce. Someone even FLIPPED something in a PAN once. I also saw someone rapidly chop an onion, which I thought was an urban myth or something only Gordon Ramsay could do.
It’s all incredibly impressive to me. If anyone ever wants to wow me me, all they have to do is produce an edible thing from previously inedible goods, and I will think they are the coolest person to ever exist. You can crack an egg perfectly with one hand? Forget it. I’m in love.
My horrible secret also affects my home life. The entirety of my family seem to be incredibly skilled, while I struggle to cut an apple into pieces even remotely close in size.
I am not even allowed in the kitchen during meal prep—I am considered one of the hazards. Kitchen hazards in our household include leaving the stovetop on, microwaving plastic, not chopping vegetables away from the fingers and me. I can’t be trusted after the Chocolate Chip Incident of ’16.
Once college started, my condition worsened. Soup cartons were blown up. Spoons were microwaved. (Have you ever seen a microwave spark?) Flapjacks were cooked for 30 minutes before it was discovered that the oven hadn’t been on. (Raw flapjack batter is extremely not delicious.) Fingers were sliced open on cans. Butter spray was used mistakenly as air freshener. (Smells just as good, honestly.) Cookie sheets were used as laptop tables for studying.
I can proudly say though that I have never once set off the fire alarm. However, since then, many have tried (and failed) to teach me the basics of how to not make my dorm smell like a grease fire and sadness. To this day, someone has yet to inform me on what the broil setting on an oven actually does.
Like a fool, I dismissed the cooking class offered at the beginning of last semester, thinking how easy it would be and how I would be able to teach myself eventually. Now that proficiency in cooking is becoming scarily important in order to function in the adult world following college, I turn my terrible secret into a cry for help.
I see that I have two options: conquer my fear of Your Kitchen and teach myself how to use a pan and chop an onion, or pay a student from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to follow me around and cook me food. While the former is tempting and potentially the most economically feasible option, my instinct tells me to hire a CIA student.
So, while you fools reenact Iron Chef at Your Kitchen, I will be enjoying a ham and truffle omelette with a bold dark roast and a piece of perfectly browned rye bread with sunbutter.