Cook like a pro despite having no experience or training or brain cells!

Leila Raines/The Miscellany News

Have you ever seen a pile of burning garbage? Have you ever watched the edges of banana peels and old milk cartons curl as dancing flames blackened them into indistinguishable lumps of smoking charcoal? Have you ever smelled that smell, that smell of decay and rot and carcinogens multiplied a thousandfold by the searing heat? Have you ever experienced this and wished you could recreate it right in the convenience of your own home?

Incidentally, I’d like to recommend a new hobby to my readers: cooking. Using just a few costly ingredients and a variety of sensitive and hard-to-care-for kitchen equipment, you too can have a tasty dish bubbling away in the pot in no time, or else a cheery bonfire on your stove or in your oven. It’s like Christmas! I’ve been cooking for a very long time now—three weeks and counting—so you can lean on me for all your food preparation needs. Without further ado: Let’s get lit!

Cooking tip #1: Seasonings, seasonings, seasonings. Did you know that everything that makes life worth living will also eventually kill you? It’s true! Oil contains health-threatening cholesterol, for example, and salt will raise your blood pressure until you pop like an overripe tomato. But nearly one hundred percent of human beings have died anyway over the course of history, so you’re probably safe to kick your food up a notch. Add just a pinch more salt than your kitchen-coward family, or just one more knob of butter, and just watch as flavor blooms in your pan. You can also just do what I do, which is to go through your cabinets adding whatever catches your eye until you end up with a concoction that would make cucumber lime Gatorade taste like the finest champagne. No judgment—but remember, if you skip out on any flavor, you’re a wimp too!

Cooking tip #2: Choose your weapons carefully. The method you use to prepare food determines essential aspects of the final dish, such as whether it is worth eating. Try roasting a pan of vegetables until they’re crisp and just cooked through, or searing a hunk of protein on high heat to draw out its flavor without making it too tough. Or just try my favorite technique, one which I often use unintentionally: the Smoky Frying Pan. Start by browning some onions until the edges are nice and black, then add spices and toast until the kitchen becomes an industrial hazard. It’s a delight for the palate and a workout for the lungs!

Cooking tip #3: Leave the details for later. You’re a busy adult, and you can’t spend time worrying about every little thing you put in your mouth. Try assembling a repertoire of easy one-pan meals and dump dinners, making planning a breeze. Even better, use my patent-pending Brain Hack™ to really optimize your diet! When at the store, just buy whatever random items catch your eye. Then, later, throw them into a casserole dish, add water and salt and bake at 450 for seven hours. Trust me: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cat Cookies For People come out of this process just as delicious as expensive freshly-laid quail eggs. It’s a miracle in the making!

Cooking tip #4: Okay, fine. Who do you think you’re fooling? You’re not a real cook. I’m sure as heck not a real cook. In the end, society is a game we play with each other. It’s all in the mind, man. Instead of worrying about the totally-not-groovy artificial constructs of, like, flavor and nutrition, just jam with the ingredients you already have. Don’t shop; shopping just pays the Man. Instead, dig those old cans of junk out of the back of your cupboard, all that stuff you never use, the nasty jam with spices in it your grandma gave you seven years ago for Christmas or whatever—take that stuff, and just, like, eat it with a spoon, man. Who needs to cook, when cooking is, like, all around us? Stick that in your skillet and let it sizzle.

But grooviness aside, feeding yourself is one of the greatest challenges you can possibly face. Many people throughout history—most of them dirt-encrusted medieval peasants—have somehow failed to accomplish even this basic task. With my cooking tips, though, you’re sure to be able to have enough to eat. After all, even if you offered my famous pineapple potato chip casserole to those exact same peasants, you still wouldn’t end up having to share it. So long, my friends—and think of me as you feast like royalty!

 

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