Step 1: Congratulations! Here begins your meteoric rise to culinary greatness. Start by selecting a recipe. I suggest something that will require at least an hour and a half to two hours to prepare. For example, I chose Williams-Sonoma’s Butternut Squash Risotto with homemade butternut squash puree.
Take a second to get pumped up, and imagine how much better your life will be after you’ve prepared this meal.
Step 2: Make an elaborate show of announcing the mind-blowing meal you plan to prepare.
I recommend giving your loved one(s)–in my case, the Mr–a minimum of eight hours to ready his stomach to receive the gift of pure love in the form of rich, savory food. Stretching is encouraged.
Step 3: Use the enormous sense of self-satisfaction you’re feeling to propel your body to the grocery store, where you will acquire the fixings for your fancy supper. Parade down the store’s aisles like the smug, sanctimonious sonofagun you’ve earned the right to be.
Your strut exudes stone-cold dominance, so people might be intimidated by you. Get used to it. You’re on the verge of mastering this one recipe the kitchen THE UNIVERSE.
Step 4: Prepare the meal according to instruction. Make sure to time the preparation perfectly, so that you are just adding finishing touches when your spouse or partner arrives home. Use boisterous, Emeril-like gestures while chopping and stirring. Too much pride is never a bad thing.
Step 5: You’ve been cooking for two hours now, and even though you’re quite tired, you feel a swelling of pride in your chest as your meal is nearly ready. This risotto is going to be effing beautiful. For a brief moment, you imagine the look of elation on your spouse’s face as he takes the first bite. “He’s going to propose all over again tonight,” you think.
Add the final ingredient–a requisite 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese–with a flourish. You’ve been stirring this risotto for nearly an hour. Your arms are weak, but your edible victory is close.
As you sprinkle in the last few bits of cheese, realize that you’ve been slowly contaminating your meal with molded Parmesan.
The cheese is blue and green, and dead all over. And now so is your risotto.
Check the expiration date. The cheese has not passed its “sell by” date.
The only plausible explanation: This mold is some kind of hell-born monster sent to destroy your will to live.
Your food has betrayed you. In seconds, your risotto is no longer edible–instead, it’s a health hazard. The demonic mold has negated hours of your life, pulverized your soul and now seems to be mocking your dying dreams of an ascent to super-hero status.
Step 6: Begin your crying jag by throwing something across the room.
I chose a spoon, but you’re kitchen is filled with objects sized and weighted just right for flinging, like salt and pepper shakers, and ripening fruit. By all means, get creative with your selection.
Step 7: Greet your spouse at the door as he arrives home, scaring him within an inch of his life by running toward him screaming. Tell him that everything is wrong and the world is over, and launch into 15-25 minutes of ugly crying.
Step 8: After nearly 30 minutes of hard sobbing, you’re famished. Realize that you still have to eat something for dinner, and rummage through your kitchen for food. Find alcohol. Drink it.
Step 9: Enjoy a small pity party on your kitchen floor. Invite your new buddy, booze, because now that you’re a failure at life, booze is all you have left.
DO NOT invite your spouse, because he can’t understand your special brand of crazy. Also due to your persistent claims that he would dine on a giant bowl of heaven, he’s starving, and you can’t afford to be bogged down with other people’s needs right now.
Step 10: I can’t really remember what happens during this step.
Step 11: Start to feel woozy and realize that your best bud, alcohol, is actually poison, engaging in an angry battle with your body and–probably–your already weakened soul.
Decide you’re going to need some food in your stomach to help your body fight off alcohol’s warring advances.
Step 12: Pour cereal and milk into a bowl, adding dashes of shame and self loathing and just a pinch of tears.
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