Saturday night eater

Jam of the Week: “When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine

The joy of cooking is a joy that many people in my life know well. I’ve been trying to get a piece of that enjoyment lately with a New Year’s resolution.

If you read my columns regularly, and good on you for being such a trooper if you do, you might recall that I have a storied history of not cooking and doing it poorly despite a desire to get better.

After getting by on ramen in college, my food selections became much more sophisticated. Like Easy-Mac. Still, persisting on shaped grains and cheese dust couldn’t hold the same allure as the homemade dishes of my childhood.

Thankfully, the vapid ruminations of my column did me well this Christmas. My parents got me a nice set of pots and pans as well as a cookbook with a couple thousand easy recipes to start on. In another callback to an earlier column, my mom told me I couldn’t make mac-and-cheese in a teapot anymore. Gladly, I accepted.

While I had the tools to begin cooking, I still had my busy schedule to consider. As I’m sure you know, the illustrious career of journalism calls for many sacrifices. Namely, settling for an energy drink and gas station pizza slice when trying to fit a meal in between interviews and meetings. The New Year helped me make a goal to cook for myself every so often.

My only goal is to make a new meal from the cookbook every Saturday evening. My “Saturday Night Eater” resolution will slowly get me acclimated to cooking regularly during the week, will make me find new dishes to make on a regular basis, and will help my neighbors remember not to panic when the fire alarm starts going off regularly each week.

Like many who make resolutions, mine started off poorly. I was out of town for my first Saturday, but I didn’t let it go by the wayside the next weekend. Looking through the book, I found many recipes that looked great. Chicken caesar salad wraps, more mexican dishes than I could count, soups, salads, and more.

I settled on an easy one first: a reuben sandwich. I expect my national honors for making a sandwich to arrive in the mail shortly. Still, it was a nice start since the book tells of an interesting way to brown the bread on a sandwich. Throw a bit of butter on a pan and let it melt on medium, make a sandwich and toss it on the pan and let it sit for a couple minutes on each side with a plate covering the pan while the plate is weighed down by something like a spare can from the pantry.

My first foray into a new hobby was barely a baby step. Still, it’s better to find a place to start than living on ramen forever.