162. I Should Learn How To Cook

Since I am now a proper, responsible, working man doing proper, responsible, adult things, I thought that it’s about time I adjusted my lifestyle to one fitting of a proper, responsible, working person.

Thus, I have decided that I should learn how to cook.

Yes. Above other proper, responsible, adult things like learning to manage my finances, loan financing, politics and current events, getting a leather wallet, buying my own insurance, and getting a pair of black slacks, I have decided to learn how to cook.

Why, Joseph? Why would you do that?

Because I’m an adult now, and I can do whatever I want. Hey, at least it has nothing to do with drugs.

Yet.

The last time I tried to cook, I almost orphaned myself. It was my mom’s birthday, and she was sick, so I thought that I’d do something nice for her, which led to the idea of cooking something for her, despite the fact that I’ve never been successful at cooking anything more complex than a fried egg in my life.

I pondered upon what I should cook for a moment, and thought, “Pepper pork soup will do.”

So I looked up the recipe on the internet, and it looked easy enough. Some salt, some pepper, gingers, pork. I can do this. I got the ingredients from the nearest supermarket and got to work.

I got a big pot sitting on the stove, the water simmering away, and the ingredients were all at the ready. I had 2 large gingers, skinned and chopped up into smaller pieces; I had 4 bottles of pepper; I had a whole tub of table salt; and I had pork, defrosted, raw, and tender.

20 pieces of pepper. I looked at one of the bottles, and it said “Good for 5 servings”. So if I empty all 4 bottles in, I’ll have just enough, right? I unscrewed the first bottle and emptied all its contents into the steaming pot.

Halfway through the second bottle, it occurred to me that 4 bottles of pepper might be a little bit too much pepper. I gave it a rest and decided that I’ll add more later on.

Now this was a big pot. I’ve heard that you’re only supposed to add a pinch of salt, but that’s to normal dishes, right? It was a very big pot, and there was a lot of water inside. 5 litres, maybe. Maybe more. I put a full tablespoon of salt, and made a mental note to add more later, if I had to.

The next part was relatively easy: I dumped all of the ginger and pork into the pot, and waited.

My younger sister, who knew all about my plan to cook and nothing about my inability to do it, was the first to try it out (after I had burned my tongue and throat from a tablespoon of the stuff). Her reaction was, verbatim:

“It’s not so bad… OHHHHHHH SHIT!”

You can tell when the pepper kicked in. I later emptied most of the soup, filled the pot with fresh water, and boiled it again – and still it was far too salty and far too peppery for consumption. My mom, who heard my younger sister complaining about the deadly broth I was concocting in the kitchen, came in and saved the day: by throwing everything away, only keeping the pork.

The pork tasted pretty good, actually. My mom hypothesized that it was marinated in the soup during the boil.

I have never attempted to cook since.

But this is a new stage in life, and sometimes new things are just old things that we’ve forgotten about. Waking up and sleeping early, for example. Besides, it sounds reasonable that an adult should be able to cook without causing any serious damages to the health of those around him.

Hide your women, hide your children. Cooking, here I come!

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