The Scary World of Bachelor Cooking

May/2004: Culinary Advice - I am, as everyone knows, el Single. I am also male, as more know. I also do not have much experience in the world of cookery. I am Xavier Von Erck, "The AngryGerman", not Capriel or whatever the jolly chef is that was given his own TV show.

Just the fact that I can't name that chef is proof enough of my point: Putting me in a kitchen is dangerous.

Truth is, at nineteen, I knew how to make three foods.

1. Garlic and Cheese English Muffins.
2. Eggo waffles.
3. I could have swore there was a third.

I was 120 pounds at the time, knew nothing about cooking. All I needed to know was that Burger King had whoppers for 99 cents and I only needed one to fill me up for the whole day. So that's what I would do. When I needed to provide food for myself, I found a fast food worker to prepare it for me. A wonderful arrangement.

However, when I hit twenty, I found myself in a wonderful relationship. At her place one night, she showed me how to make bean and cheese quesadillas. It was interesting, yet looked terribly complicated (Photoshop isn't complicated. Beating the Flood in Halo isn't complicated. Mexican food though? Now that was complicated). So I figured it was a skill I would never, ever use and filed it away in the "useless stuff I know" box.

Then, she and I go to a social gathering. One would call it a party, but I don't party. I stand. When you stand, you cannot claim to be at a party. You are standing at a gathering. Other people, yes, they may be at a party. But when all you are doing is standing in place, you are not. Simple.

So she drinks her ass off. I've never seen someone so small put away so much alcohol. It was insane. She wasn't that drunk either, which was the amazing part. Still, she drank tons of booze and hard liquor. Probably the result of having to spend time at a party with a "stander." Hell if I know.

Anyways, we go back to her place, she's sick, needs food.

Oh yes, you can see where this is going.

So uber-boyfriend (myself, for those with short attention) has a light go off in his head, dusts off the filing cabinet and remembers that he knows how to make quesadillas. Now, why you would want to make Mexican food for someone who is close to vomiting, no clue, still, I went into action thinking I had forgotten how to make them perfectly... yet still, blam, I get them done. Take them in there, and a bit is eaten. Boyfriend comes through. RAAAAHHHHH!!!!

So I ate the rest. DAMN GOOD.

At that point, I decided "well, maybe you should learn how to cook a few dishes." Still, after that relationship ended, my zest for doing... well, anything, ended. Still, slowly but surely, I have built up what I like to think is a good moveset of cuisine.

I can go Mexican with Enchiladas, Quesadillas (adding Chicken and Steak to my repetoire was grande), Tacos or... chips with mexican dip (meh). I can go American with Steak (DAMN GOOD STEAK), Chicken, Pizza or Waffles (Eggo, I choose you!), or Italian with...

Well, that's where the aforementioned world of "Bachelor Cooking" gets just a little scary. A tad.

I'm at the supermarket, checking the buy one get one frees, as I am cheap as hell. Couple pounds of steak? Natch. Five Red Baron's for ten bucks? Natch. Three boxes of eggos for five bucks? Natch. And lo' and behold, I decide to get adventurous. Italian Sausage, package of five, buy one get one free. The plus? I love Italian Sausage.

The negative? I have never made Italian Sausage before.

Still, how hard can it be? Cook them, they're good. Right? Right, sure, in a happy world where I am gifted at cooking. In that world, there is no stress. No fear. Kittens dance in fields.

I get the Italian Sausage home, look at the directions and they suck. I go online and look for directions... the suck. Google failed me. Without the supplement brain giving me the solution, I come up with my own. Boil 'em. No problema, just a bit of boiling.

I open the package. First, the skin on uncooked Italian Sausage looks like plastic. For a few minutes, I thought it was plastic. Having to weigh the possibility of the sausage company doing something stupid and wrapping their Italian Sausage in plastic is stupid on my part. Still, the idea of cooking my dinner in weird plastic didn't appeal to me. I chance it.

I boil.

They go ashen grey.

I go "aroo?"

I wait for them to turn brown, Olive Garden stizzy.

They don't.

So after about twenty something minutes, I start to wonder if they're supposed to go grey. I've never SEEN them grey. I have no clue if they're supposed to BE grey. I cut one open. It looks cooked, I think. I cut another open. Looks cooked.

I'm hungry.

I give up and announce to Mr. Colby Jones that the sausage is done. He had a look on his face that mirrored my stomach. "Are you sure, because I, a cat, do not think they are fucking done, nimrod." Truth be told, I didn't think they were done either. But I tried one with my special garlic-pepper spaghetti sauce that I use to double as a ghetto version of Marinara sauce, which is about double the price for the same sort of ground up tomatoes.


While that was a victory, I'm still uncertain. These fucking things are grey! They're not supposed to be grey! What turns from BROWN to GREY due to the addition of WATER? That makes no logical sense. I boil a hot dog, blam, no grey. I create steak, blam, no grey. What the fuck gave Italian Sausage the right to "go grey?"

Nothing. I eat the food, tastes like food. Then I start to doubt myself anew. I get the inner cynical voice going. "You idiot, you can't tell TASTE. You don't have a clue. You never tell the difference. Give you fine ground chuck or a Mickey D's hamburger and you'll eat either and be happy as hell. You are not a connisseur and now you're going to die since you ate sickly looking grey meat. E. Coli, a winner is you!"

I go upstairs. Get online. Wait for death. Continue to wait for death. Then, I decide I'm not going to die. I wait for stomach explosion. Wait... wait... nothing. No stomach explosion. No anything. I did it right.


That makes no sense! Italian Sausage should not be grey. No meat should ever go grey. Grey is not an appetizing color. Can you think of any food you have ever ate (Willingly) that was the color of depression? I cannot. Food is not grey. It can be green, orange, red, brown, hell, even black, but never grey. Not even candy can be grey. Not even jelly beans can be grey. Nothing is grey when you cook. Nothing. That is fucked up.

But apparently, Italian Sausage is grey. Thanks, Italy.

So now I have learned that after boiling for twenty minutes, you take the Italian Sausage and fry it up for a couple minutes in a pan with butter and it goes brown. Tonight, I ate brown Italian Sausage. Tasted exactly the same, taste-wise. However, the satisfaction level was much higher.

Why? Because it was brown. Not grey. That's what matters most.

I can make Italian Sausage now. Once again, I have overcome and tamed the fine art of foodery. Slap a dirty chef's hat upon my head, I am King of Bachelor Cooks. Why?

Because dammit, I'm alive.