Getting it together: the remix

Everyone can cook

More stories from Faith Hultman

Last week, I trudged from my street parking spot to my second-floor apartment in the rain, clutching a large paper bag stuffed with groceries to my hip, a 12-pack of La Croix dangling by one finger and a bag of potatoes repeatedly hitting my leg. I felt the paper bag slowly begin to tilt in my arms and I remembered just why I hate grocery shopping so much. As a package of chicken breasts, a bag of brussel sprouts and a jar of pasta sauce hit the mud, I began wishing I had a boyfriend, solely so someone else could carry groceries in for me.

Thus went the beginning of the long and arduous process of getting it together — for real this time. I went to Aldi (God bless Aldi and everything in it), I made some foods and I pre-packed my lunch.

As I said last week, I’ve been subsisting primarily on Kwik Trip salads, which are pricey and packaged in plastic — two big no-no’s. This week, I decided to go for something easy but nutritious, so I made stir fry, baked some bite-sized potatoes and some chicken breasts and made pasta.

Four dish options are actually quite a few, and now I’m afraid the food will go bad before I actually eat it, which always happens to me and is why I don’t usually like prepping food beforehand.

Another reason I don’t like prepping food beforehand is because I’m not actually all that good at cooking. As per usual, my dishes came out subpar. After consistently setting the fire alarm off for a half hour, I got a fan set up blowing directly at the alarm, which I would consider innovation (it was my roommate’s idea).

The mushrooms were undercooked and under-flavored, while the snap peas were overcooked and over-oiled. I overcooked the potatoes as well, but at least the chicken was — I’m pretty sure — not raw.

Prior to the big cook, I threw away all of the other things in my fridge that had gone uneaten and, therefore, bad. Included amongst the waste were two chicken breasts I had never cooked, a bag of unopened baby carrots and a half-used jar of pasta sauce.

I am ashamed to have failed in my basic duty to consume these kitchen staples pre-rot. It’s not as if they were something weird, like artichokes or plain seltzer water. These were the most basic of fridge foods.

I took a moment to wallow in that failure, and then I made a resolution.

I’m going to eat all the food I prepared for this week and I’m going to eat it at a regular meal time. I’m not going to buy any Kwik Trip food. When I run out of this food, I will go buy more food and cook more like a normal, functioning human being.

I’m going to keep doing this until it sticks.

Catch me next week utilizing my clean room with maximum efficiency — after wading through the depths of my own trash and putting it all away, of course.