Saturday, May 3, 2008

On cluelessness and mango-corn salsa

I am hanging out at the apartment of our buddy James, a cool dude who apparently subsists on peanut butter sandwiches and granola. How... how is that possible?

I guess I've just got a skewed perspective. I spend most of my time with myself (obscenely fond of cooking), William (thinks popping an Eggo in the toaster counts as dinner, bless his heart, but he does appreciate good food) and Andrew, who is a kick-ass cook. So from that sample, cooking seems a perfectly normal pastime for folks my age.

James' cooking supplies, as far as I can tell, consist of: 1 very small skillet, 1 small saucepan, currently full of markers, and a small knife. His pantry consists of olive oil, chili powder, a bag of sugar, lots of peanut butter, and precious little else. We were having a taco night, and I innocently inquired as to the existence of a cheese grater, or a can opener, or a cooking sheet/baking pan -- and he blinked at me, said, "You're asking quite a lot, you know," and handed me a knife and some aluminum foil.

James just glanced at what I'm writing, and he's laughing at me. What? What can I say? I would kill myself if I had to live like that! (William and Andrew both submit that buying more cooking supplies would probably be a better bet than killing myself. Oh voices of reason.)

Right now, I guess I don't feel quite as clueless as I usually do. Or rather, I feel just as clueless -- it's just a reminder that I do, indeed, have plenty of time to figure this all out. After all, by my standards, James is fully adult. I still feel, sometimes, like I'm just playing house and pretending to be all growned up. Every failure makes me feel more like an imposter.

Sometimes it is nice to remember that home-cooked gourmet meals aren't actually expected to be part of being 19 and on your own -- or 25 and on your own. It's sort of a bonus. Totally optional! No pressure at all.

Except that I'm broke, and have a fondness for really good food. So if I want it, I have to make it myself... and boy, do I want it. Mm. Good food. Just thinking about it...

I made some mango-corn salsa that was actually quite good. It consisted of:

1 mango, diced
A cup or so of frozen corn, defrosted
maybe 1/4 of cilantro, chopped
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice

Mixed together and refrigerated while the flavors got to know each other... I really liked it. Would have been better with onions, but ah well. Other people respect my dietary restrictions -- it's the least I can do.

Seriously, though. 1 skillet. 1 tiny, tiny saucepan. I just... I can't even imagine.

"What do you eat??"

*Shrug* Leftovers from site. Sandwiches. I dunno!"

I just can't... *shudder*

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