Misadventures in Alex's Kitchen
I have long desired to be "a strong independent man who don't need no woman to cook for me." This stems from my mother's excellent cooking and the lack of options I had when she was not cooking for me. When I was with my dad or when my step-dad was filling in for my mom for whatever reason, my options were boring: Grilled meat, grilled cheese, frozen pizza, leftovers, and, if we were lucky, a meal that was simple to prepare like spaghetti or sloppy joes. I made a resolution years ago to be able to provide a more diverse menu for my future children.
What have I done since making that resolution? Not much. I can knock tacos out of the park, but that does not rise above the level of meals that are simple to prepare. I can also make enchiladas, but not without making my kitchen look like a war zone. I'm pretty good at throwing stuff in a crock pot and waiting for a few hours, but again, that is not all that special.
One way to get me to do something is to force me to do it. One of my motivations for getting my own apartment was to force myself to cook for myself. This has not had the desired effect. My few ventures into the art of cooking have not been all that successful (see the war zone after enchiladas statement above).
However, I do get e-mails with recipes in them every once in awhile, so there's that. Just the other day, I received an e-mail with a recipe for garlic prime rib, and I thought that sounded fantastic.
Now, one of the benefits of living with another person is having someone who will say, "That sounds awesome, but we cannot try that recipe. Do you know how much ten pounds of prime rib costs?" When I got tested for ADHD, I was told I was in the 98th percentile for intelligence, but there are many instances where I do act like I am in the 98th percentile for intelligence. Spending $144 on prime rib is one of those instances, but that was not the most idiotic thing I did in this story.
In the grocery store, the sign said, "Garlic, 2/$1.00." The recipe called for ten cloves of garlic, so I thought, "Great! This will cost me $5.00." Those of you who know the difference between a head of garlic and a clove of garlic are probably thinking, "No, Alex! NO!" Unfortunately, I did not learn the difference between them until I was watching a YouTube video on how to mince garlic cloves. The first thing the guy said to do was peel the head of garlic (which explains why my slapper-chopper thingy was failing to mince my garlic) and remove the cloves. I suddenly realized I had purchased nine times the garlic I needed (Yes, Mr. 98th-percentile-for-intelligence failed to properly count to 10). Luckily, during the frantic Googled search I conducted hoping and praying I did not purchase that large of an excess of garlic, I discovered one can freeze garlic cloves to preserve them for future use (So, if anyone needs any garlic...). After well over an hour of peeling heads of garlic, I stowed the left over garlic cloves in my freezer and proceeded to finish preparing my prime rib roast for the oven. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that I was out of salt and was forced to use a substitute. In some cruel twist of irony, the best I could muster was garlic salt. Yep, more garlic, and I did not even have enough. I had to settle for just over one teaspoon when the recipe called for two teaspoons.
The ridiculousness of my preparations finally reached a conclusion, and the meat was ready to enter the oven. After cooking the prime rib roast for 20 minutes at 500 degrees, I lowered the temperature of the oven to 375. Giving in to a desire to see the meat's progress, I opened the oven, and smoke wafted up to the smoke detector which proceeded to start squawking. When I had finally silenced the smoke detector and convinced my dog we were not going to die, I sat down to relax for a bit. After thirty minutes or so had passed, I picked up my phone to discover it still had the webpage for the recipe on display. It was then I realized that I was supposed to lower the oven to 325 for the final hour of cooking. I rushed to the oven and lowered it to 320 (just to be safe) for the remaining 30 minutes of cooking.
My confidence in the tastiness of my supper was low just prior to opening the oven to remove the prime rib. The doubts did not quite go away when I opened the oven to see this:
With my fingers, I removed part of the meat and sampled it. Oh was it tasty! I may have been unable to properly gather the right ingredients, reading may have proved to be difficult, and I may have come close to getting a visit from the fire department, but I managed to cook some delicious prime rib. I am going to claim that as a win.