Burning Down the House

Guys, I have to confess something to you.

I’m actually a dude.

Not like a bro dude (which I also am), but like, a man.

I came to this conclusion because apparently, a woman’s place is in the kitchen, and that is absolutely not where I belong.

I decided after last week, when I ate my weight in spaghetti, that I was going to cook fo realz. I emailed Mom for suggestions, and she sent me several easy recipes. So yesterday I decided to make fancy shmancy pizza. I baked kumara (NZ sweet potatoes), carrots, and garlic in the oven, and I sauteed onions (the right way, not in water). Then I laid mozzarella cheese on the pre-bought crust, piled the vegetables on top, and finished it off with balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan cheese. Stuck it in the oven ’til I thought it was ready, took it out and tried a bite, and decided it should have stayed in longer but that I was too hungry (read “impulsive”) to wait any longer, so ate it then. I went om nom nom and it was gone. Delicious.

After last night’s delicacy, I couldn’t bring myself to go back to spaghetti. I decided to make burgers. So I microwaved my minced beef (I hadn’t planned on needing it, so it was still frozen), added a little bit of worcestershire sauce (funny story about that one– I was at the supermarket the other day and saw a couple of brands, and though it was a little more expensive that a few of the others, I bought the one called “Boss” because it stood out, like a boss.)– and added some frozen peas, carrots, and corn. I made two burgers, and when I thought they were ready, put them on a plate. But they crumbled.

“What am I doing wrong?” I asked Maria.

“Try adding egg and flour,” she suggested.

So I did. Luckily, I still had a few eggs left, having hardboiled a number of them and lost one to crackage this morning. So I added those things and made another burger. The meat stuck together, but then it burned a little. Oops. I took it off the pan and put it it on a plate to microwave (gotta make sure it was cooked all the way), and ran the pan under cold water to cool it down, as to not burn the next burger. But then it smoked a lot. I guess I should have seen that coming.

“Guys, the smoke alarm is probably going to go off,” I warned them, making up for my previous lack of foresight. “Could someone open a window?” A few seconds passed. And then the fire alarm went off.

I turned on the hood above the stove. Probs should have done that earlier, too. Oops.

Michal turned off the alarm (because you can do that here…), and I continued cooking. And then I knocked over the plate that was holding two of my burgers. It shattered. Oops.

The alarm went off again, I guess residual from last time. Opened another window.

Finally, finally, I was done with my burgers. I made a lot of them. Definitely enough to last me a couple weeks. So that’s good.

By then, the rest of the flatmates were in the common room, so I joined them at the table to eat.

“What is that?” asked Cleo.

“It’s a burger.”

“There’s no bun.”

“I never eat the bread anyway.”

“It’s like it can’t decide if it’s a veggie burger or not.”

“Yeeeeaaah… but it’s pretty good, at least.”

“Do you use a recipe when you cook?” asked Maria.

“No.”

“Maybe you should try that.”

“Yeeeaah. Maybe I should…. they’re better when Mom makes them.”

“That’s because you made them.”

Obviously true.

After dinner, I wanted ice cream. In fact, I usually want ice cream. I’m always in the mood for it. And I ran 17k today in preparation for my half marathon, so I felt basically obligated to eat it. Maria came with me to the store to get a cone. Having now had ice cream in New Zealand maybe five times since I got here, I’ve come to the conclusion that ice cream here kind of sucks. No matter what the flavor is, it always tastes the same, kind of like a creamy bubble gum (meh). That’s disappointing to me.

I think tomorrow night I’ll have pasta again. I think I owe it to myself to eat something I can make really, really well. Like, 90% of the time, at least.

In other news, today I watched the penultimate episode of House. It was an emotional forty minutes for me. I almost started crying, actually did tear up a couple of times. Premonitory of what will happen next week. Prepare for waterworks.

Also, do you find it weird that forty is spelled like that? I think it would be better off spelled “fourty.” Just a thought. English is so dumb. I might write to the president or whomever. I think it should be changed.

What NZ is to meHere’s a picture that, to me, represents New Zealand.

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