The Post Game Show

Monday, February 16, 2009

Do you smell what Chris is cookin'?

Thursday afternoon was a sure fire indicator my weekend was going to suck. As I got in my trusty Bonnie to go pick up some dinner, a weird bumping, crashing, grinding sound forced me to stop the car shortly after I left my apartment building's parking lot. I couldn't get the car in gear after that and had to slam on the emergency brake to keep from rolling into traffic, and that's when I was afraid that something was seriously wrong.

It took about three hours to get the car out of harm's way and a garage diagnosis, but my axle was shot and I'd be lucky to have a car, let alone have it back by the beginning of the week. I could only laugh and shake my head as I forked over the money for a rental car through the weekend and hoped the mechanic could work a miracle so I wouldn't be forced to buy another ride.

Meanwhile, as I highlighted in my previous entry, Valentine's Day is NOT a day I look forward to, but since I knew I wasn't going to be able to do too much traveling, I figured I may as well live up to my promise to set aside a week to learn how to cook a favorite dish. I decided to start with a classic, spaghetti and meatballs, because I seriously had a jonesing for it and hadn't partaken of the Italian (or is it Chinese? Thanks, Marco Polo) dish since I moved to Maryland 16 months ago. My mom gave me the ingredients and Saturday when I was ready, she sat with me on the phone for a good 90 minutes while I navigated my way through it. It was good to talk to my mom without family drama dominating the conversation and it was really fun to have her teach me to cook long distance.

I boiled and drained my noodles thoroughly, mixed them with my sauce, heated my meatballs, made a plate, and after dashing some grated cheese on the spaghetti, I stabbed a couple of meatballs with a fork, twirled spaghetti around them and took a bite. Success - sweet, delicious success. 27 years into life and I've made my first successful home-cooked dinner. I was on a high for the rest of the weekend, so much so I made a buffet-sized Sunday morning breakfast with waffles, pancakes and sausage patties. Talk about hitting the ground running.

Cooking will not only become a cost-cutting measure to keep myself fed, but I can also see it becoming a therapeutic hobby to help take away from the stress of work and the frustrations of living in solitude. I had a grand time talking to mom and making dinner on Saturday, and an even better time the next morning singing along to Rachelle Ferrell's "I'm Special" while flipping flapjacks and checking on my waffle iron. There's something fun and liberating about cooking for yourself while you blast your favorite songs in your apartment...now I remember why I wanted to be grown so bad.

As you can see, there were no mental or emotional breakdowns, I didn't even bother trying to find a quick fix for this Hallmark Holiday - I was able to find other ways to keep myself entertained, and that's so necessary when something has a hold on you the way my situation usually seizes me. I felt happy with myself, cleaning and cooking and watching NBA All-Star weekend online, never once thinking "I'm so alone," "women hate me," anything like that. I had fun by myself. And it was long overdue.

Oh, my car? Well, the mechanic was able to find a like-new axle and I got my car back this afternoon, running like she's supposed to run. Things always find a way to work themselves out. You just have to remain hopeful that they will, and I plan to from now on.

6 Comments:

  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger memphiz said…

    the ol cook on the phone with my mom gig too cute!

     
  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger Latiya A said…

    Wow cooking for the first time? Chris you don't know what you've been missing. Cooking is a huge, huge money saver, and if you can't always get your mom on the phone ask your friends for their recipes and/or buy a cookbook. Trust me when I tell you if the saying is the way to a man's heart is through his stomach than a man who can cook will have all of her :-)

     
  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Mr. Jones said…

    Maaaaan, I can't cook for ish. Then again, my Ma can't cook either. I blame her.

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger Mizrepresent said…

    Good for you Chris!

     
  • At 7:16 AM, Blogger Veronica Wright said…

    YAY!!! I'm so proud!

    Yes! you may fall in love with cooking--i see you're well on your way!

    Sounds like you had a lovely loving yourself weekend and that's really what LIFE is all about! :-)

     
  • At 1:44 PM, OpenID chonjms said…

    i'm late as usual, lol...but this was a good read. cooking eh? mmm...it sounds like some1 is lovin' themselves...and that's GREAT!!! im very proud of you mr...keep it up. and btw, i like baked chicken, that's my fav ;-)

     

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