31 August 2008

Lazy Lasagna

I have an odd relationship with the kitchen. My innate domestic torpor sort of expands from a general laze and malaise about keeping house (particularly as it relates to washing dishes and doing laundry) to a general ho hum here we go again at the stove. When I ask, "What am I going to make myself for dinner?" my ideas are usually nixed by the prospect of too many dishes to wash.

Baking is somewhat exempt. I like making cookies, but I will be the first to tell you that man does not live on cookies alone. Thus, the inconvenience of having to cook for oneself. I think this fallacy has something to do with the fact that I can reward myself with a freshly baked cookie after doing the dishes. I'm sure this incentive-based system will lead to type 2 diabetes, but it works for now.

Cooking also intersects with my decision making problems. I have no qualms with making a choice if it involves losing a limb or a life. But when it comes to decisions about everyday things, I couldn't care less. This means decision making about what I want to eat is very tedious.

I also resist things like structure and planning in the name of being ever spontaneous. This is fine, except when spontaneity gets expensive. Many people have a set of about 5 or 10 recipes they do over and over again. I'm not having any of that pie. I don't even like pie.

As a result of these bad habits, I do a lot of inventing in the kitchen. For example, tonight's dinner (marinating in the fridge) is the product of looking around at what I had and saying "molasses + bourbon + meat tenderizing mallet = delicious?" People who have eaten my cooking and lived to tell the tale say that the food tastes good. I am wary of this. I'm sure they're just being nice. I am of the opinion that food does not taste very good when you've prepared it for yourself. In case these people are not being nice because it is the thing to do in polite company, I am very glad that they've never asked for a recipe-- I typically don't have one.

Even though I don't like my own cooking, I will admit: products of my own invention are usually safer when I pull a "pffft. I know how to make that." I end up with crab cakes or sole amandine with lemon-caper sauce that might not taste like the original based-off recipe, but gets me fed nonetheless.

A couple of nights ago, I decided to cook some lasagna this way. Every time I complain about having to cook, some old gray-haired lady tells me to suck it up and put a lasagna in the freezer. I have never been a huge lasagna fan, even when I was a tiny Crowlet and ate nothing but noodles, cheese and the occasional spoonful of spaghetti sauce. My disdain for lasagna baffled Mama Crow. Back in the days of my picky eating, it seemed self-explanatory. I liked all of these things, but not when they were touching!

Lasagna sans recipe turned out to taste okay. It could stand to be saucier, but this can be solved with a jar of marinara. I took a gamble with how long it takes to bake this stuff, and it seems to have paid off. Everything tastes about how it should taste. Still, I think I'm not overly fond of lasagna. I had but a small piece yesterday evening. Ever since then, I can tell you where this brick has wedged itself in my digestive tract. This is even more foreboding because of the bigger brick of pasta in the freezer.


Mead said...

One word for you: CHILI. Con carne or sans. It's every bit as adaptable to your whims as lasagna but it's easier, faster, and glad to see you when you get home.

I'm having it tonight, actually, with bread so laden with garlic it could fend off a bloodknot of vampires. YUM!

k. crow said...

Every time I make chili, I make too much. I forget to put it in the freezer and end up attempting to jazz it up by stirring in some polenta. Thus making even more chili!

I've got Mexican spoon bread in the oven, maybe I'll soak up the leftovers with some chili. But just a little bit of chili.