Please allow this post to serve as an explanation of why I don’t harbor fantasies of working in a professional kitchen.
I could, with herculean effort, overcome the obvious: you know, better shape, willing to work nights and weekends for barely a living wage, more deference to authority, and, you know, the whole “punctual” thing. I could learn to endure the cuts and the bruises and the burn marks. I could even get used to the Hammer Pants.
This much should be obvious if you have been around a while: It’s all about the sloppy and the haphazard. In fact, It is often a small miracle that dinner even happens.
but… I don’t know how to hard-boil an egg.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how to cook eggs. I can poach one to the precise point that an oozing yolk can tango with a salad’s acidic vinaigrette. I can flip a sunny with little more than telekinesis. I can scramble in a double-boiler, separate fearlessly, and souffle without mercy. I can even whisk up a creme anglaise that makes ME want to eat more fruit. So overall aptitude isn’t the problem.
And, yes, I know how you’re SUPPOSED to hard-boil eggs. Boil water, egg, peel it after a while, right? You can tart it up any way you want, but you are still, basically, just boiling an egg. And I don’t know how to do it.
But this is where it gets kind of pathetic: I can SOUS VIDE an egg, but cannot satisfactorily boil one. I can put eggs in boiling water, and I either add salt or not add salt or either poke a hole or not poke a hole, and I can take them out of the boiling water and count how long it takes to dry (they say a hard boiled egg will dry in less than ten seconds) or do the “spin test,” but I just can never seem to get a decent egg out of the process.
On so many levels, this is just wrong.
Caramel. The braising liquid was caramel. Fatty pork braised in CARMEL.
Nearly all of my get-togethers seem to stem out of an unconscious but important rule. If I am going to braise fatty pork in caramel, certain things need to be in place. My shirt needs to be tucked in And, you know, bed made, clothes off the floor, toilet paper IN the holder and not just sitting on top of it.
In other words, company. I feel like if I don’t have friends over, I’ll go Lord of The Flies and basically eat the entire pot with my hands on the kitchen floor with my face painted. Remember: I’m still trying to be a once-a-week vegetarian and things have been stressful and I haven’t made pork in a while and haven’t really slow cooked anything for even longer. I NEED least this thin veneer of civilization as a hedge against Dark Urges.