Archive for March, 2010

So, I guess I like to cook now or something.

March 13, 2010

Snoop and me, just hangin’ in the kitchen, no biggie.

I was sitting at my desk on Monday morning, minding my own business, when suddenly, something that doesn’t happen to me very often, happened: I felt an inexplicable urge to cook.

I have had a lifelong aversion to handling raw meat (despite what I said at the time, it’s pretty much the only reason I decided to become a vegetarian for an unfortunate six-month-stint in 2007) and an even bigger aversion to messing up, so cooking has never come naturally to me. Besides, with a mom and older sister in the house who enjoyed doing it, why in the world would I go out of my way to join them?

I guess some kind of inner time bomb went off and decided that my body couldn’t handle an exclusively spaghetti-centric at-home diet any longer. So that night, I did it: I cooked, using only my heart and a mental photo album of watching my mom and sister cook for years for guidance.

Not only did I not burn down the building, the meal turned out great. In fact, my dinner companion that night — a particularly dashing menswear blogger who suffers from chronic digestive issues — said that he did not have his routine stomach ache the next morning. Is it possible that my cooking has the power to heal, one bite at a time? You tell me.

So, dear readers, I present to you…



• Go to the Polish supermarket down the street. Using thumb and forefinger to limit contact with any number of hazardous raw meat juices, microbes, etc., pick up one package of yellow Styrofoam-and-plastic-wrap-encased chicken breasts. Hastily throw into cart, emit sigh of relief.

• Back home, remove chicken breasts from packaging and grip self for contact with raw meat.

• Rinse chicken breasts in water to remove excess diseases. Using whatever dull kitchen knife is handy, trim away fat. Remembering what your mom once told you about meat cooking faster when it’s cut into pieces, cut breasts in half. Smile at your own cleverness.

• Place clumsily cut chicken “pieces” into that really bitchin’ yellow bowl you’ve been wanting to use since you made this post. Squirt some Wishbone Italian salad dressing onto chicken until it’s all covered. Oh, what the hell. You bought the small bottle, so just use the whole thing. Discard empty bottle in trash.

• Preheat oven to 350, like the recipe you glanced at online said to do. Wait, make that 400 to expedite the cooking process.

• Place chicken breasts onto aluminum-foil covered baking sheet, sprinkle sea salt and cracked pepper on top, and cook for 15 minutes. Flip over, sprinkle some more sea salt and cracked pepper on ’em, and cook for another 15.

• Remove chicken from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before digging in.

It smelled wonderful, looked good and tasted great. I cut up my chicken and put it in a salad, but placing it on “a bed of wild rice” (‘sup, Better Homes and Gardens?) would have been a solid choice, too.



March 6, 2010

This past Monday, I officially moved into my new place. I have three terrific roommates, a reliable Internet connection, and — best of all — MY VERY OWN ROOM WITH MY VERY OWN DOOR. No more of this railroad apartment business for me.

Two days ago, I was in our kitchen, looking for a pot to boil some water when I stumbled across a vintage goldenrod yellow Pyrex mixing bowl, much like this and presumably belonging to one of my fair roommates:

Nothing special, right? Well. Not if you grew up surrounded by the popular Butterfly pattern (below) and were so obsessed with it that you had to take it with you to college and beyond.

“Pyrex Butterfly Gold Cups, Set of 2,” MerryMae, $8.

I remembered reading this article on Etsy’s Storque blog a few months ago, too. I had had no idea that there was a huge, colorful, intricate, beyond-the-Butterfly-pattern Pyrex World out there, just waiting for me. It’s amazing to think that something so cute and colorful can also be sturdy, long-lasting and most amazingly, oven-safe.

I boiled my water and went on with my day, but I couldn’t get that yellow mixing bowl or that Storque article outta my head. Since I had some final unpacking and residual sinus infection sniffling / moping to do, I decided to spend my Friday night following this trail right down the rabbit hole and did some serious searching for vintage Pyrex on Etsy.

Some favorite finds…

THE SUNBURST! I am not that good in the kitchen, but just looking at this makes me want to whip up a five-layer Mexican dip one side, some guacamole dip on the other, grab a bag of Tostitos and go to PTA night. I swear.

“Sunburst sunny yellow pyrex cooking dish, for 2 dishes at once, 1960s,” Ebersidhesgirly, $20.

I have never taken sugar or cream with tea or coffee, but I might if I had these daintily patterned little sweeties.

“Vintage Pyrex Corning Snowflake Sugar Bowl and Creamer Set,” SuddenlyLucky, $12.

The pink Gooseberry pattern, which was difficult to find on Etsy…

“Vintage Pyrex Pink Gooseberry Small Casserole Dish 1 Quart,” plaidponyvintage, $20.

… but not as difficult to find as the almighty OLIVE BERRIES PATTERN! There were only three items; all of them were the same dish, and this is the one of the best quality, I think.

“Pyrex Berries Olives 1.5 quart Casserole,” vintageinteriors, $12.

But here’s my favorite. I loved it so much that I bought it, so sorry.

“Vintage Pyrex Blue Horizon Covered Casserole Dish,” twolittleowls, $12.

Out to enjoy this beautiful day in Greenpoint!