Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cooking For Aliens 101

Since I am back to being unemployed and am still staying with my parents with not much chance of getting out, I offered to start making dinner for the household. The thing about this, my mom (Have I mentioned she's a very "Type A" person?) is always sarcastically asking if I made dinner since I was home all day, or complaining that she has to come home from work and make dinner. So over the weekend I said I'd be glad to start making dinner. At the time we were with my aunt and uncle so my mom acted all bright and cheery and enthusiastic. When I reminded her later, she was kinda luke warm about it. I thin she'd rather just be in charge of things. But I decided to try cooking anyway.
I don't eat meat so I wanted to find recipe ideas that were vegetarian but that my parents would also like. So I turned to the spot where everyone turns to when they want ideas... Pinterest! I also found a sight called SayMmm, where you can collect recipes from other websites, and then pull them up while planning a weekly or monthly menu. I perused Pinterest, found some ideas, and saved them on SayMmm. I found lots of great recipes, but my choices for now are sort of limited, because the oven is not working and nobody seems to be in a big hurry to get it fixed. 
Here's what I decided to make. My mom and I are big pasta enthusiasts, being Italian and all. My dad, being not Italian, has at least grown used to pasta from living with my mom for a million years. So I picked a recipe for "Butterfly Noodles" from the blog Mostly Food And Crafts.
If you look at the blog above, you'll see how lovely and organized and in order the blogger made her Butterfly Noodles. Being an alien, I kinda did it a little differently. 
First, since I don't eat meat, I left out the beef bouillon cube thing. 
Second, I read the part where the blogger warns you to be careful and not scorch the butter. One reason that I have never really tried cooking much is because I am afraid of starting a fire! It is actually pretty easy to start butter on fire! When I was little, a small fire actually started on our stove, because my dad was cooking something and there was some leftover oil on the burner from making popcorn the night before. (I don't know, maybe they were making Jiffy Pop or something?) So, although the blogger with the recipe melts the butter in a frying pan, then stirs in the spices, then stirs in the tomatoes, then stirs in the heavy cream, I decided it might be safer to just throw all of it in at the same time instead. I also thought it would be safer to use a pot instead of a frying pan. When my sauce didn't start looking like the picture in the blog, I figured it was just because I left out the bouillon! 
Next, I hadn't bought any pasta because we had a box of farfalle (bowtie pasta) in the cabinet. But when I opened it, I saw that it was really just about a third of a box of farfalle. I didn't think that would be enough for three people. So I threw in half a bag of ditallini (small little cylinder noodles) also. 
Then I realized, as the pasta cooked and expanded, that I might not have enough sauce for all those noodles. So I added another can of tomatoes, and more cream, to the sauce. 
Finally I combined them all in what turned out to be a giant bowl. 

Then I thought, maybe my parents wouldn't want to just gobble down a bowl of pasta, the way I do. They might want to put a little on a plate, with something on the side. I thought of making muffins, but realized we had no oven. So I walked up to Jewel and got a bag of salad and some baby carrots, chopped up the carrots and put them in the salad, added some chopped up green peppers I randomly found in the fridge, and, wallah! A delicious salad!

I put all this food in the fridge, cleaned up, and took a short nap! 

My mom and I ate the pasta for dinner (although nobody ate the salad for some reason.) My dad ate leftover pizza instead. At least, my mom thought it was pretty good, and so did I!
I asked if I should start making dinner every night. My mom replied, "I'm hoping you find a job instead."
Uh... I didn't mean I was planning to make cooking dinner my only occupation forever and ever, but, okay!
In the end I decided I will try cooking something at least once a week. When I get a place of my own, I'm going to have to cook! I've lived away from my parents many times before, but I've almost always lived with somebody... roommates, friends, house parents, random homeless people who clambered in through the window... and they always cooked, so I never really got into it. But this time I plan to live alone, so I'll need to know how to cook some good stuff!
Any ideas for easy, vegetarian recipes? Let me know! 

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