Unfortunately there are some side effects of watching food preparation channels that I'm starting to see in my day-to-day life.
For instance, my pantry full of pasta now looks pathetic and boring.
Also, regular workaday food isn't nearly exciting enough. Everything must include vegetables and sauces and dirtying every bowl in the kitchen.
And finally, I'm starting to think I can actually cook.
This is what worries me most.
Partly this is because I'm making decent pie crusts and biscuits for the first time in my life. I have, thus far in my twenty-something years, never pulled off a successful pie crust or an edible biscuit. They're always rinse-and-reuse-able, likely because I beat them to death and then struggle to get them into their baking tins. But lately... I can make pie. I can make yummy biscuits. It's like I can't fail. I'm blaming it almost entirely upon my beautiful marble rolling pin that showed up at Christmastime, courtesy of Boyfriend of Amazingness.**2
Partly this is also through a series of happy accidents, like the one where I learned to properly slice an onion without bursting into chemically-induced tears. And the one where I found out we only had half a jar of pasta sauce left, so I stirred in half a jar of stewed tomatoes to stretch the sauce over the full pound of pasta I had cooked and felt so clever about my "quick thinking" that I had to call my mom.
Partly this is because of the food preparation networks, because one cannot watch hour after hour of mire poix-ing and roux-ing and general cookery without absorbing some of it.
No matter what's at fault, it's happening. I'm becoming an adequate cook.
And as I become adequate, my fear is coming to light:
That I will become A Food Snob.
It started innocently enough: A co-worker who doesn't cook bought a bag of insta-cookie-mix. Just add egg and oil, and Ta Da! Instantly (after baking), you have cookies.
Snobbism #1: I failed to see how practically ready-to-bake cookies fall into the "Cooking" category, and didn't understand when she approached me with the mix that she was insisting that I cook them for her.
Snobbism #2: When first I accepted the "challenge," I explained that I would have to put frosting on them if they were going to be edible at all. I just knew they were going to be gross.**3
Snobbism #3: After baking them, I decided that I couldn't put frosting on them, because that might have made them taste better than they really were and they needed to succeed or fail entirely upon their own merit.
Snobbism #4: After baking them, I felt like I had cheated on my kitchen so I had to whip up a batch of cookies from scratch to reset the cooking juju. I didn't want to offend the Powers That Bake, for fear that they take my pie crust and biscuit skills away again.
Snobbism #5: Upon bringing the insta-cookies into the office, I put them into an unlabeled container so that no one would know that I baked them.
It's all happening so fast. Tomorrow I probably won't even be able to bring in leftovers for lunch, but will instead need to bring in a hot plate and a chicken quarter and cook it right there at my desk with roasted veggies and rice or some such nonsense.
Even I won't be able to stand me.
**1 Spazoid (spaz-oid) - One who is a spaz, and is succeptible to unanticipate-able bouts of jubilation, excitement and joie-de-vivre simply because it is spring and one is alive.
**2 And here you thought he just locked in that title all willy-nilly. Pshaw and fiddlesticks - he earned that title right and proper by being my boyfriend, and by being amazing.
**3 Because they're root-beer flavored cookies from a box. Ew. EwEwEw.