food for thought

Food for thought: Bon ‘appetempts’

I used to be kind of scared of cooking. The main reason I lived off bowls of vegetables last year was because I was really intimidated by cooking meat. The thought of unknowingly eating something that was undercooked scared me – nobody wants food poisoning.

I made sure to have my mom teach me how to cook meat this summer. I love cooking and want to venture out to try new recipes and flavors. I even made a cheat sheet for cooking meat to help me along the way. One recent afternoon, I had a silly faux pas.

I was using my broiler to cook a decadent turkey burger for myself. I was so excited for this lunch, it was going to be a turkey burger infused with cheese, topped with guacamole, a vegetable medley, BBQ sauce and jalapeños. I couldn’t wait to devour it. I checked my turkey burger after it should have been done – about 4 minutes on each side in the broiler. For some reason, the inside was still very white. When I cook turkey burgers at home with my mom, we know they’re finished when they’re dark on the inside. I let it sit for a bit longer, but it was still so white. I was convinced my broiler was broken, and I even tried sautéing it on the stove to finish it. I eventually just cut it completely in half because I was so frustrated. Then, when I poked the meat, I realized it was quite well done. It then dawned on me, I had accidentally purchased white meat instead of dark meat – no wonder it wasn’t getting dark.

Partially a little annoyed with myself and partially amused at my own stupidity, I cut the burger up into little pieces and finished topping it with all the ingredients. Although it was very well-done, BBQ sauce can make everything taste better. It was then I realized that it’s moments like these that make you a good cook – you can’t learn if you don’t cook.

I was stuck in such a rut with my cooking last year, and I ate next-to-no protein because I was too scared to attempt to cook meat. Sometimes, though, you need to fail to learn how to cook. There’ll be times you overcook meat, other times you go too heavy handed on the bell pepper flakes (which happened to me this summer) and times where you just cook something atrocious. But it happens, and when it does happen, just go out to eat or order pizza. Not every meal with be perfect, and you won’t learn how to make those good meals if you don’t have a few slips along the way. Bon appetempt!

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