Can This Relationship Be Saved?

If you are following my extraordinarily infrequent posts, you know I am learning to cook… extraordinarily infrequently. And in Carol-Land, “learning to cook” means “cooking something in which no ingredient starts with the word ‘Stouffers.’ ”

My friend Kelly, in a moment of either sheer grandiosity, debilitating guilt, or fear of public embarrassment should she say ‘no’ (I know all the ex-boyfriend stories, and I’m not afraid to use them)… agreed to impart her culinary wisdom in doses my system could tolerate without having negative side effects.

Or so I thought.

My first step into the world of non-Stouffer’s cuisine was Potato and Leek Soup, chosen because I bought five pounds of potatoes on sale and realized I had just over four pounds more than any one human needed. Kelly was astonished I had four pounds of potatoes, as if no one who knows what they are doing would buy the five pound bag of potatoes! C’mon! They were on sale!

(Yes, I made the soup and took pictures of the whole sordid process. I’ll post about it once I find the cable that allows me to get the pictures out of the camera).

As part of her mentoring Kelly has been telling me I need to go to the farmer’s market. She proclaims, “Everything is more satisfying when it’s fresh and local!”, which for some reason sounds vaguely sexual to me. The fact that I have food and sex paired up in my head probably explains a lot about my current dress size, but moving on, keep walking, nothing to see here…

So today I go to the local farmer’s market. Toward closing time the Guys-Who-Sell-Sweet-Red-Peppers indicate they want to get rid of their inventory. I pull out my last four dollars and ask how many I can get for four bucks. One guy hands me a plastic bag and says, “As many as you can get in there.”

So I’m here to tell you, forty-three peppers are as many as you can get in there and still close the bag. I was quite proud of myself.

I took the peppers home and immediately called my mentor:

Carol: I need to freeze some peppers. After I slice them, what quantity should I bag them in?

Chef Kelly: Are they sweet bell peppers?

Carol: Uh, yeah, is there another kind of pepper?

I could have sworn I heard a big sigh on the phone, but it might have been my imagination.

Chef Kelly: What you need to do is to slice them and put the slices on a large cookie sheet so that none of them are touching each other, then freeze them on the cookie sheet, then transfer them to a plastic bag so they won’t stick together when you take them out.

Carol: But I don’t think I can do that. I have a lot of peppers.

Chef Kelly: How many peppers do you have?

Carol: Uh… about forty.

Then the unthinkable happened:


She yelled! What in the world?!? Is she watching too many Hell’s Kitchen reruns? I mean, really, Kelly was acting as if no one who knows what they are doing would go to a farmer’s market and buy forty-three peppers! C’mon! They were on sale!

So I ask you… is your mentor supposed to YELL at you?

Isn’t that dangerous? You know, like if you yell at a dog who accidentally poops on the carpet, and then the dog gets confused and is afraid to walk on carpet ever again?

What if I am afraid to walk into the farmer’s market ever again?

Thank goodness I didn’t tell her about the deal I found on okra.

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Filed under Cooking with Carol

5 responses to “Can This Relationship Be Saved?

  1. greg

    Do the intials CDC mean anything to you?

  2. greg

    Its an acronym for Carol Don’t Cook

  3. I’m so confused. “Sweet Red Peppers” are not (necessarily) “Sweet Bell Peppers”. How big was the frakkin’ plastic bag? It would have to be a medium kitchen trash bag to fit forty-three bell peppers into! I can just see you hauling around a trash bag of bell peppers slung over your shoulder like you were the PETA Santa. Keep in mind that worse case scenario is that fresh local veggies can also make great compost should you have more than you can use before they rot.

  4. Carol

    Tony, they are bell peppers. Most are red, some are green, and some are green in the process of turning red, which makes them an unappetizing spotted brown.

  5. After I hung up the phone, I thought… “Wait a minute… did she say ‘Farmer’s Market’?!!”

    Good for you!! RUFF RUFF RUFF!!

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