December – The Official Month of Ungratefulness – Meditation #13

Kitchen appliances, I think they are called. They seem to be things that you collect over the years. Quite honestly, I don’t have that many. I do have my favourites. One is my food processor and the other is my crock pot. Admittedly, my food processor is of the tiny and not very versatile kind but the fact that it can grate enormous piles of cheese with no effort from me makes me very happy. I am of the cooking philosophy that adding tons of cheese to anything makes it taste better. I can still remember my delight at discovering that there was such a piece of equipment. I was absolutely awe struck and must admit that I continue to get a thrill every single time I grate cheese with a food processor.

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My crock pot was a different type of discovery. After being on off vegan and vegetarian for many years, meat came back into my life. I always laugh when people tell me they’ve gone vegan for ‘health reasons’. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten less healthy than when I was a vegan. I ate a lot of chips (French Fries to USA nice humans/Freedom Fries to USA wankers). I ate a lot of bread. I hate a lot of hummus. In hindsight, unless I was out for a curry with friends or someone managed to put together a vegetable stir fry, that’s all I ate.

When I became far more of a vegetarian, cheese became a major force in my life. Seriously, pile a nice cheddar, about half a pound of it, grated, on any bland vegetarian meal and it’s delicious. Before people start shouting at me, my meals were only bland because I wasn’t a bvery good cook. I didn’t have much interest in it really and since cheese made everything taste good anyway, I didn’t need great culinary skills. I did need a strong forearm though, for all that grating. Until I discovered food processors.

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Fuck. See how obsessed I am with cheese. I was supposed to have moved on to the crock pot and I’ve managed to go full circle back to cheese, which so far, doesn’t often find its way into the crock pot. Yes, the crock pot. After I started eating meat, I really became quite an excellent cook. I had been one of those very reluctant vegetarians. I only did it because I hated the way animals were treated in factory farms and I didn’t want to eat animals that had lived an awful life. I remember walking through grocery stores, past the pre roasted chicken and thinking that I could just buy a couple legs, sneak off into the loo, eat them and no one would be any the wiser. Unfortunately, I somehow got burdened with a moralistic impulse control at some stage in my life, which is pretty impressive, given I don’t believe in a deity that can see everything

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There came a time when it was easier to get meat from animals that had enjoyed very nice lives. Thank you very much! And so, my journey into eating meat and learning to cook with it began. I have become, not exactly accomplished, but certainly someone who can cook an delicious meal without even having to put half a pound of cheese on it.  It was during my exploration of cooking with meat that a friend from abroad asked me if I had a crock pot. I responded with a sort of ignorant horror. I’m not sure whether I was more horrified that I really didn’t have a fucking clue what to do with a crock pot, or that I imagined a crock pot was something in which you made icky, gooey, overcooked stuff that was served in cafeterias. I truly have no idea why I thought that, but I think I did.

My friend was horrified by my horror and immediately pronounced that I must have one. She felt so strongly about this that she packed one in her suitcase and brought it to me the next time she visited. I was suitably grateful as it is a fucking huge thing to put in your suitcase and somewhat pleased by the way it looked on my counter top. I didn’t have any idea what to do with it, so I experimented between recipes, ad libbing and testing my own ideas.  I fell in love. How can a person not love and adore something that you throw a bunch of shit into before bedtime, turn it on and when you wake up the whole house smells delicious. Not only that, but your main meal of the day is ready for you whenever you want to eat it.

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OMFG. I love that thing. One of my favourite things to make in it is spaghetti sauce. Some really nice ground beef, some Italian sausage, about 15 million cloves of garlic, mushrooms, onions and diced canned tomatoes. Season it up and when it’s ready, it’s soooo fucking ready. I’d wanted to make some last night but ‘someone’ forgot to remind me to take the meat out of the freezer. You see, I am well aware of my foibles and having a terrible memory is one of them. So, I often shift responsibility for remembering things to my partner, who has an equally poor memory. Usually the system works as one of us will come through. This time, it didn’t happen, but I can blame her. Relationships are great like that.

So, I thaw the meat overnight and put it all on at 6am this morning thinking we’ll have a wonderful sauce by dinner. Just before lunch time I come upstairs to check on it. The crock pot is fucking cold. What!!!!!!!!!!!!! I then begin to instantly grieve the loss of my crock pot, which must be broken. It wasn’t. I’d forgotten to plug it in. As I hadn’t asked my partner to remind me to do that, I couldn’t blame her. So, I shrugged, turned it to ‘high’ and left it to not slow cook.

This is when it gets really funny. At least to me. You see, when you have two people with shit memories and one of them does something like forgetting to plug in the crock pot, the other one, used to being blamed, falls automatically into the belief system that it might be their fault anyway, even though they hadn’t been asked to remind anyone. I discover, much to my amusement, that she had been fretting for the next hour trying to remember if she’d accidentally unplugged the crock pot while plugging in the charger for her e cigarette and wrangling with whether or not she would come clean if it occurred to her that was the case.

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I have no idea whether or not this memory issue is our age or simply because we smoked excessive amounts of hash when we were younger. It’s probably a bit of both. Now, I bet you expect me to announce that I’m ungrateful for my memory loss. Fuck you. I’m not going to be that predictable. No! I’m ungrateful for having too many fucking electric kitchen appliances. You see…the reason I didn’t plug in my crock pot was because my electric tin opener has the same plug on it and was plugged in the same socket, where I normally plug in the crock pot. Now, granted, I plugged it in to open the tins of diced tomatoes I used, but fuck it. If I had used a manual can opener, this wouldn’t have happened. Fucking kitchen appliances. Fuck them all! ps. DO NOT google ‘fucking kitchen appliances’ images. Just don’t.

 

 

 

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