Tuesday, September 7, 2010

tonight i hate cooking

sometimes the stars are misaligned and things just don't go well. or sometimes you're just so freakin' hungry and weak from the hunger that cooking is the most daunting task and once you lose your focus, everything goes reeling out of control.

i'm sitting here trying to eat this bowl of peanut butter sesame noodles with carrots, cucumbers, and eggs but the cooking experience was just so irritating that i've lost my appetite.

after work i went for a run and during the entire run all i could think about was food and how hungry i was because i really didn't have much to eat today (coffee, soup, granola bar). at around 96th street i decided that i was done and was set on making these noodles, so i headed back to 62nd and forced myself to do some long-procrastinated errands before i stopped by whole foods for the few ingredients i needed to make dinner.

when i got to the columbus circle whole foods, it was -- as always -- swarming with people and i began to feel weaker and weaker as the run and the low caloric intake caught up with me. i circled around and around looking for cucumbers until i finally gave up and asked. i was pointed in the right direction but they were buried under a whole bunch of eggplants and when i finally got to them (having first knocked over three or four eggplants and bumped into people with my gym bag, bags from the pharmacy, and dry cleaning) they were sad and wrinkled and old. i finally found the best of the worst and then went in search of bean sprouts but for the life of me could not find them. i finally gave up my search even though i had a deep hankering for them and proceeded to get a bottle of sparkling water, scallions, and eggs. then i stood in line for 20 minutes just to buy these 4 damn ingredients. i was already feeling annoyed.

when i got home, the third floor walk up seemed to be equal to everest and when i finally got inside i practically collapsed. at this point i really should have just eaten the leftover pizza in the fridge (trust me, i don't always cook) but i was on this weird psycho mission to cook dinner. when i finally set some water to boil i got started but then my phone kept on ringing and dropping calls and making beeps and clicks at me -- sometimes i feel too connected to the world and hate that my phone has to remind me every time i have a call, text message, BBM, instant message, Facebook message, etc. i also hate that i don't know how to ignore it and i allow it to drive me batty.

as i progressed in my cooking, i just got more and more irritated as my foot started to itch and i couldn't unitch it and then i remembered that i don't have a vegetable peeler (how have i survived without one for so long??). i couldn't julienne fine enough and i kept dropping things and then i scalded the eggs. the peanut butter wouldn't thin and my foot kept on itching. i mean, it couldn't be THIS DIFFICULT when this is supposed to be a fast and easy meal!!!! by the time i finally finished cooking i hated my life and food and everything and that's when i started writing this. but then my hunger took over my hate and i scarfed it down and while the veggies are a bit on the large side, it's not bad.

well, that's that and i'm feeling better now and if the starts were aligned and my foot wasn't so damn itchy, this is how you would do it:

chinese style noodles (by this i mean the thick, "homemade" style kind)
organic, pure crunchy peanut butter (no added sugar)
bean sprouts
1 clove of garlic
rice vinegar
soy sauce
sesame oil

1) boil water for noodles. cook noodles according to package. when noodles are cooked, drain and toss with a generous amount of sesame oil.
2) peel and julienne carrots and cucumbers. be sure to de-seed the cucumbers before julienning (i like to cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon). set aside.
3) use some of the boiling water to thin the peanut butter. stir the peanut butter until it reaches a thin, creamy consistency.
4) mince garlic. add to peanut butter.
5) heat a medium skillet and bring the heat to low. crack the eggs, beat, and pour onto the skillet, spreading it out thin and evenly on the skillet. pop any bubbles that form and let the egg run through the holes to create a fluffy egg pancake. remove from heat and cut into strips.
6) put the noodles into a large bowl and add peanut butter sauce. add a few capfuls of rice vinegar (according to taste) and a few dashes of soy sauce. toss the noodles.
7) top the noodles with the carrots, cucumbers, and eggs.
8) chop up the scallion and add to the noodles.
9) serve with a dollop of sriracha on the side, according to preference.

if you don't drop anything and scald the eggs and fail in every single way possible, this should take no more than 20 minutes to do. fast and easy and healthy -- especially if you use peanut butter with no added sugar. i like the bits of peanut in the crunchy peanut butter but if you don't like that texture, using creamy peanut butter would serve better. in the past i've also included slices of golden mushroom and boiled chicken but that's under ambitious circumstances and clearly, today, just making dinner was an ambitious goal in and of itself. yeesh.

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