Daily Archives: February 29, 2012
I was watching Worst Cooks In America on Food Network and, man, did it take me back. They say that a successful businessman is the one who, when he sees a need, finds a way to fill that need. Well back in college the food on campus sucked and my “aha” moment came when I was standing in the commons area kitchen when two super-duper fine girls walked by and said, “See if you were back there cooking, we’d be in here eating with you instead of going to the cafe.”
Ten minutes later I was standing at the bus stop waiting to go to Kmart to buy some pots and pans. Every single decision a man makes is rooted in his desire to bait and catch a woman. Cars, jewelry and a fancy apartment work best, but when you’re a poor college student you have to get creative and you gotta have heart. I wasn’t gonna let a little thing like not knowing how to cook stop me.
It would’ve helped to have known that they sell cookware sets. I spent $70 buying individual pots, pans, forks, spatulas, plates, etc. Half of it broke on the way home when the bag ripped but I wasn’t deterred. I got back to the dorm and decided to make something simple, fried chicken. I figured that every Black person knows how to make fried chicken even if no one’s ever taught them before. Maybe I’d just touch the pan and the wisdom of my ancestors would come rushing into my mind and like some kind culinary savant I’d just know how to do it.
I was stuck at step one. I called the best cook I knew and left an urgent message on her voicemail. “Hey Ms Johnson, it’s Ordale. I’m making fried chicken for the first time and I know that I need to wash it first. What kind of soap do you use? Is Palmolive okay?” While I’m standing there scanning the back of the Palmolive bottle to see if it’s non-toxic, three girls walk by. “You gonna make enough for us?” one of them asked. I managed to work myself into a dinner date with two of them. This plan was working better than I thought.
After washing the chicken, I seasoned, floured and breaded it. I made some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and a can of Glory Greens. I even baked some Pillsbury Rolls. Yeah, I was going all out. Then came time to fry the chicken. I hated how some people’s chicken in my family always tasted burnt, so I was careful not to overcook it. And man, would that be the least of my concerns. I cooked the chicken legs for two minutes on each side. As soon as it had that golden brown “Popeyes-ish” color all around, I took it off and sat it on some paper towels. I kept thinking, “These girls are in for a treat tonight.”
So true, so true.
So anyway, just as I finished up the last batch of chicken the girls came back looking finer than they did before. I made us all a plate and we sat down to eat. They liked the macaroni and thought the rolls came out great. One of them didn’t really like collard greens but she said they still tasted good. “How long you been cooking, because you got skills” “Girl I been cooking my whole life.” Things were going great. Then one of them took a bite of the chicken.
They say you can judge a person by how they react when they’re upset. The girl who freaked out because the chicken bled when she bit into wasn’t the one for me. Running to the sink to rinse her mouth out and then trying to force herself to throw up in the trash can was just rude. No, I wasn’t “trying to fucking kill” you. And it just goes to show that you didn’t know everything either because you thought washing your mouth out with ginger ale would somehow kill salmonella. I looked it up later…it wont!
The second girl was a little bit cooler about it. I thought she might be the one. I tried to be smooth and said something along the lines of, “This meal represents my life. I can make the sides, but I need a woman to complement the meal and be the main course.” I knew it was corny as it was coming out of my mouth, but I was thinking on the fly and considering that I was facing possible manslaughter charges if the other girl really did die of salmonella poisoning, I think it was a good line. It didn’t work, at least not as I had hoped. She finished her macaroni and left. I never saw them again and I really hope that the chicken had nothing to do with that.