Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Down, Zero To Go

The other day, I was perusing my favourite website, The Frisky, and I came across an article titled "The Kiss of Death: 15 Signs Your Relationship Is Doomed". Curious, I clicked on the link. By the end of the article, I was running through all of my past relationships, trying to see if any of these signs were present. I know the writer was only being half-serious, but I think she was really on to something! At least half of what is on the list was responsible for the demise of some of my relationships. I won't say which ones exactly, but on more than one occasion, I have held myself hostage in the shower more than a few times, not wanting to come out to see what is going on outside the curtain!

I forwarded the article to my crush du mois, Simple Jack. Shortly, he emailed me with his response to the article. It seemed that we have a very similar outlook in life... until I got to #3. "I don't cook, technically, unless it means that I am going to grill or heat something up in the microwave." Gasp! The Dealbreaker Alarm in my head went off and I had to do some major deep breathing to get my pulse down from Incredible Hulk-rapidity to normal! How could someone I thought I was so compatible with not know how to cook?! So I found myself on a precipice: Either forget about crushing on Simple Jack or compromise. I figured that since he's a nice guy, I would help him learn how to cook.

I didn't want to overwhelm the poor guy, so I thought our first lesson could be guacamole. It was something easy and did not require any heat or flame. Truth was, I was totally craving some homemade guac that day! I asked him to bring over some avocados and fresh cilantro. I thought, He must at least know how to do that! I asked him, just to double-check, and nope, SJ has never picked out avocados before! Hmm, maybe this cooking lesson is going to be harder than I thought. But, I forged ahead. I told him to look for ones that are soft, but not mushy. Similar in feel to a tomato or the fleshy part of his palm.

After what seemed like forever, though it really was just 30 minutes, Simple Jack finally got to my place. Class is in session! I proceeded to show him how to open up and scoop out the avocados ("Whack that seed with the knife like there's no tomorrow then twist!"), peel and dice an onion ("Don't cut the slices all the way through. That way, it's easier to cut cross-wise when dicing."), chop a tomato ("Make sure you have a sharp knife!"), mince cilantro ("Keep the point of the knife to the chopping board, and just make fast rocking motions with the knife back and forth."), chop a jalapeno ("Cut them into slices, then do the same thing you did with the cilantro. Just don't touch your eyes after!"), cut and juice a lime ("Roll it a couple of times on the counter so you get a lot of juice."), and season with salt & pepper ("Don't pour salt directly from the container because you don't have control over the amount that comes out."). 

When Simple Jack said he doesn't cook, he really wasn't lying! I have never seen anyone hold a knife so awkwardly before! I guess I must have looked the same when I held that big M6 at the shooting range. However, I was impressed at how SJ was able to take instruction well and how easily he replicated any technique that I showed him. There was no blood loss and no fingers were chopped off. Our first lesson was a success and we were rewarded by yummy guacamole. And the best part? He is up for more cooking lessons, even ones that involve the stove!

Going back to the article that started this all, knowing how to cook is definitely an important quality in anyone that I would go out with. Food is something that I am passionate about and I want to be with someone who can share that with me. Now, whether Simple Jack and I develop into anything, who knows, but at least he's making an effort to learn to cook. In the meantime, here's to plenty of homemade guacamole in my future!


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