Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

I Can Cook, Sort Of

I wanted to cook breakfast this morning, but our kitchen was inhospitable. Due to various infirmities on both mine and the Palinode's parts, the kitchen had fallen into a truly deplorable state, so I gave in and decided to do the one thing I truly cannot stand: wash dishes.

dishes in sink

I have worked copious amounts of blood out of carpet, searched through another person's poop to retrieve pieces of plastic fork, and picked up rotting bats, all of which are distasteful but were necessary at the time. Washing dishes, though, is more awful than any of those things. I hate not being able to see below the bubbles, and there are those bits of food that brush by my fingers, and then there is, the worst part of all, the wrinkling of the ends of my fingers. It is one of my most detestable sensations. If my fingertips touch each other or rub against anything, even the towel that dries them, I taste blood in my mouth, salty and metallic blood.

I did two loads of dishes, and as you see, it nearly killed me.

wrinkly fingers

But there was good reason to put myself through such discomfort beyond my desire to find out what the pattern on our countertop was. I was craving perogies and eggs for breakfast, and I needed to make space to cook.

I know! Cooking! Me! It's a crazy, spontaneous thing I do now and again. I'll suddenly get it into my non-domestic head to prepare food for the Palinode and I, and then I'll find myself cutting up onions. My hatred for cooking is second only to my hatred for washing dishes, but that's how I roll when the mood for home cooking hits.

My limited cooking skills span three dishes: fried eggs, baked potatoes, and adding a good spice mixture to pre-made potato and cheese perogies. If you included all the stuff I made in home economics class in 1985, that list would be longer, but you have to take into account that there were three other people in my cooking group, and they mostly didn't let me touch the ingredients after we failed our first two assignments.

Back to the perogies: first, I chop up and fry a medium onion in butter.

frying onions

Then, I transfer the fried onions to a plate, add extra butter to the pan, and mix chili powder, lemon dill seasoning, and hot paprika into the melted butter. Don't be shy with the spices.

frying spices

Once the spices are all mixed in to make that ugly slurry you see above, I add the perogies. They must be added to the pan one at a time top-side down. To do otherwise would make my head rotate 360° and explode brain matter all over the promise of a good meal. I add the perogies one at a time, upside down, and count each one out as I do so. I am freakishly careful to have an even number of perogies to split with the Palinode. No, I have not been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

I do have a reason for putting them upside down, though. It makes sure that they all get some of the buttery spicy goodness on their top sides before I first fry them on their bottom sides.

Yes, they must first be fried on their bottom sides or that whole head rotation/explosion issue comes up again. It can get ugly. Can you tell that I always cook alone? I don't even like it if someone else looks at the food I am preparing. I have been known to say on more than one occasion Would you STOP looking at the food. If you don't quit, you'll have to leave. I fear judgement of my fine perishables.

frying perogies

And here they are in their last stage of cooking, having been counted, placed upside down, flipped, fried, flipped, and fried. Then, I toss them with the onions in the pan. Perfection!

frying perogies 2

Paired with eggs, they make Sunday morning complete, especially if I have been left to cook in solitude. The whole thing goes over far better when there's no grey matter mucking up the food.

perogies on a plate

Old Spice Commercial Featuring Bruce Campbell