People periodically ask me if I can cook and what do I like to cook. I tell them that things are pre and post MS for me now. For example, I could cook very well pre MS, and I received many appreciative accolades when I did cook. I explain that I began from a young age to prepare meals using the stove and oven. I was not merely assembling bologna sandwiches on the counter. From the age of thirteen, I was cooking for my mom so that when she got home from work, she could simply sit and scarf.
Since we did not have cable, I vigilantly viewed many of the cooking shows on public broadcasting television. I carefully watched these shows drinking in every drop of education that they served. I learned the difference between making onions translucent and sautéing them. I was taught how to sear, stir-fry and even when to bake or broil. These instructors shared to steam and not boil your veggies as you should be able to eat them with a fork and not drink them through a straw.
I learned so much about cooking as a young boy that I became pretty good at it, so cooking became second nature to me. It was as easy as tying one’s shoes. I cooked not only for my mom and sometimes friends but also as other situations would arise. I was extremely good at both cooking and baking doing whatever the case demanded.
At this young age, I was so creative with my provision preparation that others were amazed that a middle schooler cooked it. I made magical meals like an open-faced beef patty and broccoli sandwich that was topped with provolone cheese. I knew to steam the broccoli so that it was hot but not mushy and how to superbly season with salt. My high school teacher got married in my freshman year. As a fourteen-year-old boy I gave her a gift basket in celebration of her wedding. This gift had a loaf of my homemade of zucchini bread, homemade chicken noodle soup and a bottle of sparkling wine.
My MS and laziness have eliminated the idea of actual cooking from my brain‘s post medical condition. I am lazy because I am one person and do not want to deal with the hassle of cooking or cleanup for just me. My multiple sclerosis put me in my charming chariot making stovetop or oven use literally as well as figuratively out of reach.
“So what pray tell do you eat?” was their query. I explained that it depends on the moment and how I am feeling, meaning how much energy do I have. Let me give a few examples of some of my current go-to meals. Keep in mind that even though I mostly eat frozen meals, I will skip all TV dinners, frozen burritos, and cold breakfast cereals as well. I have stepped up my game from the days of eating poorly since I had no money to now that I am in a much better place mentally and financially.
Go to meal number one: I put about one cup of frozen precooked diced chicken into a bowl and microwave for one minute. Next, from the refrigerator, I get my oil and vinegar salad dressing of choice and parmesan cheese. I then open drain and dump in a bowl one can of sweetcorn and add chicken. At that point, I add the amount of salad dressing that I prefer and stir then add the cheese. Lastly, I get a starch like a slice of bread, pretzels or crackers and serve with a side of seltzer water.
Meal number two: a package of frozen salmon fillets that I put on a plate, cover with wax paper and microwave for four minutes and thirty seconds. After the filets are done cooking I set them on the table to let them cool. Next, I cook dried pasta in the microwave twelve minutes total. Then I cut the fish into bite-size pieces. Serve the pasta with salmon mix everything with salad dressing and a side of seltzer water.
Meal number three: first I cook in the microwave boil in bag rice and set it on the counter to rest. I place six precooked frozen meatballs in a bowl, and I cook them for sixty seconds. I have always been a bread snob and have always bought great bread that can handle a meatball sandwich. Then I season the rice typically with oil and vinegar dressing and serve it all with a side of seltzer water.
Thanks to WOSU television my education was extensive and varied. I saw these Italian, Mexican, Japanese and even southern chiefs cook foods from all over the world. My mom, of course, fed me well through my childhood as I always had three meals every day of my childhood. However, there were many times when she was still at work and would not come home just to make me a snack. That was abuse if you ask me. I ate great goodies during those times because I had the needed skills to cook and the required appetite to eat.
If all else fails, there is cold cereal.