Confession: I should never be left alone in a kitchen, especially when I'm watching my money. The repercussions can be severe. And legendary.
Even though I have a few basic things I know how to make well (grilled cheese, pasta, eggs) I'm fully aware that I'm a bad cook. Years of watching Food Network have had no effect on me. I still prefer to experiment.
When I was a kid, I once had a craving for strawberry flavored milk. We didn't have the mix in the house, so I just put cherry Kool Aid in milk. It looked like it, but sure didn't taste like it.
You'd think that would be the end of my experimental phase. But, no.
Sometimes, if I don't have the right equipment, I will improvise. And last night, I proved myself wrong. So wrong that I feel the need to put this out there as a warning to others: unless you are a trained chef, just follow the fucking cookbook, no matter what.
Because money is tight lately, I opened the cupboard to find several cans of tuna. I don't mind tuna fish. But Larry does. In fact, he hates it.
In the back of my head, I must have been waiting until the night he'd be away to do this.
Tuna salad, by nature, is not very hard to make. Open can, drain, mash, add mayo, salt, pepper, spread on toast, eat. But last night, I also had a craving for the tuna salad that this one bagel shop in Astoria makes. I dont' know how the hell they do it. I love the taste, the consistency, the secret ingredients that combine to make it mouth-watering. I've googled it and come up short. There is a secret to this that I will never know. And last night, I didn't get any closer.
I figured that maybe I needed to chop the tuna up finely, but my chopping skills are embarrassing: food tends to fly everywhere, despite my best efforts.
We also don't own a food processor. But we own a blender.
And this is where it gets downright disgusting. I opened the can, and drained it. I put it in the blender with a full piece of celery. I pressed the button. The motor spun, but ingredients did not. They just kind of sat there, defiant.
Because tuna is not a liquid, it will not be going anywhere in it's current state, so I added some water, just enough to get this moving. I figured that it was in water in the can, so what's the big deal? I turned on the motor and used the celery stalk to shove the ingredients closer to the blade. The motor groaned and slowed.
I pulled out the celery stalk out. The end was shredded and mangled, so I cut it crudely on a plate. I threw the pieces back in and tried again, this time adding mayo. After about 20 minutes of effort, things started moving. Soon, I had a rough, almost liquified tuna salad. Sure it was practically runny, but I actually did it. Yes, I ate it. It tasted fine, and exactly as it would taste had I just mixed the whole fucking thing in a bowl.
After washing out the blender, I left it in the dishrack to dry. When I came back later, I smelled it. It reeked of fish. Somehow the process had amplified the fish smell to that of Fulton Fish Market proportions. I turned on the hot water and soaked it all night long. The next morning, I rinsed it out and hid it in the dishwasher.
If it still smells when I get back home, I'm going to throw it out and blame it on the cat.
For Christmas, I would like cooking lessons.