“These are home eggs,” the woman says, cracking
one brown-shelled beauty into a steel bowl.
Its yolk–orange, batter-thick–breaks into white
flour, binds with liquid and protein into dough.
Most videos provide the viewer exact measurements–
many recipe authors measure by weight to the gram–
so that the result of their food is a foregone conclusion,
the kind of standardization one expects from the pros.
I know it’s cliché, but I’ve wasted so much time
during the quarantine anxious, unemployed, watching
cooking videos. Supplementing meals with junk food,
as a way to spend time, I’ve been cooking for joy.
Instead, I try to absorb methods and ingredients, cobbling
together some new way to live. You can flavor in many ways
a braising liquid, a chicken, a dough. You can roast, bake, fry
in infinite combinations, as long as you know some rules:
Prepare before you start to cook. Season and taste as you go.
Don’t crowd the pan. Use high heat only when necessary.
If only there were such quick, easy guidelines for living–
a few rules (not ensuring success) that actually made it easier.