My wife hates to cook. Like anyone with a series of bad experiences pertaining to some activity, classical conditioning took its toll and she wants little to do with ovens, range tops, or heat-transfer chemical reactions.
I have had a share of good experiences in cooking, and since I don’t abhor it, I do most of the cooking in our home. There are, however, a few things I had to learn in order to appease the SO at mealtimes. Her favorite eggs are over easy, or over medium, depending on who’s defining it. She likes them flipped once, eggs runny, whites fully cooked.
After say, fifty failed attempts, it hit me. When you think the egg is done, you’ve cooked it too long. I’m a stickler for food safety, so I like when it’s obvious that there is nothing left alive on my plate. Since I lack the title of “super taster” I don’t really notice an aesthetic change in flavor when my food is cooked hard. But eggs, man, they kicked my butt for a long time. It was scrambled or runny. There was no middle ground. When I realized that I had to preemptively remove the egg from heat, I realized my ability to consistently cook eggs the way my love likes them.
But it’s not just eggs that require such wisdom–I speak of the liquid muse, the social oil, the vino, the booze. You see, I learned last night that when you are drinking steadily, even if you have food and keep to similar kinds of alcohol, it takes a few minutes for the alcohol to hit your blood stream after you drink it.
Allow me a brief aside: I grew up Mormon, completely against any kind of alcohol, except the alcohol in NyQuil which is, for some reason, not against the rules. Also, my father was an alcoholic during my childhood (coming up on fifteen years sober; high five to him!) and I had a pretty intense fear of alcohol for a long time. My mother still scolds me for enjoying the occasional glass of wine with dinner. She scolded my dad for having a small glass of champagne at my wedding (he stopped after the one, if you were wondering). My fear of becoming an alcoholic has greatly subsided, but because of that hesitancy, I’ve never been drunk.
So last night, in my attempt to ride the wave of pleasant inebriation, I stopped drinking when I thought I had hit the peak of good times, which I had never reached before. Twenty minutes later, I was so dizzy and nauseous that I knew, and dreaded, that I would be sick. Twenty minutes after that, I threw up in my friend’s garden. Again, this is a first for me.
Hopefully, with a bit of luck and practice, I can learn to drink once in awhile like I cook eggs. I can know when I’m almost ready to come off the griddle perfectly and not end up scrambled and overdone.