You know those people who constantly post pictures on Facebook or Pinterest or any of the other fiendish social media outlets? You know, the pictures of someone’s dinner, or appetizer, or caramel pecan latte with the pretty foamy swirls. You know. Those a-holes. Whether it’s chicken cordon bleu or gluten-free cupcakes, people are posting their breakfast, lunch, and dinner on any platform that will allow. As if the whole of the Internet were interested in your dietary habits. I used to loathe those people. I’d think, who gives a shit about what you had for dinner? Or Congratulations on your fucking grilled cheese, d-bag. I used to think this. And then I’d go back to watching cat videos. But now, dear friends, I’ve become one of them. I am guilty of posting my dinner on Instagram. I know. I know. Before you judge, let me explain myself.
This phenomenon could have something to do with the following:
1) For Christmas this year, I received an iPod touch. The first mp3/internet ready device I’ve ever owned. I don’t have a smart phone, but the iPod touch is basically an iPhone without the phone. It has apps. It has mobile Facebook. It has Instagram. It is flat and smooth and sleek as hell. It flashes bright colors. I am mesmerized and ear-budded and I can’t help it.
2) I recently became obsessed with cooking. Over Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was lucky enough to get to hang out with my best friend who happens to be a sous chef at a very fancy farm-to-table restaurant. She’s a rockstar in the kitchen and she taught me a few things while we visited that could have spawned my culinary compulsion. From her, I learned words I’ve never heard of like “Mirepoix” and “Rue.” And I kind of want to brag about it.
3) I’m an oldest child.
4) I am approaching the age where a person should know how to cook more than scrambled eggs and english muffin pizzas.
4) Last month, I discovered Chef John, a master of food blogs (aptly named Food Wishes), whose how-to-cook videos are simple enough for even me to understand. He’s also pretty funny, and when you’re cooking or facing fear head-on, it’s important to have a sense of humor. Hides the nervous laughing. And he teaches dishes that taste like they were made by someone who knew what they were doing. He makes you look good.
5) I made my food. I may have jacked the recipe from the Internet and followed a video in 30-second increments in order to make my food without inadvertently killing someone or setting my kitchen on fire, but I made it. I didn’t go to a restaurant. I didn’t just buy something. I conjured up magic and spices and ingredients and added a dash of sweat, soul, and sheer willpower. There is a difference between the Cook and guys like this.
6) I am not a professional chef so I can act like an Act of God occurred in the midst of my cooking experience and that’s how to make chicken piccata, you know, not from actually having knowledge, experience, and expertise, or anything. I am aware that every picture I take of food is a celebration of following directions. I’m still proud of it.
7) To keep it fun, you can drink while you cook! This helps take the edge off. And it keeps you from giving up or being overly critical of the end product. To get inspired to cook, watch My Drunk Kitchen, which could possibly be the greatest cooking show in the history of mankind.
8) When you’re drunk, you’re inclined to post evidence of how much fun you’re having. And when you’re drunk, what you make will automatically look amazing and taste delicious.
9) It’s a lesson in expectations.
10) And trying new things.
11) And not being like these guys. Dear god.