I’ve been doing this whole “on your own” cooking thing for a week, and I’d like to think I’m getting better.
Because of laziness and lack of time, I’ve been eating frozen meals and rice for dinner. As delicious as that is, it is not exactly the best choice of meals. It was time to venture out of the box — no pun intended — and get a little fancy in the kitchen.
Iturned to a site that many college kids have become addicted to for my next adventure: Pinterest, a website where people find things that are appealing to them. They can either “like” or “repin” them. You can make boards of things you like, which can include arts and crafts, clothes, books, quirky products and, my selection of the day, food.
I’m not an avid user of Pinterest, but I did find a few recipes that I repinned and never got around to actually making. I chose to make that my quest of the day. I settled on making a buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich because the picture looked absolutely amazing — and we all know it will always turn out just like the picture.
Seeing as I didn’t have the ingredients to make this delicious-looking creation, I had to make a trip to Wal-Mart. I headed there with a grocery list in-hand ready to complete the mission.
First stop was vegetables, which included carrots, celery and an onion. After trying to determine if it really mattered which color onion I chose, I gave up and just grabbed a red one. I had to get chicken next, which was a little difficult for me.
When I’m home I’m never in charge of getting the meat, so I have no clue what meat is good, how much meat should cost and if it is even possible to buy shredded chicken or if I had to shred it myself.
After talking to my mom on the phone for five minutes about meat criteria, I settled on just buying a can of chicken. Blue cheese was the next ingredient and my frustration started to grow, as I couldn’t find it. I decided that my sandwich would just have to go sans blue cheese.
I get home and am now ready to tackle this project. I didn’t know how to shred chicken so I just pulled it apart and put it in the bowl. Whether that’s actually the right way to do it is beyond me. Then I needed to put a tablespoon of grated carrots in.
That was another problem. I did not have a grater, nor did I have whole carrots to grate. I had bought a bag of shredded carrots because I hadn’t read the ingredients closely enough before picking them up at the store.
Instead of going back to the store, I took the shredded ones and chopped them up into little pieces and decided that would have to do.
Then came the next problem: onions. I never actually thought onions made you cry; I always thought of it as a myth. As I was teaching myself to chop onions with the knowledge I have from watching clips of Rachel Ray, my eyes started welling up. Not just welling up, but burning.
Clearly, I couldn’t wipe my tears because I had onion juice all over my hands. I yelled about how I couldn’t see and my roommate came over and assisted me.
After she wiped my eyes with a paper towel, I threw the carrots, onions, chopped celery and mayonnaise in a bowl and stirred it up.
The only way I’ve ever made grilled cheese was on a George Foreman grill.
Although we had one, I had no intention of lugging it out and cleaning it when I was done. So I buttered some bread and placed it on a frying pan. I put a slice of cheese and the chicken on the non-buttered side and topped it with the other slice of bread.
After turning the stove on and hearing it sizzle for a minute, I thought it was a good idea to flip the sandwich. I was wrong. As soon as I flipped it, some of my sandwich came out and onto the frying pan. I carefully picked up the fallen pieces from the hot pan, put them back in the sandwich and continued to watch the grilling take place.
Though it didn’t look exactly like the picture, it still looked and tasted delicious and boosted my confidence in the kitchen.
Mesha Baylis-Blalock is a senior journalism student at Ohio University.
Send her your grilled-cheese tips