XCVI – A Recipe for Frustration

I’ve made it apparent that I love to bake things (like a blueberry-streusel bread recently that was delicious), and I search the Internet, as well as apps like “Tasty” to find different recipes to try out. It’s fine and all, but there are a couple of things about doing this that really irritate the crap out of me.

One of the first things that annoys me is the actual search. As an example, you go onto Google, and search for a recipe, such as “baked donuts using cake mix”. I did that search recently, since you still can’t find yeast anywhere, and I really don’t want to waste the oil to fry them. Anyway, the results are displayed, and most of the recipes are exactly what I wasn’t looking for: donuts requiring yeast, and fried. Oh, there were a few that I looked at, and I tried one that I found using cake flour. Never again. That recipe turned out HORRIBLE! I ate like one donut and threw all the rest away. Those had to be some of the grossest donuts I’ve ever tried🤮. It was definitely 0/10, never recommend.

chicken and donuts
A chicken sandwich with a donut bun? How are such atrocities even contemplated? That just looks disgusting and unappetizing! 🤮

Okay, you find a decent recipe, within your parameters. Then there’s the problem of the ingredients. I was looking for a chicken parmesan recipe (and on another occasion, a shrimp scampi recipe), and nearly every one I found called for red pepper flakes and maybe a cup of dry white wine (I found a simple one that required neither, and that’s the one I made. There were some leftovers, but those didn’t last. It was rather tasty). The bitch that I have is that I don’t care for red pepper flakes—there’s this thing about spicy food called acid reflux that just don’t like me very much—and I’m not going to buy a 750 mL bottle of white wine, just to use one cup out of it. Granted, it’s one-third of that bottle, but the rest would get left unused. I’m pretty sure most of you are out there screaming at me, like just drink the rest of it! Well, I’m not going to go into that right now, but suffice it to say it would stay in the fridge unused.

wine and pepper
White wine and red pepper flakes—two ingredients normally needed for shrimp scampi

You might also find a recipe that looks interesting. But then you look at the ingredients. “It’s a simple recipe,” it reads. “It only takes 6 hours of prep time, then 2½ hours to cook it. You need to braise this, reduce that, deglaze something else”—and all these other culinary terms most home cooks have never heard of before. “Of course, I’m using inexpensive ingredients everyone has in their kitchen. Let’s see, you need Madagascar vanilla bean, saffron, white truffles, dry-aged Kobe ribeye, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, beluga caviar and 24-karat gold leaf”. Um, yeah. I’m going right out and buy some with my pocket change🙄🧐.

Oh, sure, everyone has vanilla bean and saffron readily available in their pantry

Let’s go look for a nice scratch cake recipe. Oh, found one that looks nice. Seems easy. We scroll for the recipe. No, I don’t want the history of cocoa and how cacao is harvested. Scrolling, scrolling…no! I don’t care about your grandma’s life story and how this recipe was passed on to various generations. Scrolling, scrolling…oh, you’re giving a quick explanation. ENOUGH! Where’s the fucking recipe, Susan? I only want the list of ingredients and preparation/baking instructions! I shouldn’t have to scroll down thirty pages or be subjected to three hours’ worth of backstory and a lesson on the history of harvesting vanilla beans. Show me a picture of the finished product and tell me what I need and how to make it. You’re not hosting a Food Network show, you’re just sharing a recipe online. Worse than this is the ones that show just the ingredients, but they decide it’s easier, more convenient, more fun, more [insert adjective here] to make you watch a video. Fuck your video! Write the instructions out. I can read just fine. If you want to include the video, fine. Just give me the written directions, as well. Then there’s those asinine websites that put advertising feces all over the fucking webpage—in the margins, every three lines, on top of the recipe, every goddamned place an ad will fit. And the “X” to close out the ad is so microscopic you wind up clicking the ad fifteen times to clear the shit off the screen. Of course, while you’re trying to load the recipe, there are so many ads and multimedia that the site takes forever to load, and crashes several times before it finally buffers enough to load properly🤬. By now, you’re almost at wit’s end and are running out of ambition and desire to try the recipe.

Click for a video. No, thank you. I can read just fine. Look at the recipe on the left. “Cindy’s Microwave Chicken Parmesan”? You gonna cook it in the microwave? You’re a special kinda stupid, ain’t ya?

One final annoyance about online recipes. Several sites have this feature where they ask “put this in a shopping list?” or “these items are on sale at Albertson’s (or Ralph’s or Walmart, etc.)”. No, I’m not buying this crap online. Turn this off, because I really don’t care where this or that is on sale. I probably have everything I need at home, anyway. Then this huge splash screen pops up, wanting your email address to subscribe to their mailing list, flooding your email with bunches of ads and shit. Not as intimidating, but annoying nonetheless is the sidebar that flies over your recipe like “sign up to save this recipe”. I don’t know about you, but I would just rather copy it and have a hardcopy printout to refer to when I’m trying it. That way, I don’t have to worry about my phone getting dirty, and the constant struggle of turning the screen back on after it times out.

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Overcoming these annoying obstacles and actually making something that is delicious and finally seeing the finished product, we feel the reward of a good job. The blueberry streusel bread I mentioned in the beginning of this post is an example of success. It was easy to make, and it turned out very well🤤.

Have you looked online for a recipe and encountered these same frustrations? Is there a recipe you’ve tried, that you regretted afterwards? What’s something you like to make? Comment and let me know! I’m always up for looking for different recipes. Enjoy the fruits of your cooking labors, don’t let the ’Net get you down, be safe and be well.

(Oh, and don’t forget to check out on Instagram and Facebook my daily writings that I call “Preposterous Ponderings of a Perpetually Perplexed Person”! It’s me on a daily basis, writing about thoughts or just mundane life in general)

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