A week or so ago, he moved into his first apartment. Later that night he posted something on Facebook about how now that he lives alone, he'll need to go shopping and/ or feed himself. As a woman who has been living all alone for three years now, I find this inspiring. I think I'm going to add a whole new series to this blog all dedicated to young and independent living. I am naming it "Kendall Can". And if Kendall can, anyone can. :)
Today... Kendall Can Cook: Buttered Noodles (Noodle Doodles courtesy of Katherine G. Hurl)
I know, I know, you're a 19 year old fellow and society tells you that you're worthless in the kitchen--a slave to Ramen and Froot Loops unless and until you con a woman into making food. I assure you, that's not the case at all. Stand up for yourself. Stand up... for masculinity!! I'm not saying you need to learn a bunch of kitchen skills, either. You can impress/ feed yourself and others really easily.
First things first is stocking your kitchen with essentials.
As far as utensils go, you can get surprisingly far with a pot, a skillet, a strainer and a spoon. I bought all of mine from thrift stores. Go to Salvation Army (but not Goodwill due to questionable business practices) and run to the kitchen section (this is where I bought all my plates and bowls and coffee mugs, too). A pot should be big enough to boil four cups of water, a skillet should be big enough for a slice or two of bread and your strainer should not be rusted out (you can get one of these at walmart for about a dollar so I am not opposed to buying a new one that isn't filled with petrified pasta remnants).
Get a box of pasta (any kind--it's the fun part), a pound of butter (for Pete's sake--real butter), and Parmesan cheese. (Upgrade options: parsley and/ or red pepper flakes)
Take all of these things home, put the butter and cheese in the fridge, wash the crap out of your used dishes and then assemble as such:
I'm running on the assumption that your pot is as big as mine and that you already have salt and pepper in your home. If your reality is different from my assumptions then for goodness sake, buy salt and pepper. And if your pan is smaller than mine, mentally cut everything in half. The important thing to remember is that it's just food and if you ruin it, your mom doesn't live that far away and would love to hear the story of how you ruined Buttered Noodles.
Fill your pot with water. Not all the way to the top, but certainly past the halfway point.
Heat that water on high until it starts to boil. Congratulations! You can boil water!
Insert pasta. When I make pasta in a my-pot-sized-pot, I put about half the box in and I have a fair amount of left overs. Frankly, it's really hard to know how much pasta to cook.
Use that spoon to stir your pasta immediately after you put it into the pot. That's your one expert cooking tip. If you don't, it'll get stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan.
After a few minutes, fish out a piece of pasta. Blow on it and then eat it. If it's got some crunchy bits, keep cooking and repeat this process until there are no more crunchy bits. If there are no crunchy bits, continue.
Turn off the burner.
Pour the pasta and the water into the strainer. Let it strain.
Put some butter (I don't know, cut off maybe an inch of a stick of butter--because you're using real butter that comes in sticks) into the pan. Toss in a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper (this is where you could add the upgrades as well), pour the hot pasta back in and stir it all up so that butter is all over your pasta.
Top with Parmesan.
Grab a fork.
You didn't buy a plate today so you're going to have to eat it out of the pot. That happens sometimes.
(Upgrade option that will make your mother proud: when the pasta is almost done cooking, throw in a handful or two of frozen veggies into the boiling water and finish as usual)
Next time... Kendall Can Buy Groceries