Alibi V.13 No.3 • Jan 15-21, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

Are you simply too stressed out to cook? Do you merely glance at a frying pan and suffer from performance anxiety? Do the voices in your head tell you that whatever you attempt will turn out like crap? Relax and take three or four of those deep yoga breaths. Cooking is just like any other creative pursuit—you start with a basic plan, see where that takes you, improvise, add a little here and there, revise, make some final adjustments and you're done. Oh, but you're not creative at all, you say. Then let's switch metaphors to something else. Ice skating? At the beginning of the two-hour session everyone sucks at ice-skating. But you make mistakes and gradually improve and two hours later you're imagining yourself at the Olympics. OK, maybe that makes no sense at all. The point is this: Not every pork chop has to be a masterpiece. It can just be a pork chop, salted and peppered and thrown in a pan. Wait, you used kosher salt, right? Kidding, kidding. If you burn the thing to a crisp you tell your girlfriend it was an experiment and you go out for tacos. Maybe next time you'll only burn one side. Eventually you'll be the pork chop master. In the meantime just take it easy and don't be afraid to fail.