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September 8, 2013


A Saucepan is the Key to Life

Fish sauce is the bomb.

At the age I am right now (twenty-one, for those of you who were wondering), there are lots of people out there who want to tell you what being a grown up is ALL ABOUT.  Professors, family members, employers, Buzzfeed …they all have their two cents to contribute about what it means to be an adult, and all the things they talk about are VERY SERIOUS, and VERY ABSTRACT.  I went off the meal plan this year, and so I have my own contribution to make, which isn’t serious or abstract but I like to think is very, very important.  Knowing how to properly manage a saucepan is the key to being a grown up. 

Let me give you an example. (I love using that phrase in blogs because by this point in the post, you have no choice – you’ve already committed to one whole paragraph and so have to slog on and finish.) Last week, I decided to cook myself a delicious pasta sauce.  I wanted caramelized onions, mushrooms, carrots, and a tomato base.  So I chopped everything up, and dropped it all in the saucepan together.  Big. Mistake.  A tip for all of you who haven’t cooked regularly before: carrots (these things):

Take a lot longer to cook than onions (these things):

So by the time I was ready to eat my delicious caramelized onions up, my carrots were still undeniably crunchy.  Not the taste I was going for in my sauce.  I managed to rescue the dish by some fancy pan-switching maneuvers, but I’ve learned my lesson.  Saucepan management is a skill I need to develop.  It’s going to be a long, hard, crunchy year without it.

You, my reader, are going to have a lot of people giving you lots of advice over the next couple of years.  Make sure you learn to evaluate the source.  Sometimes, the people giving you really good abstract advice about your life have forgotten that you also need advice about the really tangible things in life, like how to use a saucepan.  Just something to think about this week.

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  1. Amy Yeager
    Sep 9 2013

    I adore cooking and baking, and it makes me sad that in order to cook in the residence halls one needs to be supremely invested–purchasing pots, pans, silverware, plates, ingredients…I can’t wait until I am at a point at which it makes sense to own all the amazing stuff I miss from my mom’s kitchen.

  2. Stefanie Gough
    Sep 9 2013

    I’m obsessed with this post. Probably has something to do with food pictures and your hilarity…

    Also, Amy, I totally agree with you. I struggled for the first 2 years to figure out how to creatively make cupcakes (and blogged about said misadventures haha) before my family finally just bought me a freaking muffin pan and other general pots and pans.

  3. Dale
    Sep 10 2013

    I thought you did enough cooking on our trip to figure out about the carrots! Remember the dal in Death Valley – I wanted to cook it longer, but you said no, so the carrots were crunchy. History repeats itself, I guess.

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