I feel the need to start this with a disclaimer that I am in no way a good cook. If you want advice on anything edible, listen to Elsa. Pay no attention to the instructions from the aproned chick who had to look up the word crudités last year. That said, I know how NOT to cook which brings me to tonight’s dinner currently in the oven: four boneless chicken breasts basted in a light vinaigrette with basil and thyme, okay, and a dash of chilli and cumin because I’m Texan and can’t help myself. It’ll be my usual bland fare (not all four pieces, mind you, but at least one, while the others will get recycled for lunches or put in a soup.) I heartily approve of this method, but what I don’t condone is something a college roommate introduced me to, or rather tried to poison me with.
Some backstory: my diet consisted mainly of Eggo waffles, apple sauce, ramen noodle soup, free tacos from Taco Bell thanks to the offer on the back of theater ticket stubs*, and any booze or chocolate I could get my hands on. I did not cook, I merely boiled water or reheated. My roommate for all intents and purposes was the same.
We were poor, innocent students on a budget and decided to splurge on some meat. Mmm, meat. We bought four smallish chicken breasts, similar to this evening’s meal which is what brought on this recollection. My roommate, I’ll call her Sparky for no reason at all, took those dear fillets and placed them in a baking dish and then proceeded to drown them in Kraft dressing, emptying the entire bottle’s contents. I was curious and horrified at the same time, this swift burial in the Seven Seas. Ugh, the wreck that was pulled from the oven when it was over! I gagged on the first bite, which, get this, tasted like a solid block of Italian dressing from a bottle; meanwhile Sparky happily forked it in. Knowing what I had paid, that this was a “special” meal, I choked it down vowing to never eat another thing she cooked ever again. Once we graduated and got jobs, boy, was she great at ordering pizza.
*I was a drama major and we would scrounge around the aisles after a show looking for discarded stubs. Cheap date!