The Macaroni Experiment

I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t cook; if ever a chance came up to cook, and I actually took it, I’d be the first to brag about myself and my culinary activities. That’s because it’s a once-in-a-while thing for me. Most of the people on this earth cook every single day, but each time I cook, it’s so rare…it’s a special event.

Tonight, I went by a suggestion from a coworker. We were talking about our holiday exploits and the kind of stuff we cooked up (I made pork chops one night and pot roast for xmas day — like woah). I mentioned that I was thinking about taking a half pound of ground beef and fixing it with macaroni and cheese. What he suggested was twelve orders of magnitude better than the bachelor-chow I was planning. I’m sure most of you know this dish, hell it may even be comfort food in your family, but it’s shit-simple and incredibly good.

Beefy Macaroni and Veggies
This is a single-skillet meal; makes 2 servings. Scale up to fit your needs or tastes.

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
  • 2/3 cup diced tomatos, canned or fresh-chopped like mine
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste (or a few squirts of ketchup if your cupboard is barren like mine)
  • shredded parmesan

Brown the beef in a large skillet; season as desired. Set it to the side to drain like I did or scoot it to the edge of the skillet. Then dump the macaroni and a cup of water in the skillet to begin boiling. Then add everything else: diced tomatos, tomato paste (or ketchup, tsk-tsk), peppers, onions, garlic. Stir everything, then let that simmer, stirring occasionally for 7 to 10 minutes or so until the macaroni is done, the veggies are soft and semi-translucent, and the water is absorbed. Pull off a serving and top with shredded parmesan cheese. Serve with a side salad for a crunchy alternation.

I completely surprised myself. Tons better than Hamburger Helper(tm), and a heap better than my unoriginal bachelor meal plan. Another meal to my repertoire!

To Feel Love

I’m going to write about a dream. This morning, I had a fucked-up dream. I was in love; this girl and I were hanging out. Something small was in bloom. As dreams go, she dropped out of the plot as I went elsewhere.

I was in a big house, ostensibly a place I lived in. It was clean, the light was cold, the walls were white. Found a needle full of heroin. Someone told me to not inject it, but that’s exactly what I did. I walked off, found a vein in my left elbow, and shot up. Like it was nothing. Felt the cold warmth in my arm as it spread. Felt it take over. Felt it take control. I disposed of the needle and stumbled into my bedroom, fell into bed. Felt everything that’s ever been described to me: mental calm, inner peace, warmth, a sense of belonging, a feeling of love.

Maybe my life is so cold and lonesome that there’s an excess of the neurochemicals associated with belonging to something and being loved; that they manifest themselves in dreams. Sounds plausible. I also watched a movie last night with similar themes to the dream, so there’s that. Things like movies and shows always reassemble themselves into the plots of my dreams.

Everything is explained…except for the fact that I’d willingly shoot up heroin in a dream. Like it was natural. It’s a dream, so no consequences, I guess. Not something I’d like to do, ever, mostly out of the fear of sliding downhill, like I did with cigarettes. The first smoke came naturally, flourished in an environment of friendship and solidarity with other people, and slid down into a lonely 2-pack daily habit.

I never want to play with that kind of fire ever again. I want to feel loved, to feel like I belong, but not at that price. Never at that price.