The great ones pay for their genius

Benjamin Franklin took a few shocks at the end of that kite string. Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. On a smaller scale, I paid for my cooking genius last night with a few burns on my right arm. See, I made this dip. I know what you’re thinking — dip is dip. How could it have been a true expression of cooking brilliance when its main function was to pair up with lime-flavored Tostitos? But I swear to you. It was some dip: chunks of canned sweet potatoes, a can of black beans, a cup of salsa and some shredded cheese, all microwaved together. And served with lime Tostitos. Constructed completely of what I happened to have in my cupboard. I was so convinced of the utter genius of this dip that I began to consider myself a cooking marvel. In fact, I think the line, “I was born to cook” actually crossed my brain.

Then I began making my second dish of the night, potato salad from my Irish grandfather’s simple recipe of potatoes, hard boiled eggs, mayo, vinegar and celery. I had exactly one hour to complete this second leg of my cookstravaganza before my guests were to arrive, so I peeled the potatoes and chopped the celery at top speed, so in the zone. When it came time to boil the eggs, I thought, “Why look up how to boil an egg? It can’t be that hard. I was born to cook.” So I put three eggs in water and let them boil. I didn’t know how long to cook them for, but I guessed. I guessed wrong — when I lightly cracked one, I saw that it was still runny. But by this time my hour of cookstravaganza was winding down and I needed to speed things up, so I put them in the microwave.

Never, ever put a whole egg in the microwave.

I took the little bowl of eggs out and lightly tapped the shell of one. [INSERT SOUND OF GUNSHOT HERE]. I screamed, naturally, and Eliina came running in to find egg splattered on the ceiling, all over the walls, and all over me, a la I Love Lucy. By the time Caitlin and Jade arrived, I had taken a quick shower but was trying to avoid dealing with the three hickey-sized burns on my right arm because who needs to throw more effort into mending an act of utter stupidity? Jade took one look at me and made me slather my arm in aloe and then hold an ice pack to it for the rest of the night.

Everyone loved the dip.

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