Learning To Cook Reluctantly: Broccoli Is Probably Why I Vote Obama

Kids! This is what telephones used to look like!

When I was a kid, my family frequently discussed how much I loved  broccoli. “Not like George Bush!” they exclaimed, “Not like George Bush.” For people who are not my immediate relatives, George Bush (the first one) said in a press conference in 1990 that “I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it, and I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

This is maybe the most endearing comment ever. This is also probably why I began voting liberal later in life. Because broccoli is delicious.

And I did love it growing up. Though growing up, my mom just microwaved it and melted a slice of American cheese on it. We’ve already covered that, while WASPs have all kinds of George Bush jokes, they do not really have much in the way of cooking skills. Anyhow, broccoli microwaved with melted Kraft cheese – I can’t really do that anymore. I don’t know why. Because I’m elitist. Because I’m a food snob. Because New York and the roasted broccoli at City Bakery have ruined me. 

I don’t even recognize the real America. It’s just amber waves of Kraft singles, I guess.

But I do recognize a good recipe for broccoli when I find one!

And, oh, I’ve found one. You don’t actually need that much for it. This is what the basic ingredients look like all laid out on top of a stove (you’re going to want to have some 2 year old Peeps candy resting atop it for decoration. That’s how I do it).

Get your oven pre-heated to 450 degrees. This takes around 15 minutes (or it does on mine. Are all happy ovens the same?) so during that time you can… shower. I don’t know what else. Work? I guess people have hobbies. Words with Friends? People seem to enjoy that.

I don’t know how Words With Friends works, really, but I will say I’m pretty terrible at Scrabble. I don’t like pondering options for too long so every one of my submissions is along the lines of “dog”. I just play “dog” over and over, but damn, I throw those tiles down with enthusiasm.

So you could do that. Or shower.

And then, you could return and lay out all the things you will need. You will need (in order):

A pan

Tinfoil (optional but extremely helpful)

Two heads of broccoli (they seem to come in bunches of three, I like to use two at a time. This means I buy two bunches at a time, so it works out perfectly. But I don’t know what your eating habits are like. You could be one of those people who say “I ate three baby carrots once and I was so full.” I’m not one of those people. If you’re one of those people maybe you should only use one bunch). 

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar (this is DIFFERENT than regular vinegar, as I found out).

Salt

Pepper

A clove of garlic

Chopped walnuts

Parmesan cheese

Now, let this exciting journey commence!

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    • Holden

      From now on, whenever I’m feeling down, I’m going to think to myself “garlic meat.”

    • Tania

      Garlic tip: squish the cloves before peeling them. You can either use the heel oh your hand, or a wide knife blade (avoiding the edge, obviously). It breaks the peel and makes it easier to remove.

    • Lauren9739

      Well this sounds freakin delicious. I will be making this on Sunday, the only day of the week I cook. The rest of the week I eat the leftovers of what I cooked on Sunday. I spend a lot of time cooking and not eating on Sundays…

    • Fabel

      That looks extremely delicious & may be a thing I will actually try making. For the garlic chopping, you could use this http://iweb.cooking.com/images/products/enlarge/189349e.jpg (which I guess is also used for crushing ginger?) It’s still kind of horrible, but not quite as horrible as chopping?

    • Eagle Eye

      If you really want to become a cooking snob, ditch the morton salt girl and start using kosher or sea salt, it’s so much saltier and flakier and generally melts better into your dishes.

      Also, get a pepper grinder and buy pepper corns in bulk.

      Its also tastier.

    • Renee

      There isn’t really regulation for the purity of olive oil, so you might be getting olive oil that is blended with a cheaper kind when you buy the at the grocery store. So sometimes it is better to go to a specialty store, but $50 is still too much.

    • Sean

      I used to love broccoli when I was little because I could pretend I was a huge dinosaur and I was eating little trees.

      I still secretly pretend that. I just don’t make the roar sounds anymore.

      …out loud.

      • Jennifer Wright

        Oh my god. How did no one tell Bush this? It could have changed everything.