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

First, you’re going to rip the broccoli into delicate little florets. It’s a pretty word, “floret”. It makes one expect to see a tiny squirrel running through it. You could probably name your daughter Floret if you wanted her to grow up to be weird.

I will have to remember that word the next time I am forced to play Scrabble. Here is what ripping broccoli to florets looks like:

Put all the florets in the bowl. When you’re finished you can just pretend the stem is somebody you don’t like and throw it furiously into the trash can. And spit on it if you want.

Then pour two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over the florets. Mix them together.

Since we are on the topic, I would like to discuss that olive oil that you see there in the wine bottle shaped container. I paid $50 for that olive oil.

How did that happen? Well, I had never bought olive oil before.

I mean, I’d used it, but I had a bottle lying around that came in a gift bag ages ago, so I’d just been working my way through it. It ran out and – this is not the real America – there’s an olive oil store in Grand Central station so I figured I would just pick some up there.

The woman asked me what flavors I wanted in my olive oil which should have been a sign. The fact that there were no prices on anything should also have been a sign. I said I wanted my olive oil “sweet” (I’m worried that this is like someone being asked if they want a dry martini and replying ‘no, I’d like it wet, like a liquid should be,’ but I will probably never know). She stared at me for a second and then fetched me this one and had me sample it.

It was fine. It tasted like olive oil.

“I will take this one!” I said, “how much is it?”

“$50.”

And I did wonder for a bit if that was normal. My thought process went something like this:

“Well, I suppose everyone does say that using olive oil makes you live well into the Methuselah range, and they do serve it in lieu of butter at nice restaurants, which means it must be a luxury ingredient, and it is from the Mediterranean which is truly a culinary fairy-land and perhaps things from there are somehow difficult to transport what with Onassis being dead, and it does last for a long time, and yes, yes, I guess $50 is what olive oil costs. That makes sense.”

Then, after I bought it, I went to a grocery store.

That does not make sense.

Olive oil costs $8 at a grocery store. Jesus Christ.

This is going to be my only PSA of the day: DO NOT PAY $50 FOR OLIVE OIL. IT ONLY COSTS $8.

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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.