The Curse of Chef Doria
After many weeks of dealing with figuring out what I'm going to do with my life at the beginning of June, I am finally back to writing. Of course, I promise to write about all my deep soul searching and spiritual enlightenment I've experienced to land on my plan for the future, but for now I will leave it an ever growing mystery. Instead of reading about my future, I thought you might like to read about my present, or what could cause me to no longer have a future if things keep digressing.....
Almost no one has been harmed in the making of this post...almost...
It's a great source of pride for me to be surrounded by talented cooks. I live in an area filled with amazing local restaurants, my boyfriend is incredibly gifted in the kitchen, and my friends love to make both aesthetically and palate pleasing dishes. As talented as they are, I have one friend who stands above the rest with her epic achievements.
Some people are talented gardeners and therefore have a green thumb, as opposed to a brown or black one.
Others are quite handy around the house and may be referred to as Mr./Ms. Fix-it
If someone is the best at their job they can be called a “Master”.
My dear friend Doria most certainly is a Master at culinary works, but in her own way.
I’d say she’s more of a Master Demolitioner at culinary works.
To set the story, imagine young Doria… no scratch that, this was last year.
So imagine grown-up, year ago Doria being convinced by our two friends that almonds come from peach pits. This led her to call her mother in an amazed and upset state to demand from her why she had never told Doria this interesting piece of trivia. If that made sense to Doria, then you can imagine what else she thinks makes sense in the culinary world.
For example, the first time she cooked rice on the stove, instead of the minute rice in the microwave, she was left thoroughly confused. It had been a minute and the rice in the pot was not done! “Doesn’t all rice cook in a minute?!?!” she asked her roommate.
So yeah, I think I’ve established Doria's culinary prowess for you.
Dates. A delicious fruit, often times used for baking, that contain pits.
Doria decided to make some no bake cookies for her roommate Anna’s birthday party. Since Anna is a vegan, some no bake vegan cookies seemed like a great choice. Doria began to prepare the mix by throwing the dates in the food processor to mix them in to the batter.
Only after the food processor made a sickening grating noise, did Doria realize that you should pit the dates.
Kinda a weird idea, like people who take peels off bananas to eat them, or who crack eggs and throw away the shell before scrambling them!
Doria, being the frugal woman and not wanting to waste the expensive dates, just kept the date puree how it was, and added the rest of the ingredients. After she had crafted these no-bake delicacies, she gave them to her friends to enjoy. Poor, innocent, trustful, sweet, angelic, unsuspecting Chase bit down into the treat, only to nearly crack a tooth. As she pulled out a date pit from her mouth, she asked Doria if she had forgotten to remove the pits from the date before blending them.
Doria adamantly assured Chase that of course she did! Who did she think she was? She would NEVER make such a horrible mistake. After much poking and prodding, Doria finally admitted that she had forgotten to remove the pits from the dates.
We should have realized Doria’s passion for haphazard baking the year before, when she attempted to make one of the Jell-o pudding box recipes with almond milk for vegan Anna. Almond milk works the same as regular milk right?
She added more almond milk and some Bailey’s in it, but nothing worked. Fast forward to us slurping the pudding. I don't think it should have called it pudding if we were drinking it through a straw.
The summer before, Doria had made pancakes for Anna. The thing is, the pancake recipe wasn’t vegan and Doria didn’t have any applesauce to replace the eggs with.
So she just put the eggs in them anyway and lied to Anna. Surprisingly, she didn't include any egg shells! Anna thought they were “the best vegan pancakes ever” but in reality they were the best “M-egan” pancakes (mostly vegan, pronounced meeeegan).
Poor Anna didn’t find out until a year later what was actually in them. They are now roommates, best friends, cook for each other, and both are still alive and somehow un-poisoned in both body and ethical views.
Doria is making a name for herself as a true and honest baker.
Now Doria, like me and the rest of my fellow friend group of dancers, has really been contemplating life. We Trainees are at that point in our careers where we are trying to make the last jump to a full time professional. Easy enough it might seem, except it's a blindfolded motorcycle jump over a moat, that has razor sharp spikes all over the bottom, filled with acid, inhabited by a fire breathing dragon and fire breathing cat (can you imagine anything more terrifying? Your cat being able to breathe fire? Just the displeased looks a cat gives is enough to melt your soul, now imagine adding fire to the equation and you really will melt.)
Ballet is hard, like the cookies Doria made one time and forgot to take off the pan once they had cooled. They basically cooked themselves into charcoal briquets.
Because Doria, like the rest of us, has spent many hours each night questioning her future, especially outside of the ballet world, she and Chase decided they were going move to the Swiss Alps and open a yoga studio/biscuit making shop called Das Omm Biscuits. However, Doria had a falling out with biscuits, (another long and racist story) and had been feeling a little lost as to what she would pursue if ballet didn’t work out for her. One night she decided to make pizza.
Yes, pizza. The fairly simple, American college-age staple.
A meal commonly used to teach toddlers how to start cooking. Nothing says "teach little Sally to cook!" like throwing some toppings on a ball of dough!
It's not expert baking: a circle of blended flour and water, and toppings scattered haphazardly on top, then cooked at one high temperature for a moderate amount of time.
No one can screw up pizza!
Well, Doria made a calzone.
Yes, I did say she was going to make a pizza.
Doria forgot to make the pizza on the pizza stone, so she tried to transfer it off the counter to the pizza stone. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough flour underneath the crust or the "weird" flour was causing it to stick, (completely MY fault because it was flour I had given her, and obviously Doria NEVER messes up baking), so the crust refused to budge but then fell on to the stone and folded in on itself. She decided to go with it and popped the unexpected calzone in the oven.
Now that I think about it, Doria's calzone might actually be a metaphor for my life.
Doria is now considering opening Das Omm Calzones, a very unesthetically pleasing calzone cafe and yoga studio.
Doria does mean well, and has lasted into adulthood without accidentally poisoning herself or others, and with only minor injuries from her baking. But the things that happen could only happen to her. Only Doria would put in 4 cups of water instead of 4 tablespoons of water when making a pie. She did try to correct it by adding lots more flour, just forgot to add the same amount of spices.
Didn’t you know the best part of a pie is the thick spice-less crust? Fillings are for the weak!
Amazingly, Doria has somehow transformed herself into a curse, able to rival that of the Hope Diamond. But thoughtfully, instead of having everyone around her die terrible and painful deaths, they just all experience terrible and painful cooking. If not painful to the tastebuds or the teeth, then certainly to the soul.
I was the first to be stricken by Chef Doria’s Curse. For Friendsgiving, I was charged with making the pumpkin pie. In my Doria influenced mind, I imagined a beautiful homemade pie, moist and scrumptious, skillfully crafted to be a double decker master piece. One bite would give the eater the experience of not one, but two slices of pumpkin pie stacked on top of each other. Double the fun, double the yumminess, double the mouthful of pleasure.
The pie, you sicko. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Also double the mistake. I had chosen this approach because I wanted to use up the second crust that came in the pre-prepared box. However, Doria’s influence left me ignoring the fact that if I put a crust on top of uncooked pumpkin pie filling, then added more uncooked filling on top of that, the middle filling would most likely NOT get cooked.
The pie cooked for two and half times longer than it was supposed to be cooked, and 200 degrees hotter than recommended, but I still brought it to Friendsgivng, hoping for a bit of a miracle that no one would mind the soggy raw crust in the middle of the pie.
And that no one would contract salmonella.
Meanwhile, Doria, true to form, was in the kitchen mixing the marshmallows into her sweet potato casserole so that they would stay raw when cooked, instead of placing them on top of the casserole where they would get nice and gooey and brown. Luckily, Chase was able to save the day and dug out the marshmallows and placed them rightfully on the top. But in doing so, the curse transferred to her and incubated itself, only to rear it’s ugly head many months later.
Chase decided to make banana bread one day and had skillfully mixed the batter and placed it in the oven to cook. 5 minutes later, she smelled something burning. She ignored the smell though, nothing could have been burnt in 5 minutes, it probably wasn’t even cooked at all!
10 minutes later, the burning smell had gotten worse so she went to go check her creation. It had exploded all over her oven, the bottom of her oven was covered in a black char, but the banana bread in the pan was a gooey liquidy mess. Eventually, she realized she had to throw it out because the banana bread refused to cook.
Doria’s Curse: 2
Well prepared food: 0
My friend Zane had spent a fair amount of time with Doria on various audition trips, because he was the next to be inflicted by the curse. After many times making slutty brownies, (if you don’t know what those are then you should be ashamed of your dessert game) the curse finally caught up with him. It had been over an hour with the brownies in the oven, when the cook time should have been about 30 minutes, and the brownie part of the dish was still leaving a gooey residue when a toothpick was stuck in it. We decided just to run with it, which is an appropriate phrase since after the brownies were served in a bowl, it looked like someone had gotten the runs.
We ate it anyway.
Now this may be my last ever blog post! Sad, I know, but it is a real possibility.
Why might this be my last post you ask?
Doria is cooking us dinner tonight.
Please pray for me.