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7 Steps to Better Cooking
Cooking
Cook with wine. The French have been doing this for centuries, and their cuisine is celebrated wherever fine dining and hangovers are appreciated. - photo by istockphoto.com

Tired of the same old thing for dinner every night? Well, have you ever thought that she might be tired of you, too? Joking aside, we’ve culled the latest food journals and websites to bring you 7 of the best ways to make each meal at home a memorable event. These are meals you won’t forget, or forgive, for a long time:

1. Cook with wine. The French have been doing this for centuries, and their cuisine is celebrated wherever fine dining and hangovers are appreciated. Start by putting a little chardonnay in your soup. Then add a soupcon of sauvignon blanc to your scrambled eggs in the morning. A cup or two of Beaujolais to poach your fish in will bring out the natural oleoresins and peptides that so often escape with our crude cooking methods. Try boiling spaghetti in a gallon of Champaign -- then throw away the noodles and drink the broth; it’s most refreshing. Hic!

2. Always parboil before you roast. Whether it’s duckling or lamb or tripe, a quick dip in boiling water will firm up sagging ligaments and seal in that red, juicy blood, so that when you pull your roast out of the oven at last and cut into it a spurt of red hot ruby juice will fly out and hit your rich uncle right in the kisser; and thus he will leave his millions to someone else in the family and you will remain dead broke for the rest of your miserable life. That’s when you really start cooking with wine, to deaden the pain of your wretched existence.

3. Lard. Do you know that the most sought-after chefs today cook with lard? For too long has this creamy white substance been kept a secret amongst the cognoscenti! Use it in place of butter and watch the greasy smiles blossom at your table -- or, slather it on the kitchen floor and watch your hapless victims slide down the basement steps.

4. Cricket flour. Roasted crickets are ground into a fine powder and used in dozens of cookie recipes as a way to add protein and body. But if your family starts telling the temperature by chirping and then adding forty, you better cut back on the cricket flour.

5. Glaze. Everything looks and tastes better when it’s glazed. Think of the humble donut and how much better we like ‘em when they’re glazed. You can make a simple glaze by mixing one part water to one part sugar, put it on to boil, add one drop red food coloring and a pinch of sea salt. Pour this over your family, piping hot, when they start to complain about dinner being late.

6. Save room for tomato aspic! That’s right; just clear a space on the table for it. Then leave it strictly alone. And don’t let Lionel Atwill get near it -- he’ll try to bring it back to life in his laboratory.

7. Start using asafoetida. Also known as devil’s dung. It goes well with anything strong enough to hide its unpleasant flavor. Once word gets out in your neighborhood that you use liberal amounts of asafoetida in your cooking you’ll never be bothered by drop-in dinner guests again. In fact, you may become the prime suspect in any mass poisonings that occur in your region.

(Tim lives in Provo, Utah. He dreams constantly about going back to live and teach in Thailand, where he lived for 5 years. He has put his dream into prose form here: http://www.gofundme.com/cmbn6w.)