Ruth's Rules for Cooking

Rule 1: Be smart! Avoid Pinterest. The kitchen's confusing enough without getting computers involved.

Rule 2: Be prepared! Make a list, shop, come home, unload groceries, spread out items, realize you forgot key ingredients; make a new list, shop, come home, unload groceries, spread out items, realize you forgot still more key ingredients; cry; have a coffee; head back to store. Repeat as needed.

Rule 3: Be considerate! Set off a preemptive fire alarm to alert housemates and neighbors as to what sort of afternoon they might expect.

Rule 4: Be simple! The fewer kitchen tools you have, the less of a mess you'll have at the end. If this means you have to wash and re-use the same pan three times during a single cooking session or use a screw driver to stab open the top of a can, so be it. Just approach the whole situation as a character-building exercise. 

Rule 5: Be careful! Use scissors instead of knives. They cut just as well and lead to fewer sliced fingers.

Rule 6: Be resourceful! Use chopsticks instead of tongs. They're cheaper to keep in ready supply and generally have better grip.

Rule 7: Be efficient! Layer on the tinfoil. Life's too short to scrub pans.

Rule 8: Be safe! Invest in cut-resistant glovesflame-retardant aprons, and a pair of stylish onion-cutting goggles. (Bonus: it's a cooking outfit and a Halloween costume all rolled into one!)

Rule 9: Be decadent! Pile on garlic. Add more onion. Slather on the sauces. Brine everything. Double the cheese. Dip it in chocolate. When in doubt, add butter.

Rule 10: Be circumspect! You never know if your meals are going to work out until it's almost too late; best keep a store-bought lasagna in the freezer, just in case.


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