Cooked By TFW: Letting Go

 Put that good good in my belly! 

Put that good good in my belly! 

So, Monday night, I came home from two hours of grinding at the gym and made this DELICIOUS meal for myself: pan-seared salmon topped with homemade tahini sauce and served with roasted sweet potato, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Cooked the whole meal in my cast iron skillet. Took some pics of it. Ate it. Loved it. Y'all, it was dope… It's the first real meal I've made that wasn't a pizza in like… weeks… Sweets, brocs, and brussies are on my top 5 veggies list along with cauliflower and the souls of my opponents (yeah… they're veggies, cuz them boys have no meat on them whatsoever.) 

How excited are y'all to learn how to make this feast this week?! I see a lot of hands raised. Welp… get ready for disappointment, because that's not what this week's post is about. I've shown you how to make tahini before, how to roast your brocs and brussies, AND how to roast sweet potatoes, too. Basically follow those steps, just use a little oil, salt and pepper on the veggies. Cast iron over medium high heat. Toss the veggies in first, let them cook for a few minutes. Then, salt and pepper on meat side of the salmon. Sear the meat side for 2-3 minutes, flip it skin side down, spoonful of tahini on the fish, pop it in the oven at 425º for 10 minutes. Boom! "And there you have it…" yadda yadda "Share your attempts on the social medias, hashtag #CookedByTFW" blah blah "And – as always – thank me in the morning!" 

Now, who's ready for the real post? I see less hands this time… I actually see no hands; this is a blogpost I wrote between midnight and 3am and that's not how the internet works… Chad… I mean, if I was NSA, maybe that's how the inter… you know what? I don't have time for the political rant. Big Brother is watching, but I'm not. Drumpf lied a bunch in the State of the Union Speech Tuesday night and it doesn't matter… Nothing really matters except for saying no to Chads. #SayNoToChads

In a weird twist of fate, this week's post is an accident. Remember last week? I was broke (I still am. I mean… we all are! 52% of Americans don't own stock and the wealthy top 10% of Americans own 81% of stocks. Money isn't real; it's a social construct. Wealth is the shadows in Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Capitalism is exploitive. Unshackle your mind from manmade limitations to your happiness) and declared January was "a month of just getting our acts together." Well, imagine my surprise this weekend when I realized we had 5 Wednesdays this January. Man, that makes the salmon fake-out even worse. I made it Monday knowing full well it wasn't going to be today's post. The real question is: If I still basically showed you how to make it, who am I really faking out????

…myself…

 The face you make when you played yourself. I am my own worst enemy.

The face you make when you played yourself. I am my own worst enemy.

 RIP one of my oldest kitchen friends. We had good times.  2005-2018

RIP one of my oldest kitchen friends. We had good times.

2005-2018

Actually, last week, I got so wrapped up in rambling about setbacks, basketball in Kansas, and bank accounts, I forgot to include yet another meandering ramble: I'm officially retiring my deep fryer. Last week, I drained the oil and cleaned him up real nice. Then I packed him away in storage. I took pictures of the cleaning process, thinking it would serve as last week's ramble before I showed y'all how to make that jackfruit recipe I still plan on making… next week when we're finally out of "get our act together" January. But then, I forgot… and then this past weekend, I discovered I have one more Wednesday in January, and thought I would turn an entire paragraph ramble into a whole post. I'm verbose like that. I'm the… Ver-Boss? (Did I mention I'm writing this between midnight and 3am? Just because I am one doesn't mean all my jokes are winners, too.) 

Last thing before we get into the point of this post: after last week's post… I saw the greatest video of all time. I bookmarked it solely so I could share it with y'all this week. And just our luck… it's about deep frying foods, too! It's hilarious and ridiculous and I don't recommend you try it at home. I just thought I'd share it with y'all so you knew how lucky you are to have me… other internet chefs out here gonna get you killed; but Uncle Tym Tym is here to save lives. Enjoy!

I can't lie… I want that robe… ANYWAY! This week's post is about letting go. Letting go of bad eating habits. Letting go of excessively eating junk foods. And, for me, letting go of one of my oldest kitchen appliances, my beloved deep fryer. When I went off to UCF in 2005, my mom – Mamma Fingers aka The Notorious C-Role-G – got it for my first college apartment. Together my deep fryer and I have made so much fried chicken and mozzarella sticks and waffle fries in the last 12.5 years… Coach LA will probably kill me for sharing this, but after my first fight in 2013 I made the most ridiculous things in that bad boy! Beer battered oreos and twixes; ice cream balls where the breading was ground up oreos; deep fried, bacon wrapped mozzarella sticks… Those were the days. 

But as we venture past January into the rest of 2018, it's time to put away our over indulgences. Being from the south, I like to bake and I love to fry things. When I first started at the gym in 2012, one of the first things I did was put away my fryer. It stayed put away for a long, long time. But in the last year, I took it out of retirement and would celebrate the end of fight camps with fried chicken. This winter, it may have gotten more use than I'd like to admit. So, it's time to retire it for good…

Maybe one day, I'll get one of those fancy air fryers, but until then… dedicating myself to cleaner eating. It starts with removing temptations from the kitchen. For me, it's my deep fryer. It's maple syrup from Costco (when it's in the house, I make so many chocolate bacon fat waffles, y'all). Another reason I wanted to make a whole post about getting rid of junk in my kitchen was an act of god that happened last Thursday… well, less "act of god" and more "act of bad dog." My roommate's dog, Chloe, is notorious for grabbing things off the kitchen counter. She's corrupted poor Rosco and now the two wreak havoc on the kitchen. Last Thursday, she/they picked off an unopened bag of brown sugar I had on the counter. I took it as a sign… If I'm getting rid of the fried foods, I also got to cut down on my baking… Both have been staples of my diet this winter and have contributed to why the pants I bought in May don't fit me any more.

And that, kids, is this week's post! Let's make a pact to stop putting crap in our bodies! We have spent this entire month learning how to do better. We've got a foundation, now it's time to put it into action! Let's reduce our temptations! Doesn't mean we're all hopping into fight camp, but let's get our deep fryers and excess sugars out of our kitchens, and replace them with delicious veggies like Zucchini Noodles

Next week, let's finally get some recipes back into our lives! Who wants jackfruit?! I see the Chads still have their hands raised… ugh… Chads… 

Tym Gooden