Today, I really tried.
On this day of our Lord Quarantine, 4 of 14, in as revere-able (imho) an act of revolution as any, I — after, mind you, having deodorised for my own full self, and donned a dress with a not-bad décolletage (yeah, we bougie out here) — broke forth from the oppression of the “sit slouch”-“prostrated back extender” binary and actually attempted a downward dog on my thic(ccccc)k yoga mat which — attempting to self-induce myself to exercise through some behavioural “nudge” science voodoo shit (shit as in “the shit”, by the way, Western science isn’t all that) — I’ve left unfolded (instead of wrapped up in an oh! so! cute! little roll) on the floor ready for (& tantalising) my copious buttocks to get to work.
Yet, obviously — despite the fun hyphenation in my paragraph above and really questionable post-colonial references — all told, the attempt failed. Face down, I decided that I would rather leave aforementioned copious buttocks un-stretched than snap a thigh, because, yes, the situation was that dire. It was “snap & ambulance” or “downward dog” (maybe I have a thing for binaries).
At least I’d tried (though the great trial of the morning is yet to come, Dear Reader, ha!).
And, actually, I took great solace from the smudged creamy hand-print I managed to leave on the yoga mat in the attempt (honestly, I have no idea why this all got so sexual. Let’s check in on me again on day 10 of 14, is all I have to say. Fuck me. (Again!!)) which reminded me that in addition to levelling up this fine morning with deo and décolletage (alliteration mmmmHMM), I had also moisturised my face. Big.
So, fine. Some blood had rushed to my head, and — all told — my thighs had been moved enough to feel snappable. So, I return two steps away to the kitchen where I’ve left (note that cute present-tense immersion) a bowl of that liquid package pancake stuff (just add water vibes) in a cute lil’ bowl (yes, I love the word cute! Almost as expressive as “nice”), ready to level up again. For context, my food consumption yesterday included: Maltesers; KitKat bites; buttered nuts (Again!); and brioche bread (I can’t lie writing all that sugar out loud makes me feel ill, and feels a touch blasphemous, too. Ew @me).
Crucially, I also have to add that my dear mother came to visit me before shipping me off abroad, and so I may have ferried her to a supermarket where I was able to convince her to indulge her anaemic vegetarian daughter, by gifting her a #FIT pancake mix that was ridiculous to even consider purchasing on a normal day. The sexy packaging tells me my imported pancake flour mix is protein rich & will so fix any veggie deficiency in my diet, give me wings, a million dollars +, etc. (YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT, BITCH). So basically, here I am in the kitchenette, looking forward to this pancake shit which (at very least) is gonna heal me and make me supple and damn, soon, my thighs will never feel breakable again. And, apart from “Uncle Ben”’s rice, these pancakes will monumentally be the first (finally!) cooked meal of my quarantine. Woot.
Before I continue, more context:
Popcorn. January 2021:
(I cannot lie to you, Dear Reader, in the middle of writing this, jet-lag just conked me out for 2.5 hours, and as I finally continue, I have my ghastly tub of Maltesers next to me & nigh zero momentum. Not that we started anywhere truly astounding, but apologies for the upcoming, incoming decreasing literary quality. I should eat a melon.)
Pancake 1. Getting over my fear that all left over food in AirBnBs has been drugged by previous inhabitants — leave your bar for growth low, and you’ll find yourself thriving, always — I drop some sunflower oil in the pan. Heat on 9. Starts spitting. The thin, crêpe-like streak of fit-mix drowns. A bit like the oily popcorn in the second image above. I mulch it into a corner to see if it will cook once collected into a fat patty. Instead, start smelling burnt-ness from the places where this weird farinous thing has left it’s residues (yes, as if I wasn’t in charge and it did have a life of it’s own). I decide that I cannot set off a fire alarm in a very dense Korean block of flats, especially one in which my sweet land-lady who brought me bread on the first day(!!!) lives below. Especially as, as the quarantined foreigner, do I then — fire alarm crescendoing — cower amidst the billowing black pancake smoke I’ve induced or do I run, curly-haired terror and potential infection-er through the winding hills of Seoul until I’m dragged back home (i.e. London) by the district health officer? Didn’t want to contemplate these options. So, fine, Pan 1 goes into sink (I wish I was saying the pancake was fine, like that a Beyoncé-esque Michelin-star fyne, but alas). And, we go again.
This time. Pancake 2. Pan 2, too. Low heat (because I was convinced heat 9 was the issue). Butter. Trying not to vom at the cows on the package, and the ridiculously sized block of cow I’d accidentally ordered because my non-existent Korean made online grocery shopping a mare…I think of all the dairy goodness and let that dollop slide smooth across the surface of the pasta pot (there was one pan, with a scratched bottom. No #fit pancake is deserving of carcinogenic recklessness). Five seconds into having poured a delicious amount of fit-mix into the pan, I see the butter behave like the oil in attempt number 1 and begin to bubble up around and into my sweet pancake. Fuck it. I decide that one well cooked, thick monster pancake (to finally be topped with protein-rich peanut butter, on a plate adorned with that aforementioned, sliced melon — are we in heaven?!) would be 1000x better than a piece of good-for-nothing crispified protein-sludge acting as a vessel for liquified cow juice. So Pancake 3, rim to rim (Again! EW.) I fill my pasta pot numero 2 with all the remains of fit-mix.
Whilst the fucker, at first, seemed to be cooking well, bubbling up nicely, I realised as the butter continued to recklessly pop up over the edges I didn’t know how to flip the thing.
And then, as I’m contemplating what to do, the door-bell rings. I continue to poke my butter pancake for a while, as my absolutely rational mind cycles through the who/what/why/where of who I would find outside this now-ominous door (no peep-hole) — serial killer? health officer?, neighbour who’d smelt a slight tinge of burn in the morning breeze?, landlady who’d actually installed silent smoke detectors and had been alerted to the unruly behaviour above? Was I even allowed to cook?! — the door-bell goes again. So, I don a mask, adjust my hem, and — heart racing — go to open said door.
In part, I found the absence of human slightly scarier than finding one outside (and I felt so reckless for having even opened the door that little crack), but, what could I do? As life teaches us, I just buried the trauma and went back to Pancake 3. Only to find, of course, that the little section I’d pulled up in order to see if I’d ever be able to flip the thing was revealing that even on low heat (though maybe, at this stage, I’d impatiently cranked it up — at this point, we’re at least 25 minutes into the process, I estimate) reveals that this pancake, too, was burning.
So boom, here comes Pancake 4. I salvage what I can and whip the remains of the weird farinous, gelatinous Pancake 3 blob into the carcinogenic pan (as this is all I had left). After 20 minutes, and with the little pan bits getting stuck to both sides, at least and at last it becomes a flippable thing. As I swivel the blob around the pan, I really do wonder why I am bothering. The inside is raw as, the little taster I ingested tastes like pan-lining and death, and, when @Col3trane’s Superpowers started playing, I couldn’t take the humiliation any more. Sure that the ding-dong-ditch South Korean health official with his laser-eye vision was laughing at me, also. All told, as much as I hate waste, I don’t think that this pulp was really too edible, or, worth the distress.
Anyway. As I left it to roast, slowly, I decided to karma out my wastefulness by eating stale bread (the last little bits from the loaf my sweet land-lady had left me at that! Could never be chucked. Ever). Obviously, popped it in the toaster to make it softer. Obviously, 5 seconds later: it burns, it burns, it burns. Toaster smoke started to turn black as the little un-cut edges touched the grill.
All told, I could not. On this day of our Lord Quarantine 4 of 14, it was clear that God did not want me to cook (‘cook’ here being an ambitious term, I know). Anyway, deciding to drown my sorrows in chocolate spread, I pop open my ‘Pan di Stelle’ chocolate mix (reading the amount of chocolate I’ve been consuming is giving me heart palpitations, for real (though I question if my heart can still move this fast?, considering said chocolate consumption)). Of course, Pan di Stelle decides to drip oil down my fingers, and (for dramatic effect) this bloody dress I’m wearing.
Anyway. She tasted good. On the other hand, that ‘pancake’ blob that I SOMEHOW shall not waste still sits under a bowl in the kitchen. And, the doorbell? It was my copious, un-stretched thigh that had been smacking the washing machine’s on/off button continuously as I stretched over to check on my dying, frying, bubbling fit-mix.
Moral: Just buy bloody Betty Crocker. Fit-mix is as much a scam as this non-existent moral maxim.
And so, Dear Reader, you have reached the anti-climactic Fin of Blog Post 1. I congratulate you, and am surprised and honoured that you have made it this far. As the goddess of burning, I wish the only fire you experience is that of your fine ass self in the mirror as you continue to own your hot girl summer. Own it!
xoxo, Mixed Chick C
p.s. The Maltesers, by the way, are gone. Peanut butter unopened. Melon uncut. Pray for my teeth & arteries & for the washing up.