Anything but Ramen: It’s 2013, stop hating

Food columnist Aaron Pellish on how he copes with cries for cakes while still making the food he loves

I’m not a man of very much principle.

I don’t enjoy following rules. I jaywalk chronically. I litter if I don’t see a garbage can within a reasonable distance.

I don’t have a lengthy ethical code. But there is one issue on which I have stood firm and fast: I will not bake, cook, create, soufflé or prepare in any way a dessert. That’s my one rule regarding my semester long culinary adventure. I won’t try baking a cake, making a fondue or anything silly like that because I don’t get anything from cakes or fondues or any other dessert creations.

Go on. Hate on me if you want. Haters make me famous.

The reason I don’t make desserts is mostly based in common sense. I don’t dislike desserts by any stretch of the imagination, but they are inherently unsatisfying, and if you eat too much of them, you feel like you’re going to explode and implode at the same time.

I normally cook foods for this column that I would eat for dinner because the foods that I cook for this column are foods that I end up eating for dinner. It would be a massive time-waster if I had to make myself dinner so I could eat something at least decently healthy, and then make a massive complicated dessert on top of that. Unless I ate brownies for dinner, but we already talked about the whole exploding/imploding situation.

I’ve been getting a lot of flack lately from regular consumers of the food I make for not making enough desserts. They want me to make them a pie so they can all share it after they eat dinner while I’m stuck with a slice of half-burnt, sludgy pie for dinner.

You don’t have to tell me they’re being selfish. I already know. But in order to appease their veiled arguments to get me to bake more, I have started cooking more foods that have baking elements in them. Last week, which all of my regular readers will recall (Hi, Mom!), I wrote about making a chicken pot pie, which did not get burned but was mushy and highly weird-looking yet still tasted pretty good. My haters were still not impressed.

This week, I decided to make bagel dogs. I found a recipe in the cookbook my mom gave me when I left for college for full-size bagel dogs, which meant instead of making little finger foods like I had planned to do when I came up with the idea, I was going to be making full-fledged hot dogs wrapped in dough, which sounded awesome.

The recipe said I should cut the hot dogs open length-wise and stuff them with beans and sauerkraut, but I didn’t really have time for all that because I was using cooking as a study break in the middle of what eventually became an all-nighter. Instead, I just picked up a bunch of hot dogs and some puff pastry wraps, let the wraps thaw, then wrapped them around the hot dogs. Then I brushed them down with some egg wash and stuck them in the oven for 15 minutes.

Using the oven and having to manipulate dough are the two “baking” elements in this recipe, in case that wasn’t clear. I consider both of those relatively common cooking activities as “baking” because they’re both annoying to me, and I don’t really do them too often.

When I pulled my super mega-sized bagel dogs out of the oven, my haters were still not impressed. I, however, was perfectly content eating my overgrown, mutated, delicious bagel dogs in peace. They still seemed mad that I hadn’t done any real baking, but when you think about it, who are they really mad at: me or themselves?

My bagel dogs worked as the perfect way to address all the drama that some of my friends were throwing at me while still making some great food, all in the middle of all-night marathon study session. Hopefully this dish will help my detractors realize that 2013 is the year to stop the hate and just let me do me.

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