Buy the smallest brown onion you can find. No, smaller. There’ll be a smaller one in there somewhere.
Take it home and chop it finely. Finer. Lean away from the rising tear gas, whup, too late. Now you’re crying, and it’s too late to realise that maybe you shouldn’t have cut the onion first.
Throw half the onion out. I understand that onions must be included in some recipes for the sake of taste, but I’m not that keen on onion. Put the remaining onion in a big bowl. Cry some more.
Start chopping mushrooms. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much mushroom, but some other random heathen scumbags beg to differ. Chop as much as you like. I love peeling mushrooms, and the knife slides through them like nothing else, which is one of the reasons anything I cook with mushrooms has too much mushroom. Cover the onion with the mushroom. Maybe you’ll stop crying soon?
Chop some broccoli. This doesn’t add anything to the taste or texture, I’m just not comfortable cooking several meals worth of food that doesn’t contain some green. Don’t put the stems in, they never soften up. Just trim the bibbly bits. These will get everywhere, all over the bench and the floor. At least you’re not crying now.
Tear half a cooked chook to pieces. Little shreds. With your fingers. Knives are for pussies. Try not to eat too much of the chicken, as by this point you’ll realise that you’re fucking STARVING and you haven’t even turned the stove on yet.
Turn stove on. Drop oil in pan. Drop crushed garlic in pan. Drop risotto rice in pan. Some more. Is that enough? Can’t tell. Some more. Maybe? Dunno. Some more. Some more. Oh, that’ll do. Mix it around in the oil.
Add white wine. This is an exciting new step. While the recipe has always called for white wine, I’ve never been able to find those little satchets of wine for cooking before. I have no idea how much to put in. I put the lot in. This is a bad move. Don’t do this. There is such a thing as too much white wine. Put, I don’t know, less in. You cooking people know better than me.
Add chicken stock. Stir. Listen to stove make strange groaning sound. Stir. Make cup of tea. Stir. Nibble things. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Drink tea. Stir. Restart album. Stir. Drink tea. Stir. Add pepper. Nibble more things. Stir. And more stock. Stir. Stare at the wall. Stir. Remember to turn fan on. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Fiddle with heat. Stir. Scatch head. Stir. Nibble things. Stir. Drink remainder of tepid tea. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Stare at wall. Stir. Rinse mug. Stir. Boil kettle again. Stir. Make another cup of tea. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Get slightly impatient and dump chicken/broccoli/mushrooms/onion in pan. Stir enegetically. Add more stock. Stir. Change spoon arms. Stir. Go get chair and sit in front of stove. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Drink tea. Stir. Stare at wall. Stir. Compose longwinded posts in your head. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Taste. Realise rice isn’t nearly cooked. Add all remaining stock. Stir. Turn heat up. Stir. Turn heat down. Stir. Add water. Stir. Quietly starve to death. Stir. Watch clock not go faster. Stir. Add water. Stir. Stir furiously. Stir anti-clockwise. Stir in swirly patterns. Stir in secret letters. Stir.
Go to toilet.
Add shaved parmesan. Stir. Add more. Stir. Add more. Stir. Add more, hell, when is it going to actually look like it’s made a difference? Add more. Stir. Taste. Can’t taste parmesan. Dump remainder of bag in pan. Stir. Taste. Still can’t taste parmesan. Stir. This batch tastes bland. Stir. Ponder why. Stir. Theorise that a cooked chook from the chook shop on the corner does not containing the delicious seasoning of a Safeway cooked chook, which is what is normally used. Stir. Decided this to be true. Stir. Vote to only use Safeway cooked chooks from here on. Stir. Ponder the obstacle of there being no Safeway nearby whatsoever. Stir. Realise two and a half hours have passed and you’re feeling faint from hunger.
At this point, you’ll have to decided for yourself when it’s done, according to how thick you like your risotto. Either way, if you like it thick or runny, by now it should look fucking disgusting. It should look like the bottom of an old garbage can. It should look like serious vomit. Your arm should hurt like a bitch. You arm should hurt so bad you can’t even lift a fork, you can’t even feed yourself and have no choice but to just not eat this disgusting looking meal you’ve just created. So you slap it in Tupperware containers where it looks even grosser, and walk away.
At about 10.39pm, you’ll remember that you haven’t actually put the containers in the freezer, and you’ll have to get out of your nice snugly warm bed and do so or who knows what it will look like in the morning.
This has been Cooking With Sir Tessa.