First off, I love to cook. Mostly. I mostly love to cook. When I’m in the mood. But even when I love to cook because I’m in the mood and I’m making delicious food I can’t wait to eat my life is my life and sh*t happens in the kitchen.
Last night was taco night. I hear some folks do this by tossing ground beef in a skillet with some Old El Paso and calling it a day, but I can be a little extra about my tacos so it tends to be more of a thing at my house. You can see how to make super yummy taco meat here – go on and check out that recipe. It has just three additional steps, and only one of those involves chopping. The other two are opening cans, man! Easy peasy!
Now I’ll straight up admit I am NOT low maintenance about salsa. No, no, no no no. Ever since I found this Pioneer Woman recipe I weep just a little when I don’t have time to make it and we have to pop open a jar from the store. I won’t try to convince you it’s worth the effort – if you love salsa like I do, you know fresh ingredients elevate it to an out of body experience. If you’re all eh about salsa…well, I just can’t relate. But you do you.
So, delicious tacos = super yummy taco meat + stunningly fresh salsa + (and I can’t emphasize this enough) CHEESE. I’m not talking just any cheese, though. I’m talking freshly-grated-in-my-kitchen-by-my-very-own-hands cheddar cheese. BOOM.
Geez, Laura, what’s the big deal. They sell bags of shredded cheese right there in the store. Who’s got time for this mess?!
To that I say: yes. I know. It sounds like madness. But grate your own cheese – just once – and you’ll never go back. It tastes better, it melts like a dream, and you’ll finally realize bagged cheese has some weird chalky component that makes it sad. My one piece of hardcore advice? Don’t grate distracted.
My folks are big cheese fans. If I don’t want to end up with a measly tablespoon to spread across my tacos I’ve learned to go ahead and Grate Big Time. At least a block and a half. Just do it.
Well, I’d finished off the partial block and opened a full one to top off the bowl. I was in the groove, listening to NPR and swoosh swoosh swooshing cheese down the side of the box grater, when I suddenly felt raging pain where my knuckle had been. Almost as if my thumb had burst into flames, which made sense once I glanced down and saw I’d shaved a huge chunk off. There was blood. So much blood.
I’m something of a pro with kitchen injuries. I use my indoor voice for violent cursing. I elevate bleeding appendages above my heart. I keep Bandaids and Neosporin in the junk drawer. I’m able to wrap bandages around my own gushing knuckle, up to three when that pesky blood just won’t clot, followed by a stretch of Scotch tape in a desperate MacGyver move to finish cooking the blasted dinner.
But damn, those tacos were tasty.