Aug 08 2020
Welcome back to Letters to Yesterday, a podcast of messages to the past. Thank you to everyone who listened to the first few episodes, and a special thank you to everyone who left a review on iTunes or shared our episodes. That helps more people find us! You guys are great. Also your hair looks nice today. Today’s letter comes from Justin from Portland, who wanted to only be identified as Justin from Portland, and wanted to remind us that the protests there are still going on there. Also, this letter has language that may not be appropriate for children. Dear Fucking Dirtbag It’s me. I’m you, but a little less of a dirtbag. You’re like 17 maybe, and a few months from getting kicked out of the house. That’s fine. It was a shitty house. It was a shitty childhood. You’re going to kind of make up with mom later, but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about cooking Because guess what, you have to feed yourself now. That fucking sucks, from a lot of different ways. It costs money, which sucks, and it takes work, which sucks, and it’s hard, which sucks. You still have to eat though. Here’s how to make it suck less. Step one, you don’t hate vegetables, turns out. You hate the way your family cooked them. You don’t need to fucking boil everything. Making something hot isn’t cooking. Well, it is cooking. It’s bad cooking. You’re going to do bad cooking for a long time too, so maybe ignore me on that. Wait I’m going too fast. Let’s try again. You gotta buy some shit. You have zero money so let’s get like three things. You need a knife. You’re going to the dollar store, so just get one that’s not serrated. Get a saucepan. It’s the deep one, idiot. Not the flat one. You need a flat one too, but let’s just get the deep one right now. A cutting board. Okay we can work with this. Next you’re going to buy pasta. Shut up. Pasta. I know you don’t like pasta, but you know what’s cheap? Fucking pasta. Now buy a jar of sauce. Quick tip – I got the kind with a little old white lady on the front and that was the trick. Get the one that looks like they have zero money to make a good label. That’s the good one. The box has instructions on it. Make the pasta. You need less than you think. Drain it. That’s hard because you don’t have a strainer but just do your best. Oh also, the apartment where you’re crashing has one working stove top, which you’ll figure out pretty quick. One day you’ll have like three working stove tops and you’re going to lose your shit like you won the lottery. Next, pour the sauce on the past and heat it up. Congrats you made food. You can put cheese on that if you want. Yeah, it’s just that fucking easy. You can feed yourself like this for awhile too, so you have time to learn other stuff. I’m not going to do every recipe but you have internet on your phone and the internet knows how to cook things, even if you’re poor. Which we are. Yeah we’re still poor. Shit sucks. Here’s some other shit it’ll save you time if you learn. Use garlic and onions. I know you think you don’t like them, but you have to learn to like them. They make food better food. They just fucking do. Don’t worry about the right way to cut or store or whatever. A lot of cooking shows make a big deal about it and it’ll make you feel bad, but just do it whatever way and do it better later. Okay you know that pot you got? You can cook vegetables in that. Use salt and pepper and, yeah, that garlic. Don’t boil it. It only takes a few minutes and it’s better. You can do them in the oven too, but that needs a whole nother pot, so skip it. Try new shit too. This one’s hard, because you don’t have a lot of money to spend on going out and you just want what you like, but you are going to have chances to try new things so do that. Do that every time. And ask questions. People like talking about stuff they make. It doesn’t make you look stupid. It took me a long time to learn that one, so you’re welcome for giving it to you right now. Also it turns out literally every vegetable has a different way to tell it’s ripe. That seems like a stupid way to design things, but whatever. Here’s a trick. Find someone else by the vegetables and ask them. Yeah it sucks, but you’re never going to see that person again in your life and now you don’t have shitty tomatoes. You’re welcome. Also wash your shit. Do your dishes. Don’t skip food for days because the dishes are dirty. It takes like twenty minutes for fuck’s sake. Don’t let them sit there and stink. Okay, I’m still bad about this too. I did say I was only slightly less of a dirtbag. I’m working on it. I guess we’re working on it. Also just, hang in there. The next few years are going to be rough. One of the nice things about living now (also rough) is we got through the shitty ones. You just keep going forward. You just keep learning new things. You got this. I love you. Love, Dirtbag P.S. Thank you to Les Hayden for the use of their song Ophelia. Thank you to everyone who has submitted wonderful letters. Justin’s letter really made me think about what I want this podcast to look like. It’s wonderful to read everyone’s huge, life-changing advice, but I’d love to see more about small things – cooking, rock climbing, learning a new thing, finding a favorite book, adopting an animal, getting lost – all these little things that are important to us none the less. If you’d like to write a letter, we’d love to read it. You can submit letters to Letters To Yes, that’s Y E S at gmail. The letter should be between 1000 and 2000 words and can be on any topic. What did you need to hear a year ago? Ten years ago? You can also join on us facebook and twitter at letterstoyes. Letters to Yesterday is Produced by Leslie J. Anderson. Stay safe out there.