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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Onion Soup w/french bread & salad. As exciting as the onion soup was, and it was exciting, I must write about the french bread. Because last weekend, at the tender age of 44 I finally learned how to cut bread. It was Porkfest and I was trying to cut the bread for the bacon jam. The slices, as always began to taper: fat at the top, thin at the bottom. My brother-in-law watched in horror. “You’re bent over like this,” he said turning his body into an upside down L. “Stand up straight.” I stood up at an angle I considered to be straight and kept cutting. The slices were still slanty. “Stop leaning over to see what you’re doing!” I didn’t believe him. How does one cut without seeing where the knife is going? “Trust it!” he assured me. “Trust it.” I stopped trying to see the bottom of the bread. When I did that a miraculous thing happened: the knife straightened. It was not just that I was behaving like a contortionist, it’s that because I was slanted the knife was slanted and therefore the bread was slanted. Keeping my eye on angle of the top of the knife, making sure it was parallel to the cutting board, I produced an entire baguette’s worth of evenly cut slices of bread for the bacon jam. And I did it again last night for the onion soup. And I can’t believe nobody every told me such a simple thing before.

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