The Wide Angle: A tasty reveals how the pyramids were built

Published 7:26 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

Facebook is a lot of things to a lot of people.

It’s a society of memes, misguided and untrue political claims, dubious historical facts and a haven for cute animal photos.

It’s also a library of recipes and while I like food as much as the next person, I find that most of the Tasty and Delish recipes that float from one friends page to the other with accompanying descripters of “yum” or even more insistant “yummmm” a lie.

Email newsletter signup

The lie isn’t the recipes or even the food themselves; it’s a society of lies as to the ease these complicated recipes should be in relation to how easy they really are.

First and foremost, I’m not a bad cook. I’m no chef by any stretch of the goofy-looking hats, but I have been known to make some pretty tasty items in my time.

So it’s not that I’m completely incompetent in the kitchen, though I do have my moments where maybe a crisis response team should get involved to take any sharp implements away from me.

My big problem with these little videos is through the magic of video editing, they expect the person watching them to throw the meals together with very little difficulty.

Your typical video shows the ingredients flashed across the screen with fingers snapping and waving, which introduce the prepared items as David Copperfield reveals the Statue of Liberty.

This is followed by quick edits showing food being placed in cooking implements and in another round of quick edits produces the cooked ingredients, which finally leads to the end result, sometimes with another wave of the hands to indicate, “Wa-la, magic food.”

That end result is shown in close-up as a spoon lifts a serving from the bowl, often times with strings of cheese or noodles trailing behind. Gorgeous.

It’s all propaganda.

A few weeks ago, I made a dish that was essentially glorified mac and cheese with shrimp. It looked amazing in the video, but I began to have my doubts when I looked at the ingredients.

It required a metric ton of cheese, which I’m not against cheese, it just seemed like so much of it. One of those cheeses was gruyere and really, the self-doubt really settled in at that point. I don’t like using cheese where I need a sixth-grade spelling bee champ to help me find.

It also required a lot of pasta — a pound of it in fact, which is a bit much for two people.

I adjusted the recipe somewhat, but even so it appeared pretty quickly that I was in for a culinary fight.

By the time I got to melting the cheese, the whole thing was out of control and the kitchen resembled a storm-damaged trailer park. I had cheese, sauce and noodles in every corner of the kitchen.

After some wrestling, laying out plates and more than a few choice words I had the meal taken care of and, with a spoon that proved far too flimsy for the cement concoction I was attempting to serve, began the process of dishing things up.

That’s when the cheese came into play. It was like fighting an H.P. Lovecraft creature. There were tentacles of gruyere, cheddar and parmesan everywhere, grabbing the spoon, my hands, the bowl and the plates.

In some ways it was also like fighting that octopus creature in “Fellowship of the Rings.” I should never have disturbed the cheese.

The cheese actually picked me up at one point — no lie — and I was saved only by Aragorn at the last minute who stayed and had spicy shrimp and pasta with us.

After eating and taking a moment to make sure the dish hadn’t taken any limbs, I wandered back into the kitchen to survey the mess.

The National Weather Service officially declared that an F5 tornado swept through the kitchen, despite me telling them that I was simply cooking. Apparently, they’ve never worked with gruyere cheese before.

A side benefit of this? I think I discovered a new kind of binding agent. Make the dish as per instructed and then place it between two bricks and let stand for three hours.

In fact I don’t doubt this was how the pyramids were built, probably ending with a snap from the pharaoh, revealing the final product.

Once this stuff hardened, no chisel in the world could break it.

I’ll make a YouTube video explaining my conspiracy theory. Ring that bell so you get all my content — of which there is none.

My long-winded point here is, everything on Facebook should be taken with a grain of salt — except everything I post about my garden. It very much is becoming a humanitarian crisis, or in this case, a vegetarian crisis, as the tomatoes and beans continue their terrible conflict.

I will try to mediate a peace by the end of the summer.