ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cooking with ThoughtSandwiches

Updated on October 15, 2011
The dinner portion of dinner over a sink...
The dinner portion of dinner over a sink... | Source
Even Sandwiches like Love...
Even Sandwiches like Love... | Source

Which is the Correct Fork to use with Puffer Fish...?

I’m a guy. I’ve got my signature impress the ladies. That’s been so long since I’ve signature dish...fillet and breaded Puffer fish in a light clam sauce...might be a little dangerous to prepare based exclusively on my limited culinary memory skills...the whole zombie poison thing and death. That fact...

I’m reasonably signature dish for the ladies...was actually a mozzarella-based chicken type affair...was it baked at 350 degrees? Where did I get the idea of Puffer fish...?

I don’t think a lot about food.

I’m more of an eat-it-out-of a can over the sink while staring out the window kind-of-guy. Unless I’m eating cereal...then I’m an eat-it-out-of a bowl while staring out the window kind-of-guy.

I’m the type who understands that the ladies might want something more. I’m an eat-it-out a can while staring out the window...sensitive kind of guy.

I can use silverware and stare across a table just as easily as slurping from a can and staring out a window...I know romance...

Time to up my game...

Upping the game...with a tuxedo and bowler hat...
Upping the game...with a tuxedo and bowler hat... | Source
Ice Sculpting...
Ice Sculpting... | Source
 A Cubist experience, a cubist influence, modern yet bold. Soft colours changing the cubist vision nearly going to the edge of pop art.
A Cubist experience, a cubist influence, modern yet bold. Soft colours changing the cubist vision nearly going to the edge of pop art. | Source

ThoughtSandwiches thinks about Self-Improvement...

It’s hard not to feel the need for self-improvement these days what with the litany of web-sites, books, magazines, friend’s advice, voodoo incantations and available courses dedicated to telling you that you are fucked up and seriously in need of some help.

It’s hard not to self-improve these days what with the litany of web-sites, books, magazines, friend’s advice, voodoo incantations and available courses dedicated to fixing those seriously fucked up and in need of some help.

My search for perfection took me to the class schedule of the local Community College.

Not surprisingly...the registration process didn’t go smoothly. The cooking class I had intended to enroll in was full. I took an ice sculpting class in its stead. My thought being...culture is culture. I was wrong...

Ice sculpting is a bitch.

My career in the Frigid Arts Department didn’t last long. Frigid Arts teachers don’t have a sense of humor. That became obvious after I handed in my first assignment. Theoretically...she wanted a swan. I kept messing up the swan’s genital region and had to start over. Until I had my conceptual breakthrough that is...

“That is not a swan.” Complained my Frigid Arts instructor as she stared down at my offering on the desk. I could hear several other students snigger derisively.

Enthralled with my creative approach...I stoutly defend my artistic vision.

“Perhaps not in the standard mallard type way...but this...” I leave off artistically...unwilling to force my vision on these troglodytes.

“A mallard is a duck...I wanted a swan. This is neither.” From the teacher.

“Where’s the head?” Asks a fellow student doubtfully.

“In the sand my the sand.” I state smugly in a vague artistic kind of way...

“Wouldn’t that be an ostrich?” Fired back the student.

“I don’t know for ostriches...the assignment was for a swan.” I wondered where all the hostility and hate was coming from.

“That is not a swan.” Repeated the professor.

We all turned and looked at my creation...I had gone Cubist. On my desk was a plate with thirty-six ice cubes neatly arranged in a pyramid. Bracketing the plate were the blue ice-cube trays from which I had extracted them. My Blue Period.

Leaving Ice Sculpture Class...
Leaving Ice Sculpture Class... | Source
Waiting for a class...
Waiting for a class... | Source
Campus Security...
Campus Security... | Source

A Rude Denouement...

I won’t go into the details. I was asked to leave. Sure...I could go into details...”Got the cold shoulder,”“ Teacher was an ice queen,” “I was treated in a fowl fashion as regards my Swan sculpture.” I could but I won’t. I left the room trailing ice-cubes, drips of water, and my pride...

I glumly loitered outside the cooking class that I should have been enrolled in before heading to the school’s registration office...

I was working “The Board”.Computer generated lists of available, closed, and canceled classes which hung across the wall. Students, earning the ‘work-study’ portion of their financial aid packages, were continuously updating the information with new sheets of computer paper...

I would follow each one of them and, as they dutifully earned their minimum hourly wage, I would walk between their legs, purring like a cat, rubbing along their shins, waiting for them to allow me a peak at the latest update...

I needed to find a class fast. Before one of them actually called campus security as several had threatened to do. I suppose I could just stop walking in-between their legs...

“You!” Hollered one who had earlier been quick to play the 9-1-1 card. “You wanted a cooking class, right?”

I bustled over...

“I did! I was hankering for Cooking 101?” I ask hopefully.

“Your in luck...there’s two openings.” She confirms while keeping her distance.

I begin to purr...

“Some idiot dropped a bunch of ice-cubes outside the door and two students slipped and fell. They had to be rushed to the hospital.Broken arms...broken legs...” She fills me in.

“I see...”


Cooking 101 Class...

The rest of the students were dressed normal. I went the funky chef hat route...tilted to the side (the correct side I was assured by my friends before heading off to class), see-through plastic apron...and a bubble umbrella. Of course...these were the friends who suggested wearing the chef hat...?

There was one student dressed odder than myself. The guy sitting next to me. He was dressed in the full-blown regalia of a High Voodoo Priest. A strange choice for Reno, Nevada this time of year.

I was worried. Not so much about the voodoo guy...he seemed relatively benign. No. My concern was one of sensitivity. I think voodoo is a religion and I rarely like to include controversial topics...politics...religion...into my light-hearted affairs.

Nominally, I would be a lapsed Catholic (if anyone were to care). There was a time when I was a practicing Catholic...but I never got any better at it so I began practicing writing instead. Perhaps I should return to the church...

“What up?” I acknowledge my neighbor’s presence in a collegian fashion.

“I just fucked off my chemistry quiz.” he groused.

“That sucks,” I commiserate.“ What’s your major?”

“Voodoo Zombie-ism Studies. With an emphasis on incantation and potions.”

“That’s a major?”

“No. Certificate program. Skittles? ”He asked as he reaches over with a hand-full of the delightful candy treats. The bracelet of small bones he is wearing makes a dull clacking sound.

“Are those cat bones?” I ask.

He gives me a look as if I had lost my mind before correcting me. “Puffer fish bones.”


Phil... | Source

A Brief Conversation with Phil...

“Oh yes...the venom of the Puffer fish is instrumental in the making of zombies.” He confides.

We got to talking.I introduced myself...

“My name’s Phil.” He says.

“Phil?” I deadpanned. “I can’t say that I have ever met a High Voodoo Priest named Phil.”

“My parents were hippies.” He admitted. “They named my sister Harmonic.”

“Phil-Harmonic?” I ask doubtfully.


“What does Harmonic do?”

“She’s an investment banker.”

“You know...that’s twice today that Puffer fish has...”

Cooking...with ThoughtSandwiches...
Cooking...with ThoughtSandwiches... | Source impress...Puffer fish... impress...Puffer fish... | Source

The Lesson Plan...

I am interrupted by the teacher who sweeps into the room...She writes a question on the board....

How can a bad mood be detected in what a chef is cooking?

My hand shoots up faster than Arnold Horshack in the old ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ TV show...

I receive the nod.

“That slight saliva taste from when they spit in your food?” I offer robustly.

Awkward silence...

“Anyone else,” She asks hopefully...

A woman in the front raises her hand...

“I have found that the best meals I have ever cooked have come from a place of peace, or absolute happiness and love.I believe you are more patient and do a better job when your mind is at ease...” She finishes by giving me a look over her shoulder...

Awkward silence...

“I went another direction with that question.” I admitted to the class, embarrassed. My chef hat droops ingloriously.

The teacher was classy. Not like those in the Frigid Arts Department. “That’s alright! Now that you know my thinking, do you have anything to contribute?”

I thought about the time the can-opener broke while trying to open a can of Spaghetti-os. I was forced to go at it with a Philips screwdriver for forty-five minutes of hacking before gaining access to the nourishing little O’s within...

The kitchen looked like a scene from Dexter that day. I was in a bad mood that day...still...once bitten...twice shy...

“No, ma’am.”

“Well if something occurs to you...just jump in.” She said enthusiastically.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“For this assignment,” She began her lecture, “It is very important for the chef to embrace their inner calm. Today...we are going to learn how to prepare a fillet and breaded Puffer fish dish. In a light clam sauce...”

Three times! Phil gives me a knowing look...and more Skittles.

Leaving Cooking 101 Class...
Leaving Cooking 101 Class... | Source
Clean the Kitchen as you go...
Clean the Kitchen as you go... | Source

A Ruder Denouement and Possible Criminal Complaints...

The lecture part of the class lasted forty-five minutes. I took copious notes, drew pictures of the cuts, noted cooking temperatures, I was being a student...

After the lecture portion we split into paired study-buddies and went to our cooking stations. Phil and I were partners.

Everything required for the making of a fillet and breaded Puffer fish dish, in a light clam sauce, was waiting for us.

Knives (for filleting), breaded stuff (for breading), a dish, and the most disgusting fish I had ever seen (Puffer fish). The clams were waiting to be lightly sauced up.

Preparing the Puffer fish was harder than my notes suggested.

It was like trying to nail Jell-O into ice...

Long story short...I lost control of my Puffer fish.

I won’t go into the details. I was asked to leave. Sure...I could go into details...”I lost control of my Puffer fish, Teacher was blinded by Puffer fish poison,” “A small fire was started when Phil’s Puffer fish self-combusted.” I could but I won’t.I left the room trailing Puffer fish entrails, drips of clam sauce, and my pride...Oh...and by mistake...Phil’s back-back...

HOSPITAL!! STAT!! | Source
Hope she feels better...
Hope she feels better... | Source
Phil's Chemistry book...
Phil's Chemistry book... | Source
Stomach pump...
Stomach pump... | Source
Zombies... | Source

A Lovely Dinner...Short Ambulance Ride...and...

I was in the waiting room of the local hospital. I would say that up until the time she began having the seizures...she was having a good time. She was pretty and I liked her. I think I may have nearly killed her with an improperly prepared Puffer fish dish...

The hospital was busy. The bustle of the professionals contrasted with the shambling of the patients. The visitors...waiting out grandpa’s aneurism (or what not) were resigned to their vigil. I sat among them. If I remember correctly (as I’s been awhile since I dated)...But, as date nights go for me...this one wasn’t too bad...

I had been waiting about three hours. Being the type of person who will always attempt to mine a silver lining out of a grey cloud...I grabbed my backpack for my notebook and pen. There was always a chance that I could parlay this into a small tale. A cautionary tale to be sure...but still...

This wasn’t my back-pack. I moved past the smell emanating from the bag to see what was within. Small bones. Un-descript tuffs of hair. Chemistry book, bags of Skittles, and a Voodoo doll. I pulled out a bag of Skittles and the Voodoo doll. The Skittles were tasty and the doll resembled me. I was looking at the tiny ice-cube trays dangling from the figurines hands when things began to click...was Phil’s presence not a coincidence? I felt manipulated. What did it mean...?

My ruminations were cut short when I very tired looking doctor came up to me...

“You the guy who brought in the pretty Puffer fish girl?” He asked.

“Yeah. Is she O.K.? Can I see her?” I ask worriedly.

He frowns at this suggestion. “She’s through the worst of it. I don’t believe she want to see you though.”

“Did I fuck up the Puffer fish?”

“ Your preparation of the Puffer fish was superb. Spot on, in fact, I would say. No. You bought bad clams for the light clam sauce.”

“Oh...”I thought about the street-side clam vendor that I had patronized...under that bridge...

The doctor continued, “Well...unfortunately...prior to diagnosing the clam sauce issue...we treated her for Puffer fish poison.”

He explained to me the details involving gastric lavage and activated charcoal treatment. I had him explain it again. Two more explanations, a stick figure drawing, and a short informational video later...I knew my date was over for the evening...

“Oh yeah. No. You’re done for the night cowboy.” Said the doctor, “May as well hang-up your spurs. Between your clams and our misdiagnoses...that poor girl is fucked up.”

I told the doctor that I would wait. He didn’t seem to care one way or the other.

What do you do for a girl you nearly poison? A card seems trite. Balloons...equally so. A stomach pump would prove redundant at this stage of the game, not to mention, it might reinforce any negative impressions she may be harboring against me...

I would like to say that the scream was my first indication that something was amiss. It wasn't. I was in a hospital...everyone was screaming. Fact being...I screamed earlier when the vending machine took my 35-cents and didn’t give me my coffee. No. That wasn’t the warning...


That was the warning that clued me in...I thought of the poor helpless girl lying in the hospital bed. My hesitation lasted less than a nano-second...this was a new reality. Zombies. Normal zombie rules apply. Lose the weak.

I ran for an exit wondering how my date plans had suddenly become a Halloween story...


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)