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Lions Roar : September 2017
grocery store, found a bin marked “spaghetti squash” (I’d never actually seen one), and threw one of those suckers in the cart. When I got home, a nice lady with big hair on YouTube taught me how to make spaghetti squash in the microwave: Cut holes in it to let the steam out. Six minutes each side. Cut it open. Dig out the seeds. Run your fork down to “spaghetti” it (now a verb, according to Big Hair Lady). Enjoy. I must have paused that video twelve times to make sure I was doing it right. I was so nervous. I would have preferred being on stage in front of a thousand people than in my kitchen trying to cook. I heard the microwave ding. I took the squash out. I cut it. I dug out the seeds. And goshdarn it if that spa- ghetti squash wouldn’t “spaghetti.” It would just “glop up” (a technical cooking term I just made up). After some research, I discovered that the bin of squash had been mislabelled, and I had accidentally bought a butternut squash. But the cat insisted it would still be delicious with tuna and goat cheese (the cat always suggests tuna, and insists on a share). She was right. It was good. But it was not spaghetti squash. I wanted to give up. I wanted to give in. I wanted to tell myself that I should never try to cook again. But alas, there is always some Buddhist teaching that encourages you to carry on without getting attached to outcomes. Defeated at being defeated by the wisdom of Buddhist teachers, I set out again the next night for a spaghetti squash. I now had a picture of an actual spaghetti squash on my phone, I found one, and Big Hair Lady and I did our thing again. Lo and behold, that sucker spaghettied up like nobody’s business. I sometimes roll my eyes when people put photos of food on their Facebook pages. Look mine up. I darn well took a photo of that achievement. I’ve never been prouder of anything in my life. I feel like this little adventure should come with a lesson. But I’m not a dharma teacher, just a person trying to overcome a crippling fear of cooking. All I can offer you is this: if somebody says you can’t do something, maybe you can. All you need is a Big-Haired Lady tutorial on YouTube, and some Buddhist teachings that continually rip the defeatist rug out from under- neath you, until you give in. Then sometimes, you might unin- tentionally succeed. ♦ MEGUMIYOSHIDA Die, spaghetti squash! LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2017 24 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE