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Garbage Plates and Rochester Parkour Visitor's Weekend

A month or so ago, Bryan Augstein (Maryland) and KC Parsons (Michigan) told me they wanted to come up to visit me in Rochester. I met both of them on my trip this summer, and (through the wonders of free verizon-to-verizon texts) texted back and forth quite a bit during long bus rides. We became good friends, and so of course I was enthusiastic about having them come up! KC Decided to bring a close friend of his, Nate Manly (Michigan), and soon Jesse Danger (NYPK) and Christopher Price (Michigan) were added to the list of attendees. Soon enough... we were having ourselves a Rochester jam!

Jesse arrived at the bus station Thursday night, and we hung out with some friends and watched The Dark Knight on our projector downstairs. We went to sleep late, and then got up early for a workout at the gym. We left straight from there to go back to the bus station KC and Nate arrived early the next morning. After a great (and cheap!) dinner at the local diner, we came back to my house and... immediately dropped to the floor and went to sleep. Jesse and I had 3 hours of sleep and a workout, and KC and Nate had a 14 hour bus ride under their belt. We woke up 5 hours later and went to the Red Barn, the local rock climbing gym (it's a big red barn. Go figure!). Chris showed up, and we all packed in his pickup truck and went to the bus station to pick up Bryan.

Everyone was hungry again, so it was time for dinner. If it's your first time in Rochester, there is only one meal your hosts will give you: a garbage plate:

Ingredients: hash browns, chili sauce, macaroni salad, 2 hamburger patties, American cheese, diced raw onions, mustard, ketchup.

Cooking

On Aesop

Everybody should know how to cook. More than just providing you with nutrition, food is a fundamental expression of what it is to be alive, and unlike breathing and shelter, it's one we can all express ourselves through. Though if you count clothes as shelter, we can do that too, but that's for a later post.

Cooking is really easy. Many people are afraid of it for some reason, but you shouldn't be. You can start out just cooking for yourself, and then there's not even the chance of embarrassing yourself.

If you've never cooked before, get yourself a good frying pan and some nice oil (I like grassfed butter, but some like coconut oil or olive oil. Olive oil is pretty flavorful, so it's best to use either extra virgin or only use it in dishes where it matches, like Italian food). That plus a knife, cutting board, and spatula, will get you very far. Oh, also a little bit of salt for every dish.

The key to getting better at cooking is experimenting. This means that whenever you think "hmm I wonder if X would go well in this", try it! Also, taste everything you make all the time.

The easiest way to make any vegetable delicious is to cut it into pieces small enough that it can be cooked effectively in the pan (so for instance, peas are fine as is, but a zucchini needs to be sliced or dice) and then cook it in butter on low heat until it's warm.

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