The Chili Tilapia Debacle

By the time I had been living in my first apartment for a few months, I could already cook a few basic meals. Frozen tilapia covered with Tony’s Cajun Seasoning was one of my favorite dishes. It wasn’t exactly fine French cuisine, but it was cheap (an important consideration for a college student) and it actually tasted pretty good too.

On a trip home, my mother gave me a container full of spicy deer chili to take back to college. I love deer meat, especially when it is spicy. As I was thinking about eating the deer chili, my mental gears (unfortunately) began turning. My thought process went something like this:

1.) I like tilapia.

2.) I like spicy deer chili.

3.) I should, theoretically, enjoy a combination of tilapia and spicy deer chili.

Unfortunately, good cooking is not simply a matter of adding stuff you like together and making something awesome. This was definitely one of those situations where good plus good equals absolutely horrendous.

I loaded the tilapia on a baking sheet and put it in the oven. After cooking the fish by itself, I simply dumped the container of deer chili on top of the fish. I let it cook long enough to thoroughly cook the fish and reheat the chili. Then I took it out of the oven and hoped that my new invention would be a culinary delight.

Well, it wasn’t. Obviously. I shoveled the blasphemous combination into my mouth and desperately tried to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad. It was that bad. It really, really was that bad. Awful, in fact. I cannot even begin to express how bad it was. I think I ate all of it in a stubborn attempt to make it grow on me, but it never did. After I finished, the digestive aftermath probably put some significant mileage on the apartment’s plumbing. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but that may just be my subconscious trying to protect me.

So, what is the moral of this story? Sometimes, combining two food items that you like together will not yield pleasant results. For the love of all things good and decent, please consult a recipe before you experiment in the kitchen. Use a cookbook, Pinterest, guidance from a trusted individual, or something before you nearly kill yourself making awful food combinations. That was definitely a situation where my overconfidence made me bite off more than I could chew, literally and figuratively.

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