I don’t cook often, but when I do, I make sure to start from a recipe. Which I use for general inspiration. Following directions has never been one of my core skills. I like to do things in bolder strokes. Follow my lead, renegades:
1) Get the lentils and dump them in a pot. Turn on the stove and let the pot boil over 5-7 times.
2) Throw some oil in a pan and fry up this onion they mention in the recipe. But since you found it on top of the fridge and it was kind of old, add some scallions. Also add a stalk of celery just because it seems like a good idea. Then notice the garlic in the recipe, so toss in a little of that.
3) Locate that bag of My Mother's Lentil Spice you bought on 29th street, even though you only went into the store to escape the pouring rain last time you were in midtown with nice hair and no umbrella. You think the My Mother's is in the cabinet somewhere. Hunt around. Remember it’s in the other room. Don’t worry about the things smouldering on the stove. You can’t be everywhere at once, so stressing is pointless.
4) Attempt to add up how many tablespoons of spice are actually in this recipe. Realize this will take a lot of unnecessary effort and just unload a healthy pour of My Mother's Lentil Spice.
5) Misread the recipe and add a small can of tomato paste instead of a large can of tomato puree.
6) Realize the tomato paste enables you to craft a sticky little ball. Roll the little ball around in the frying pan until it is coated with fried things and resembles an undesirable christmas ornament.
6) Fling your decorative ball into a dish along with the lentils. Mush it around.
7) Add some turmeric because it prevents Alzheimer's.
8) Congratulate Yourself! Lentil Surprise is not half bad!