Much has been said and written, already, about the journalistic acumen, boggling intellectual acuity, and profuse humanity and generosity of Tommy Craggs; how these and other traits have made him, in turn, a terrific writer of one or two vituperative paragraphs per year, a successful editor of ephemeral butt-action content on the internet, and now the most available possible person to shepherd Gawker Media into its bright future for a few months before Nick Denton decides to turn it into an MMORPG. Much else has been said about what a pathologically miserable, put-upon, constitutionally disagreeable cat person he is.
He's also a nuclear disaster in the kitchen. Take it from me, the suicidally depressed unemployed former tech-industry office drone with two kids, no degree, no culinary background, and a resume like a bedsore he thought would make sense as a professional food writer, to his eternal discredit. Below you'll find a transcript of a time Tommy tried to cook a pork chop, and then tried to get some pork chop cooking instruction via Gchat, at 10:00 at night, from an idiot with no culinary training.
Jan. 9, 2013, Gchat:
10:04 PM Tommy: look, i don't want to overstep my bounds here
10:05 PM me: ?
Tommy: but if you know of a pork chop recipe
please let me know
i'm in a spot of trouble here
how big are the chops?
Tommy: i have sage, pork chops, prosciutto, a girlfriend getting home from vegas in an hour
10:06 PM me: each?
10:06 PM Tommy: no
10:06 PM me: BEAUTIFUL
10:06 PM Tommy: prosciutto is optional here
here's what you do.
sear, then roast with the sage in the pan.
nothing on them directly but salt and pepper
10:07 PM Tommy: [googles "sear"]
me: ah, brown the motherfuck out of them in an extremely hot pan
there will be smoke
then roast them in a 450-degree oven for oh, 8-10 minutes?
10:10 PM Tommy: ok. i'm going to try this.
i'm going to fail
10:10 PM me: you could probably do some kind of pork juice reduction with the sage and the rendered pork fat, but that's not my sorta thing
10:10 PM Tommy: i'm terrible in the kitchen
me: eh, it'll taste great
10:10 PM Tommy: oh no. it'll be dry and awful
10:10 PM me: lemme know how it turns out
10:10 PM Tommy: i know myself
10:10 PM me: sear-roasting should yield a pretty juice chop
10:11 PM Tommy: ok. thank you.
me: no sweat
[10 minutes later]
me: hey, if you're still there, maybe back it down to 6-8 minutes in the oven i was thinking of bigger chops
shouldn't be disastrous anyway
10:22 PM Tommy: should i add the salt and pepper after searing?
me: no, before
after's OK, too, but before is better
10:28 PM open a window before you sear the chops
[23 minutes later]
Tommy: "oven-safe skillet"
that's all i'm going to say
i'm going away now
10:52 PM me: non-teflon
10:52 PM Tommy: so full of self-loathing right now
me: i've done it with teflon skillets before
i'll probably get brain cancer, but you couldn't taste a difference
most skillets are oven safe
10:54 PM Tommy: well, not the one i used
me: oh no.
10:54 PM Tommy: i don't want to talk about it
me: oh dear.
well, i feel awful
Tommy: no. it's me.
i'm the dumbest
10:55 PM me: any chance of salvaging things?
Tommy: the chop is actually choplike
the skillet is not skilletlike
me: oh NO
destroy the evidence! say it's in the shop!