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By Pepper Cunningham

Hello there, fellow chef! I’m so glad you stumbled upon my humble cooking blog. Please fill out the survey at the bottom of the page to let me know how you found me. Don’t forget to rate the recipe once you’ve tried it! I’m so excited to share my recipe with you. But first, a quick story: 

I have a long history with disaster. It was prepared for me growing up, a side dish for pasta or roast chicken. My stepfather loved to make me disaster. He was an excellent cook. Later on, so did my creepy neighbor and my various romantic partners. My mother hated when I’d eat it, fearing that I’d like it too much and binge on it. She never served it to me if she could avoid it, but sometimes those were the only ingredients in the kitchen so we had to make do. 

Despite my mother’s best efforts, I found myself developing cravings for it, so now I make it weekly, if not daily. Over the years, I’ve perfected my recipe. It took a lot of trial and error (but not as much as a souffle, CLICK HERE for my simplified souffle recipe!) but I think I’ve finally found the right combination of cigarettes, loneliness, and a dash of wine for depth. The key to creating disaster is that it has to come from you, from your heart. I’m not talking natural disasters (CLICK HERE for my combating climate change recipe!) and I’m not talking accidents, like house fires or near-drowning, though I’m also familiar with those. 

No, this disaster is self-inflicted, whipped up in no time flat. The dish is rich, full of umami and the crunch of delusion. Even if you follow my measurements to the letter, yours might taste different, and that’s okay! The beauty of cooking this dish is that it can be served hot or cold, unlike revenge, as I’m sure you know (CLICK HERE for my cold revenge recipe, excellent for this crushing heat wave!). The results may vary, but it’s difficult to mess up the basics. 

I’ve always been haunted. My ghosts come in many forms, but they primarily prefer rattling around in my grey matter. They were crucial to developing this recipe. My personal disaster has been in the works for years, at least since I was a teenager. When I met my now-ex, they really helped me hone it. We had five years of back-and-forth about it, and when they felt I was straying too far from the eye of the disaster storm, they would reel me back in and remind me that I was and would always be a disaster expert, incapable of change or growth. There’s no

coming back from that! The trauma they inflicted was useful, but later I decided to replace it with self-sabotage. If you’re reading this, Ex, thanks for that! 

Ingredients you’ll need: 

½ tsp salt 

½ cup wound (they can be surface-level, but the recipe works better if they’re deep so the salt can really get in there) 

1 tbsp lime juice 

3 packs American Spirit menthols 

2 bottles cabernet (brand isn’t important, but don’t skimp on this!) 

3 cups iced coffee (make sure to forget to drink it after you make it so the ice melts) ⅓ cup water (not too much; you want to feel thirsty so you can continue the cycles) pinch of both guilt and shame to taste (everyone has these in their pantries already, I hope!) 

Okay, no more beating around the bush. Us recipe bloggers love a story! Below the ad, you can view the recipe. You can adjust your ad choices and cookies in settings. 


Open your wounds as much as possible. Sprinkle in the salt, then squeeze in the lime juice. Set aside to marinate. 

Smoke the cigarettes as quickly as possible while drinking the cabernet by yourself on your balcony. If you feel so inclined, drunk-dial a friend or family member. This will be useful once we get to the guilt and shame. 

Run back inside and chug the iced coffee to help with your headache. It might taste a little watery, but it’ll still do the trick. 

Remember to drink that small amount of water, but don’t drink too much of it. Disaster works better if you’re dehydrated.

Now, your wounds should have marinated, so you can grab that mixing bowl and throw in that dash of guilt and shame. Put it in the oven and let it boil on high heat for 29 years. Serve immediately. 

There you have it! I find that this recipe works best if you make it in small batches, but it’s really up to you. Did I forget something? Did you try it at home and find a new ingredient to elevate the recipe? Let me know in the comments, but keep it civil, because I will cry! Once again, don’t forget to rate the recipe, and if you liked it, tell your friends. Join me next week to learn how to make regret. That one’s a real doozy!

Pepper Cunningham (she/her) is a writer and editor based in the mountains of Southern Ecuador. She is the Translation Editor at MAYDAY Magazine. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Split Lip, Rust + Moth, Rough Cut Press, Gnashing Teeth Publishing, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, “Hope Is The Thing With Teeth”, will be released this fall with Bottlecap Press.

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