having cooked for myself (pretty much exclusively, before you start hating and jump on the 'toxic-food-gonna-kill-us-all bandwagon) for about 5 years now, i've grown lazy. lazy to get 'the good stuff', lazy to spend time cooking, and especially lazy at doing the little chores that make food actually edible. for example, i don't peel my tumeric anymore. the skin's nasty as hell. and tumeric blocks on your tongue? horribaddible. but, lazy > good food, and i don't cook for others so i deal with it.
to compensate, i've learned a few tricks which basically involve using 'condiments' to mask the horrible taste of my cooking. horrible here ranging from bland, tasteless pasta to omgwtf aftertaste my mystery chicken dish has. if i ever cook my mystery chicken and you're around, please taste a bit, if only to make you forever appreciate whatever food comes your way in the future.
to help those of you who don't cook, are just starting out, or for whatever reason are just as inept as me, here's some of these condiments i speak of:
tomato sauce / ketchup - the great red. no college student should live without it. week old pizza? no worries. flavourless fried rice? easy. sweet-and-sour fish tastes like salt water? pushing it, but still doable. tomato sauce. bottled magic.
black pepper - for political correctness, now called coloured pepper. shit's amazing. just be careful not to sniff too much and burn your nose.
honey - the obvious substitute when you don't have sugar. the awesome thing about honey is you can put it in with your cooking, or after finishing. it's the 'oh shit' backup plan. too salty? too sour? too bitter? too [undefined taste spawned only when you cook]? hide it with the sweetness of bee spit.
peanuts - in fact, any kind of nuts. except the male-exclusive one. although some of my friends would beg to differ... in any case, not only do peanuts have the distinct flavour, the texture effect makes you forget you have chunky something-or-another which shouldn't be there to begin with. caution for those with acne problems, though. and allergies. although if you'd rather not live if you had the acne problems, by all means.
and my master ingredient, without which my tastebuds would have died long ago, cheese. and yes, along with honey, the stuff's expensive. you don't need expensive cheese, though. norwegian brie? blue vein? dutch edam? all these overrated cheeses taste nasty anyway. stick with cheddar. silce to 2cm thickness, drop it on whatever crap you've cooked / burned / magicked from the 7th circle of hell, pop in the microwave (hencewith referred to as the time-machine) and you get a plate of instant win. you are teh winnar.
got suggestions or additions to the list? post 'em. my palate will be eternally grateful. and no, it's not reciprocating with 'favours'. pervs.