Hey readers, just a heads up: this recipe discusses mental health issues, panic attacks, and thought spirals. You might want to skip this one or save it for later.

Serving size:
2 people

Total cook time:
45 minutes


  • Breathing exercises
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 250 grams bacon, diced
  • 100 grams cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • Don’t use the bacon
  • … Why not?
  • I think that it’s off
  • I don’t think it is
  • It’s been out of the fridge for too long
  • It hasn’t expired, it’ll be fine
  • Fine, use the bacon, it’s fine
  • 100 grams feta cheese
  • Don’t use the bacon, it’ll kill you



1: Realise you are a fool and have never cooked a frittata before.

2: Gulp.

3: Call out to your partner. Ask your partner for her help.

4: Your partner is now in the kitchen. Everything isn’t going to plan but everything is fine.

5: You haven’t prepped, like a champion. Cut up the onion and garlic.

6: Heat a hotplate up to six (whatever that means) and put your frypan over the hotplate.

7: Gently pour the olive oil into the pan, as if you were laying down a baby. Sprinkle the garlic and onion into the boiling oil.

8: Cut up that carrot.

9: Let your partner pour the sliced carrot into the frypan.

10: You are using the wrong hotplate.

11: … Um?

10: You are using the wrong hotplate.

12: What?

10: You are using the wrong hotplate.

13: There’s a wrong hotplate?

10: You are using the wrong hotplate. You burnt plastic onto that hotplate. You burnt that plastic bag onto it by accident and now it is ruined. You cannot use that hotplate. Who knows what will happen if you use that hotplate?

14: It’ll be fine.

10: You tried to clean the burnt plastic off it, but you couldn’t. You scrubbed for hours and couldn’t clean that hotplate.

15: Grab your green capsicum.

16: Start to slice the green capsicum.

10: You are using the wrong hotplate.

14: It’ll be fine.

10: You are using the wrong hotplate.

10: You are using the wrong hotplate.

17: Turn to your partner. Smile. Explain to her that she is using the wrong hotplate. Feel embarrassed that you’re becoming anxious. Don’t explain that you’re becoming anxious. Say anything, say, she’s using the wrong hotplate because it doesn’t get hot enough. Say, the one on the right gets hot, the left one doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve lived here for ages, I don’t think it’ll cook properly, please move it over, I reckon it’ll cook faster over on the right one.

18: Smile as your partner looks at you, confused. She says something polite and then thanks you for your concern. She explains that the right plate is smaller and would be too small to cook everything that’s in the pan.

19: Smile. Say, alright. Make a joke and say it’s all fine. Go back to cutting up the capsicum.

20: Concentrate on the capsicum.

21: Deep breaths.

22: Don’t get anxious.

23: Ignore the hotplate, the bitter taste, your heart starting to thump.

21: Deep breaths.

24: Don’t shake. Who the fuck gets shaky while cutting up capsicum?

25: Ask her to change the hotplate.

26: She says no.

14: It’ll be fine.

14: It’ll be fine.

14: It’ll be fine.

27: Your hotplate is poison.

14: It’ll be fine.

28: She said no. She is using the wrong hotplate.

29: Be brave. There is nothing wrong with your hotplate.

30: There is no plastic left on your hotplate.

14: It’ll be fine.

31: Start to feel ill.

32: You’re a fucking idiot. You are trapped.

33: You’re shaking, you still haven’t cut up the capsicum, you dickhead. Cut up the feta instead.

25: Ask her to change the hotplate.

26: She says no.

25: Ask her to change the hotplate.

26: She says no.

25: Ask her to change the hotplate!

26: She says no! She says no!

34: Fine, fuck it! Abruptly leave the chopping board and the half-uncut capsicum. Walk over to the kitchen island as your partner asks you what’s happening. Look up. You are shaking with a mixture of fear and dense rage. Pull at the hairs on your scalp. You can’t breathe. You can’t breathe. You can’t breathe. Fuck doing your breathing exercises, and you can’t breathe, and you’re a fuckhead.

37: Isabel looks over to you: alone and confused. She slowly turns off the hotplate and moves the pan to the one on the right.

38: You have won. You feel awful.

39: You dumb motherfucker. You’ve hurt her. You left abruptly and it hurt her.

40: Sit down.

41: You dumb motherfucker idiot. Why did you hurt her? Why can’t you say what you’re feeling? Isabel should leave you. You always hurt people. You can’t even use a hotplate without hurting people. Why are you scared of everything? It makes you feel crazy, why do you always feel crazy?

42: Isabel continues to cook.

43: You upset her. You promised her earlier that you’d call Headspace. Why haven’t you called?

44: She fries the capsicum.

45: You dumb motherfucker.

46: She throws in the spinach, the frozen peas.

47: Breathe.

48: She throws in the bacon.

49: Fuck.

50: She pours in the eggs.

51: Be brave.

52: The cheddar.

53: Eat your dinner.

54: The feta.

55: Look up and say sorry.

56: She looks back at you, says that it’s fine.

53: Eat your dinner.

57: She serves it onto two plates.

53: Eat your dinner.

58: Please call Headspace. Please call Headspace after you sleep, after your heart calms, when the dark becomes the next morning. You’ll be hungry, you won’t have eaten your dinner. Please call them the next morning regardless.

59: Pick up your fork. Believe that you can finish your dinner.

Joel Burrows is a writer and amateur cook. His work has been published by the Writers Bloc, The Music, and Homer. Since writing this recipe, Joel called Headspace and has organised to go see them soon.