Monday, January 16, 2012

Hate is a Strong Word for Cook

Some time around Thanksgiving, I published a tweet that said something like this;


I'm pretty sure that when she read this, my genius-in-the-kitchen sister-in-law rolled her eyes. And judging by the many follow-up questions/comments I received from my mom, I KNOW this gave her a little heart-burn.

But it's true. I hate it.

There are a lot of things I'm good at and a lot of things I want to be good at. However, when it comes to cooking, I'm just plain not interested.

And when I do try, it usually seems to turn into a big-fat-waste-of-time.

First of all, there's the time that I carefully and enthusiastically selected and shopped for FIVE different Christmas cookie recipes that I found in a magazine that claimed they were easy. Six-hours and seventy-five dollars later, I ended up with exactly seven appealing and/or edible cookies. Dozens of others had been burned, smashed, cracked, or otherwise obliterated.

Then there was the time that I decided to make potato-cauliflower soup for a little dinner party we were having. It seemed simple enough. Boil the ingredients. Blend the ingredients. Put the soup in a bowl. However, just minutes after getting a truck load of vegetables into the boiling water, I remembered that I didn't own a blender. I spent the next 45 minutes "blending" two gallons of soup - one cup at a time - in my little food processor.

Then there's yesterday.

I decided I would make soup and bread for my family for dinner. Not fancy soup. No, the kind that comes in a bag and you just add water and boil.

But the bread, that is where I intended to get fancy. I planned ahead, got out the ingredients for homemade bread, and got my bread machine all set-up.

(Here's where Mark nicely reminded me that using a bread machine isn't really cooking. I said, "Honey, if I even so much as have to pre-heat the oven or get out a measuring cup, you had better tell me I did a good job cooking. Putting flour into the bread machine certainly falls within those parameters.")

Fast forward one hour to a slight hint of my-nose-smells-something-hot. I had completely forgotten about the bread at this point and ignored the smell for a good 20 minutes before I decided to investigate.

It turns out the bread had risen too high and spilled over onto the heating unit - creating a marble-sized chunk of charcoal and a truck-sized cloud of smoke.

"It's okay," you say, "This could have happened to anyone."

Yes. True. I agree.

But here's the real problem.

Because my bread-machine has an awful, squawking, beeper that goes off every-time the darn thing is changing gears or starting up or finishing or generally feeling neglected, I decided that the bread needed to bake (A meager loaf of bread is no reason to chance waking the napping toddler whose room is right off of the kitchen.)

I baked the bread in the bedroom with all of the doors closed. CLOSED TIGHT.

So what I actually discovered was a bedroom that smelled like two-weeks of camping and a smoke detector that was seconds away from alerting the neighborhood that an idiot chef was living on the block.

I dumped the rock-hard lump of should-be bread and spent the rest of the evening washing my bedding and rewashing the clean clothes that were on my bed and assuring my husband that the clothes in the closet will be all right, you know, after he wears them once and they get washed.

So today we have half of a loaf of french bread from Safeway and a whole closet full of clothes that smell like fire. And I am more certain in my conviction that, for me, cooking is just not gonna get me anywhere.

As for dinner last night, the bread that Mark picked up from Safeway was delicious and we all LOVED the soup that came out of the bag.

I see no reason to change things.



This was the most amusing thing I have read. Thank you for the laugh. I think you do an amazing job. No need to get fancy :)

Andrea said...

I was in tears by the end of this (having experienced the same blender-less dilemma). I am glad to find someone else that understands my deep loathing of the kitchen!