‘Cooking with Fire’ or ‘Tales of a Domestic Diva Gone Wong’
After reading some of the wonderful stories of cooking fiascos, I started thinking about my long and shady relationship with the kitchen. It’s a history I’m not proud of, but I console myself with thinking, “hey, at least I can play the clarinet pretty well.” That’s my story anyway, and I’m sticking to it.
When I was a young bride, I was determined to learn to cook interesting meals. My culinary prowess did not get off to a very good start, however, as the first meal I cooked went over like a lead balloon. Oh, I tried my best, slaving over a Quiche Loraine, getting the spices just so. That was all well and fine, until my husband- to-be cut into the feast and came up with a juicy slice of the paper lining I had neglected to remove from the pie crust. Details.
Oh, and then there was the Thanksgiving that I stuffed the wrong end of the turkey and cooked it upside down. I wondered why I couldn’t fit as much stuffing in as usual, but figured it was a defect in the bird. We called it ‘Ass Stuffing’, and I still haven’t lived that one down. My first marriage was doomed from the beginning, and my husband should just be thankful that he survived as many years as he did eating my nightmarish kitchen experiments.
I scoured all of the cookbooks I had been given as wedding presents, tried recipes handed down through my family, talked with Mom about kitchen techniques, bought tools and spices. Mom was a good cook, and my sister could make an old leather shoe taste good. Somehow I just didn’t get the cooking gene. Not one tiny ounce of it.
I made breads that wouldn’t rise. At all. I made soups that looked gray and suspicious, set the oven on fire while cooking a turkey (Thanksgivings were always dramatic), set off the smoke detector on a regular basis, and inspired more dining out than Carter had liver pills (I don’t know what that means, but Mom says it, so I threw it in for effect). I was consistent of nothing else.
When I met Dan, I sheepishly warned him about what he was up against. And then the heavens opened and I heard angels sing as he said the glorious words, “Honey, I love to cook- you let me take care of that from now on.” Boom. I had found the perfect man.
Dan effortlessly makes meals worthy of a five star restaurant. It is a hobby to him, an avocation. Me? I promised to love, honor, and clean up any mess he makes in the kitchen (his messes are quite spectacular, by the way). We live in wedded bliss with happy tastebuds and a clean kitchen.
I still make the occasional foray into cooking, but I KISS it (keep it simple, Stupid). There’s not too much trouble you can get into with a can opener and a microwave…though there was that time when I exploded a bowl of chili in the microwave…it looked like a scene out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But hey, nobody’s perfect.