cooking…….not so much

I like to cook.  I like to attempt to cook.  I marvel at how easily the hosts on Food Network create an entire meal all by themselves (or so it seems).  They’re never stressed.  They don’t have water boiling over in a pot while a timer is going off because something in another pan is finished cooking and the oven is yelling saying it is pre-heated and ready for the meat I have yet to get out of its packaging while I am trying to delicately slice vegetables.  Somehow… no matter how closely I follow the directions… my timing is always WAY off.  We tried to make fondue on Valentine’s Day last year.  Let me just say I started prepping for our romantic dinner hours before Tim got home and we never finished.  We managed to have melted cheese with bread and apples by 9:30pm.  The protein course never happened.  Nor did dessert.  Fondue is not on my list of things to try again.  Sounded like a good idea at the time.  Now, if you want fondue, we’re going out.  No questions asked.

I’m good at making a few things as long as there are not too many simultaneous steps involved.  Spaghetti I can handle.  A stir fry is slightly challenging.  Anything requiring two pots and an oven?  You can forget about it.  I cannot chop vegetables fast enough to get them into a pan by the time butter melts.  Not gonna happen.  Ever.  The ironic part is that I work for a college that teaches people how to cook.  I’ve gotten to the point where if someone asks what my job is, I tell them that I am not the one teaching the cooking before I even state my job title.  I am in the administrative side of the building.  That seems to quell the questions.

Sadly enough, my desire to make an extravagant meal usually turns into an interesting and long ordeal.  Tim usually eats whatever I put on the table but I know if he likes it or not just based on the look on his face after the first bite.  If he doesn’t repeat how much he is enjoying his meal I know it’s a dud.  We’ve had a lot of one hit wonders grace our table never to be seen again.  I get lucky sometimes and a dish I make gets to stay in the rotation.  I struck gold with a recipe for “gourmet chicken sandwiches” from a recipe website.  Tim LOVES them and they only require one pan and minimal work in the knife skills area.  Perfect.  I am no little Ms. Suzie Homemaker, though I try.  Never will Tim come home and see me with my hair in place and no remenants of dinner’s creation anywhere on a perfectly pressed apron, waltz out of the kitchen, flashing a smile with a basket of warm rolls held delicately in my hands while leaning over just slightly for a kiss, the hot rolls safely away from his body.  Tim comes home to me scrambling around, cabinet doors slamming, hair pulled back into a ponytail with a determined look on my face, never even glancing up at him upon his arrival.  For if I break the concentration between myself and my current project, something might burn or spill or blow up.

We go out to eat a lot.


3 Responses to “cooking…….not so much”

  1. 1 Neighbor Nancy February 22, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Here are some suggestions:
    1. Pick one thing to be the meal…your main focus… let us say pork chops. This is the thing that takes your focus.

    2. While you are learning timing, precook stuff that reheats well. So, make mac & cheese ahead of time and frig. it until about 15 minutes before the pork chops are due out of the oven. Warm it up. It stays warm ’cause of the … um … mass.

    5 minutes before reheat precooked or even canned string beans with enough water to cover and 2 bouillon cubes into a glass measuring cup. Heat to boiling

    When plating the dinner, add applesauce from a jar in the frig.

    Another thought write down each step and about when you need to do it. Making stir fry? Cut the veggies ahead and store them in the frig. ’til needed.

    Remember to have fun. My husband appreciates the effort and thinks messy and determined is sexy. Yup, he’s a keeper.

    Never give up on your adventure and remember there is cereal in the cupboard. It’s lovely with candlelight. 🙂

  2. 2 Daphne September 1, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I’m going through your archives and this one made me laugh. Good for you for trying new things even though they are challenging and often end up other than the way you intended. And good for Tim for supporting you in your endeavors.

    • 3 Jessica September 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm

      Daphne: Ugh…cooking. It’s like a love-hate relationship. I try SO HARD…and somehow…it just never turns out right. Why I keep trying… I guess it’s the maternal instinct…I’m “supposed” to be able to whip things up…

      Yes – good thing Tim is patient enough with my efforts…cause I’ve yet to actually have a “meal” go without incident. Just last night…I turned on the burner…with NO FLAME…leaked gas all through the kitchen…

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