I can’t cook. There really isn’t much more to add to that.
Some of the proof of combining “can’t” and “cook” in the same sentence is here, here and here, just to show you that I’m not exaggerating. I am less than sub-par in the kitchen. I shouldn’t even be allowed in the kitchen.
I’m mostly convinced our little sprout will eventually be fending for themselves, foraging through the fridge, making butter sandwiches and filling cups with shredded cheese for a snack. Because, really, let’s be honest, here. Both of those options will probably taste better than any of my concoctions.
Thing is, my inability to successfully make a recipe without, at minimum, seven separate fiascos taking place between step one and giving up doesn’t seem to stop me from trying. Again and again and again. Isn’t that the definition of stupidity? Doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result?
(raises hand) That’s me.
I think the reason I continue to practice kitchen masochism is because I have some deep seeded desire to blossom into Martha Stewart or The Pioneer Woman or Betty Crocker (she was real, right?). *I* want to be the chick with all the super delicious recipes who always turns out magazine-perfect dishes that taste like heaven on a fork. I don’t want to continue to be the girl who can barely make macaroni and cheese without burning down the house. Did I mention that one time I thought I turned on a burner on the stove and then forgot about it? Well…turns out I only managed to turn on the gas. No flame. I basically turned our house into a ticking time bomb.
Something happened to me the other day.
The kitchen gods threw me a bone. And they NEVER throw bones.
Tim was working late, so I offered to bring dinner up to his work where we’d have a form of a picnic…in his office. Then again, I don’t know if it even qualifies as a picnic if you aren’t eating outside…
Anyhow, instead of doing the easy thing and picking up something on the way, I decided to MAKE dinner. Make the picnic special or something. I have no idea.
Again, with the poor decisions.
I decided to keep it simple. Pasta salad. That’s easy, right? It’s just a bunch of things thrown together in a bowl and mixed around. How hard can that be, really? I found a recipe and then – and this is probably why I run into problems in the kitchen – I decided to modify it. I didn’t like the vegetables they selected. I wanted to add cheese. I wanted grilled chicken.
So, off I went. Dicing veggies and cooking chicken and boiling water for the pasta.
When all was said and done, I was pretty proud of my creation. It looked colorful and happy! It tasted….(really?) good. IT TASTED LIKE FOOD! This was huge for me. HUGE.
I made something edible.
When I arrived at Tim’s work, we busted out the goods and began eating. The first mumbled words out of Tim’s mouth?
“Mmmm…This is really good!”
Me: You like it?! Really?? Wait…really?!….
Tim: It’s delicious! Where’d you get it from?
Me: Wait. What? Where’d I get it from?
Tim: Yah. It looks store bought…
Me: You think it looks store bought?!
Tim, eyes wide, questioning his decision to say that: Yes….? And (husband catch-all, thrown in for good measure) it tastes really great, too…?
Me, bouncing up and down in my chair: You think it looks store bought!!!!
Tim, utterly confused at my behavior: Isn’t it?…
Me: No! I. MADE. IT. I. MADE. IT!!!
(fist pump. twirly happy dance)
That right there?
Only the single best compliment anyone has ever given me on my cooking.
Now…if only I could figure out how to repeat that performance with something more complicated. Like Baked Alaska. Or am I jumping too many steps ahead of myself? Something is telling me that I’m missing a step or eleventythousand. What should come after pasta salad and before Baked Alaska. Maybe a casserole?
I didn’t take any pictures of this pasta salad because, well, who knew I would make something that looked like it was made by someone who knew what they were doing?! However, here is what I did if you want to concoct your own:
half bag wacky mac noodles (or other macaroni style), cooked and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
3 green onions, sliced into thin circles
1/2-1 cup cooked chicken breast (salted and peppered only, cooked in olive oil), cubed
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 6oz can sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup italian style dressing
Throw it all into a bowl, mix it around (make sure not to over-dress), cover and set in refrigerator until you’re ready to eat!