I saw that on a sign once at an antique mall. It was painted on a plain board with the words written in block type “Don’t ask me … it came with the house.” I kick myself I didn’t buy it because I couldn’t think of a better way to describe how I feel about my kitchen.
I usually like to blame my upbringing for my lack of culinary skills. When you’re raised in a household where applesauce is a vegetable, its kind of hard to think about how to properly cook a steak tartare. (Wait, you don’t cook steak tartare do you?) I only know that food term because I’ve watched every single episode of Top Chef including the All-Stars series. You’d think that a person with that many Top Chef episodes under her belt wouldn’t start every recipe with “remove box from freezer.”
I’ve tried, I swear I’ve tried to learn about this kitchen cooking thing. I even tried to cook a Christmas Eve dinner once with a turkey breast and a bunch of side dishes. After two hours of swearing and sweating in the kitchen, my son Jake looked at the food I lovingly placed (alright maybe I threw it) on the table and asked me if I would microwave a Boston Market meatloaf dinner for him instead. The only thing that was really edible that night were the crescent rolls. I just had to unwrap them and put them in the oven. It was not a shining moment in my cooking career.
After that debacle in the kitchen, I learned to file this under the category of “things I know about myself” – I can’t cook.
And its not just that I can’t cook, I have no interest in cooking. All that cutting, prepping, figuring out what spice goes with what, stirring stuff … it just doesn’t excite me. I get frustrated and I just want to sit down to eat. But I can’t sit down to eat because there’s all this cutting, prepping, stirring and figuring of stuff that needs to be done. It’s an endless cycle that only ends when I give up and ‘remove the box from the freezer.’
Due to the fact I really DO like to eat good food, I’ve had to figure out a way to make meals for myself and Jake. Over the years I’ve unraveled the mysteries about out how to boil water and follow directions on the back of the box. I’ve been known to make a mean pot of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I’m also starting to learn how to work the gas grill a friend gave me. I think she felt sorry for my son eating all those frozen meals and wanted to make sure that I could give him something like a cheeseburger every now and then.
So when one of my consulting clients, Mitch, suggested that he teach me how to cook something and then I would have to cook it on my own, I wasn’t sure what to think. Now you need to understand Mitch isn’t just an ordinary chef, he’s a gourmet chef. The kind of guy who rolls out the dough for his own pizza crust, makes his own salad dressing and creates dishes I can’t pronounce let alone even spell.
It was a culinary challenge. After I got over the initial laughter, I was like, wait, what, huh? What did I just agree to do? And then I opened my big mouth and told my social media training partner Dawn and she was like, “You need to video tape these and post them on YouTube!”
Again … after I got over the initial laughter, I was like, wait, what, huh?
I rolled this around in my head for a few days. I decided to take mental possession of this challenge and give it a try. This may end up being a good learning experience and at least at the end of this, I’ll be able to add one more recipe to my list alongside the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Boston Market meatloaf.
Photo Credit: Pots and pans