Don’t Ask Me … it came with the house

pots and pans

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 blame my upbringing for my lack of culinary skills. When you’re raised in a household where applesauce is a vegetable, it’s 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 stops 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’ve also learned 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.

I’m sure it would help if I had cooking utensils in my home to help me make a proper meal. For the longest time, the only knives I had in my house were steak knives. I bought them because I thought that I need a set of knives and they looked like the sharpest ones in the store.

Don’t even get me started about the time I tried to make pizza for Jake. I didn’t attempt to make my own dough and I even used the pre-made stuff. It looked as bad as it tasted. It’s a good thing I know my cooking skills are limited and I made arrangements for a backup dinner. I just went back into the kitchen … and removed the box from the freezer.

I like to think that I live by the words of Julia Child when it comes to cooking:

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Photo credit: Cooking Utensils

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17 thoughts on “Don’t Ask Me … it came with the house

  1. Baby steps. Start with frozen cheese pizza and add your own toppings. Or you can try doctoring mac & cheese or it’s cousin, hamburger helper. I also grew up in a house where applesauce was a vegetable, add cottage cheese and that was desert!

    • I’m trying to figure this cooking thing out, mostly for health reasons. I keep looking on Pinterest for recipes but then they say ‘blanch’ or blend and I’m like, with what?

      I don’t have a clue to do any of that stuff AND the kicker is — I have no desire to learn. It really just doesn’t interest me. Dinner time is a huge pain for me to figure out what to cook.

    • I totally agree – cooking is just not for everyone. I don’t know if recipes will help, I’m thinking more along the lines of hiring a personal chef. I think that’s the answer to my issues with the kitchen 🙂

  2. Love the post! I laughed at a few lines and also pitied Jake. I thought I was a bad cook. I don’t have the patience for it eitehr but can do a little more than take it out of the box – a little.
    Btw, I don’t even what steak tartare is though I have heard of it.

  3. AWH you just need some guidance! Your SO funny this post was a stitch!!! I’m not a bad cook in fact I’m so good I could win a James Beard Award if I got a bit of training BUT I HATE IT!!!
    I cook for the people I love and THAT”S IT!!! IT’s HOT IT”S BACK BRAKING and you have to WATCH WATCH WATCH TEST TEST TEST!!! UGH
    I’m 5’11” and my counters are high enough for a 4’2″ woman I’m stooped over the whole time IT”S AGONY!!!
    Sorry venting LOL!!!

    • Too bad you don’t live near me, I’d pay you to come over to cook for me 🙂

      I’ve always thought that someone should do a cooking show on Food Network for people like me – How to cook a healthy meal using your microwave and toaster oven in 20 minutes or less. I just can’t believe I’m the only one out there like this

      • LOL ACTUALLY its REALLY easy…
        I have a healthy open face sandwich I make
        it’s SIMPLE!!!
        Olive Oil in a small pan… gently warm maybe on medium or medium low (garlic hates high heat) cook garlic for like 30 seconds TURN OFF HEAT
        Add hand full of Spinach and let Spinach gently wilt.
        TOASTER
        One slice of whole grain or whole wheat toast with a bit of olive oil on the top. . . Toast
        Get can of Great Northern Beans and mush up to paste (I use a spoon in the can…) Add salt and pepper
        OPEN can of artichoke hearts grab 2 or 3 pieces and place in warm pan (I push Spinach and garlic on one side place artichoke hearts on other side)
        NOW take toast out of oven spread on bean paste, then top with Spinach & garlic (touch of salt and pepper)
        Top with Artichoke hearts and ENJOY!!!
        IT’s SUPER healthy and SO YUMMY and FAST!!! I have mine with a smoothie… I wish it was lunch!
        I make my self soups at night when I cook dinner EASY stuff and eat that through the week for lunch. I could really help you out if you would like some!

  4. Pingback: TV Shows I Wish The Food Network Would Produce | My journey to live an authentic life

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