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