Monday, May 14, 2012

Confessions From My Kitchen

Chef Linguine and Chef Ginguine

I was talking to my sister the other day about cooking.  She mentioned how she has always left it to her sisters-in-law or me to do the hosting of family parties because she wasn't up for cooking and hosting a big meal like that.  I thought it was pretty funny that she thinks I am Miss Hospitality.  If she only knew...

So when I got married, I could cook.  Sort of.  Okay, I knew how to make maybe a handful of dishes, none of which my new Husband liked (I was raised on casseroles and Hubby loathes them).  Hubby was/is a great cook.  His pie-in-the-sky dream is to open his own restaurant.  He's forever whipping up these gourmet dishes without consulting a recipe and it makes me jealous.

In my first year of marriage I have one memory that stands out above of all other memories.  I was trying to cook fish, something I'd never done before.  My dinner wasn't turning out.  The oven was finicky and the fish wasn't cooking right.  We were supposed to be somewhere and I was running out of time.  I was upset, frustrated, eventually irate.  I ended up so disgusted with the whole thing that I opened the back door and threw the fish out into the yard.

I used to be extremely self conscious about cooking for Hubby because he's so good at it and I'm just not.  I have to follow a recipe most of the time, I will probably never know what all the different spices in my spice rack are for, and I'm just not that creative.  I could eat the same ten dishes over and over and be completely happy with it. 

It wasn't until about three years into my marriage that I felt like I could maybe sort of cook okay.  I could at least cook well enough to feed my family.  Almost ten years into my marriage I haven't had a bomber meal in about two years, I cook about 90% from scratch, my kids eat my cooking usually without complaint, and Hubby rarely says that something is a dud, so I think I may have finally mastered this thing called cooking.

Baby Joy approves of this meal

Yet, whenever a friend has a baby and someone asks me to make a meal for them, I always say no.  I just won't do it.  If we have company over for dinner, I either make Hubby prepare the main dish or have to ask him for a lot of input.  I love hosting parties, but cooking a big meal for other people leaves me flustered.  I panic.  I worry that it won't turn out.  That no one will like it.  Watching me prepare for company is equivalent to watching a chicken running around with its head cut off.  I put on my happy face when the door bell rings, but up to that point it's chaos.

I'm hoping that with another ten years of experience,  I will feel so confident in my cooking that I'll be able to host a major holiday meal without breaking a sweat and will actually cook the entire dinner myself without asking Hubby for help or input.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

Training up a future chef

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