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Today I Was Quite the Domestic Goddess, I Think I Deserve a Prize-Something Shiny

August 6, 2009

Cooking is not really my thing. The whole recipe/raw meat/ingredients/boiling/pots and pans thing just doesn’t really work for me. As a process it seems needlessly complex. When I cook, I cook mainly comforty stuff. Beef stroganoff, chicken casserole, stuffed meatloaf, ground beef-tater tot casserole, etc. At my best, I generally use the recipe once and then do the rest from memory.

My illustrious cooking career began around the age of 6. I vividly remember my mom popping a pop tart in one of those toaster ovens that was front loading with a glass door. Me, being me and worrying it was hot and not wanting to risk damage to my lovely little fingers, decided the best course of action for removal was to shove a paper towel in there as a pot holder of sorts. No one was more surprised than I was when the paper towel ignited. My surprise caused me to immediately drop the flaming towel on the lovely brownish linoleum (it was the early 80’s folks) scorching said lovely linoleum in the process.

I can honestly say that I have improved slightly since that first fire inducing disaster. There have only be a handful of meals since that very first one that have resulted in actual flames. Popcorn I made while babysitting, silly children asked for popcorn made on the stove. I can still barely manage microwave popcorn. Nothing like parents coming home to a fire truck. And yes, there have been numerous other fire alarm inducing experiments.

Even when there are not flames involved, I still have plenty of challenges in the kitchen department. I’m an utter failure at mac and cheese, most pastas actually. Those slippery bastards make a run for it and are down the drain every time I attempt something as innocent as draining water off them. A few weeks ago, it took 3 boxes of shells and cheese before I had enough left to serve them as a side.   When I had a “real” job with an actual office and other people there, I almost took out half the staff with a Pyrex container of chicken casserole and a hot plate. Had anyone added an extra 5 minutes to their break, they would have spent years pulling teeninsey bits of glass, chicken, and soup mixture out of their skin and all of their orifices. Assuming they survived the launch of chicken in the first place. If anyone else, has ever managed to turn a casserole for a holiday work lunch into a weapon of mass destruction, please let me know. It might make me feel ever so slightly better.

I am incapable of handling raw meat with my hands, notorious for wandering off and forgetting things, and little inconvieniences such as failure to actually turn on the stove/oven/microwave, etc.  Sharp knives must also be kept away from me unless you actually enjoy your carrots with a side of fingertips. And if condiments are involved? Forget it, something about mustard, mayonnaise, and all that just turns my little stomach and initiates my gag reflex. Despite all this, when I actually manage to produce a cooked dish, it’s generally quite good.

Nonetheless, I was insanely impressed with the meal I managed to turn out this evening. Granted, it takes lots of focus-if I’m cooking that’s it. The slightest distraction and something is raw or a fire truck roars up. Obviously both of these scenarios are likely to result in an insurance claim of some kind-be it health or home. So when bratchild asked me for help with math problems (yes, I’m that mom that expects a certain amount of time devoted to math in the summer. Reading is sort of a given as we’re all big on that but math takes some discipline) I immediately banished her down to J’s room, explaining that I was already taxing myself enough already and just couldn’t add anything else into the mix.

I took a Campbell’s broccoli cheese casserole recipe-nixed the mustard (reference above condiment issue) added rice, chicken, cream of chicken soup, left out the butter and replaced the bread crumbs with Ritz crackers and baked. Yumminess. Truly, so proud of myself I just can’t stand it. Having never created a recipe, I had no clue what a satisfying occasion this could be. And while I do realize this is probably a cooking for dummies recipe with a common name that everyone but me already knows, I beg of you-don’t ruin it for me. Today, I was a goddess in the kitchen. I’m even considering cooking regularly. Just as soon as I as up our home owner’s insurance, I’ll don an apron and start whipping out fantastic treats every night of the week! Okay, maybe 3. It would be just silly to take chances. And the wood floors in our kitchen are probably a little more costly/labor intensive than some hot 80’s brown and white linoleum. I should also consider my precious fam’s health before I get too crazy.

Although…if I practice cooking in the RV and have a fire that causes total destruction, that would help me out quite a bit I believe. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone and all that. If I freed up the time I have spent researching getting away with arson, I could dedicate that time to the study of culinary pursuits! Is it arson if it’s an “accident”?  If not, I might just be on to something…

© Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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