Let me say this firstly, I have no real culinary skill. I vacillate between lamenting and boasting about this. My brother is the chef in the family. He trained at the Cordon Blue Academy. A few years ago, I exclaimed “I do not know how to cook, that makes me a Lady!”–“No, that makes you a putz,” my brother corrected. In fact, soon after my elder sibling graduated from the academy, I inquired if he would demonstrate how to cook. He kindly grabbed my hand and lead me to the other room. He flipped on the lights. “Alright, I shall give you your first lesson. This,” He gestured into the room. “Is the kitchen. Stay out of it.” Then he turned on his heels nonchalantly, leaving me idling with my mouth agape.
My predicament is really thus, I do not begin to create a meal until I already rather hungry. At which time I am quite impatient with the time required to prepare a dish. Apparently, increasing the heat and halving the time does not a tasty meal make. Admittedly, I have the attention span of a gnat. I am inclined to leave the room while the food cooks because a watched pot never boils, they say. I would rather read, research, write, design, devise lists, and further my general plans for world take over. Then the familiar smell of smoke waffles through. I realize, yet again, I got caught up doing other things and forgot the stove.
A peer once suggested perhaps my lack of interest lies in the portion. It is not entertaining nor interesting to cook for one, as it is to cook for someone else. She has a point. However, I do believe a lack of aptitude is the real culprit. There have been many a time I prepared for a small group, set the table elaborately down to the lighting and platter presentation. Roommates, friends, and family have all taken photographs of my “normal dinners.” While the assembly is impressive the actual food taste like cardboard. It is all very tragic.
A cousin once joked my only edible food does not include heat. This is true! She went on to say because I naturally hold the temperature of the Snow Queen heat is a foreign state of being better left to the professionals. My co-workers and contemporaries are well aware of the liability involved when I attempt to cook. When a stranger asks if I made a dish, I laugh uproariously and reply. “No! Because I value your life!”
I have apoplectic fits when I read antique cookbooks that routinely instruct certain bits of the meal to remain in the oven for 14 hours, stirring every hour or marinate for three weeks. I have a coronary when I realize all this effort is for a simple sauce fit for a side dish and not the main course! Just ruminating on this topic, I can feel the blood pressure rise.
A menu I dare not attempt:
Whale pot au Feu
Celery Olives Radishes
Corn Pone Nut Butter Delmonico War Bread
Boiled Skate Mustard Sauce
Planked Whale Steak, a la Vancouver
Border of Samp Onion Sauce
Ice Cream Bisque of Black bread, a la Delmonico
Ginger bread with raw sugar Coffee
Do not mistake me, I do enjoy attempting cooking a few times a year. I am truly fascinated by the process and I am convinced it is all magic and prestidigitiation. Skill has nothing to do with the matter. Of course this is false, but it certainly appears this way! As I age, I find myself more interested and concerned about my future family’s well-being. My Suitor’s skills are a bit above my own. At this rate, we will starve! So I have taken to perusing cookbooks aimed at individuals with my limited skill set. In the children’s section.