I’m a terrible cook. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it sure as heck does not come naturally to me. I’m two left feet and all thumbs in the kitchen. The minute I try to stray from a recipe or improvise a little, everything goes to pot. And sometimes the pot goes into the trash because I’ve burned something onto it and it won’t come off.
Last year I made Thanksgiving dinner and by some miracle, I pulled it off. No, I didn’t make any elaborate Food Network meal, but I made a turkey. I made gravy. I did up the side dishes. Nobody got salmonella. Victory!
I’m cooking again this year, but I’m beginning to a get a little nervous. I mean, I’m thrilled that my family is making the trip to have dinner at the Gingerbread House, but… Last week I destroyed a pan of rice crispy treats. Who does that?! I mean, seriously, who can’t melt marshmallows and butter and stir in cereal? Me, apparently. Those suckers came out hard as a rock.
Jim likes nothing so much as teasing me about my kitchen ineptitude. His reaction to my failed dessert? “Call my mom.” My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook. (And wonderfully encouraging when I ruin things!) She’s not afraid to step outside the recipe! Do you know why her rice crispy treats are so delicious? Double up on marshmallows! Ooey gooey delicious. My second batch? Perfection. It’s not just the rice crispy treats though.
Katie’s Top Five Cooking Fails:
- Served Chrissy nearly raw chicken by accident. (I thought the frozen chicken breasts were pre-cooked or something and that a jaunt in the microwave was all they needed. I don’t know. I was like 18. I’m so glad I didn’t kill you, Chrissy!)
- Attempted fudge. Made fudge sauce, because I didn’t measure the evaporated milk. Jim ate it with spoon while mocking me.
- Attempted caramels. Twice. First, I used too much whipping cream and ended up with a buttery caramel sauce. Second? Pull your fillings out, rock hard, caramel flavored cement. Eventually? I got it, thanks to a tutorial from Aunt Sue, a recipe revision, and a digital candy thermometer.
- Taffy Apple Salad. Epic Fail. Egg in the sauce? WTF? Resulted in a huge mess in the kitchen and a Waldorf salad from my local deli. Jim brings this up EVERY TIME I screw up in the kitchen. Weasels have disturbingly long memories.
- Destroyed a batch of beer cheese soup by burning the garlic and stubbornly carrying on with the recipe instead of admitting defeat. It. Was. Awful.
Seriously, anybody with cooking karma to spare, send it my way. I beg of you. I need to stop being on the brink of kitchen disaster at all times. Yes, I know. Practice is the only way to learn. Yes, I’ve learned how to make rice crispy treats, fudge, and caramel from my mistakes. I now know better than to be a purveyor of food poisoning. But I hate having to make mistakes to learn things! Sigh. My kitchen journey was not meant to be an easy one.
And so I persist… With many, many takeout options on speed dial… Just in case.