I don’t cook. Unless it comes in a box, has very clear directions and can be completed in 30 minutes or less (preferably 20), I have no interest. But I do have to give my husband credit; when we were first married he suffered through 1½ years of fish sticks, hamburger helper and Dinty Moore canned beef stew before he finally gave in. I remember it so clearly: We were in a cozy little Italian restaurant and he leaned close to me and whispered, “You’re never going to learn how to cook, are you?” To which I answered: “What? You think I’m not a good cook?!”
Not that it ever bothered me. If Michael hadn’t stopped me, I would have been very happy preheating the oven to 375 degrees and placing frozen food on a cookie sheet for a very, very long time.
And I will take some of the blame. The first year Michael and I were dating, I paid my roommate $50 to make a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and then help me pretend that I made it. She did a great job and even cleaned up afterwards. Best money I ever spent.
A few years back I discovered “Homestyle Bakes Creamy Chicken and Biscuits.” I had to get it – after all everything needed was included in one small box and there was this great picture on the outside showing steaming white meat chicken in a creamy chicken gravy sauce and buttery soft biscuits. What really sold me was the sentence “Put dinner on the table in 20 minutes!” However, after that meal my husband made me take a solemn oath to never again purchase meat in a box. And my kids have to put in their two cents as well: “If it has the word ‘casserole’ in it, don’t make it.”
One time I bought some London broil. Now, it never dawned on me that the word “broil” was actually a cooking term. So imagine my disappointment when I got home and googled “How to cook a London broil” and discovered that they actually expected me to grill the damn thing. Yeah, like THAT was going to happen. But not to give up on making this great meal for my family using this slab ‘o meat, I quickly googled “crock pot recipes for London broil.” Yes, I had some hits and when I saw one recipe that had Campbell’s Tomato soup listed as an ingredient, well, that sold me. (Note to self – throw away the recipe; family did not like it).
One time my sister came to visit me. After dinner she asked if I would make some coffee. “Sure” I answered and walked over to the kitchen cabinet, pulled out my recipe box and pulled out a recipe card for coffee.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Making coffee” I answered as I pulled out my measuring spoons.
“Just show me where the stuff is,” she answered. “This is wrong on so many levels.”
Sigh. I did know how to make coffee; I just have to follow the directions on my recipe card titled “Coffee.”