Several people have mentioned lately that they feel incompetent in the kitchen or are just afraid to try. My parents were both good cooks. My father particularly enjoyed trying new things and was never intimidated by the difficulty a recipe presented. Still they did not really teach me how to cook. Maybe it was because I was the youngest by several years and they forgot about me. I did make a few things as a teen but by no means could I put together a meal.
However I have always loved to eat so when I had my first job and apartment, I started cooking. It did not matter that I was cooking for one; I was hungry and popcorn and cereal for dinner wasn't going to fill me up. My father's attitude of trying anything must have rubbed off on me because I jumped right in and cooked the foods I'd grown up with. I wasn't intimidated to try things I'd never done before as I didn't know it was supposed to be hard. Around this time I was asked to make something for a chocolate dessert cookoff charity event so I made my father's Black Bottom Pie. It was rather time consuming with many steps and three layers but I pulled it off and was successful. I didn't win a prize but it was tasty. A friend gave me some duck breasts once so I searched for a recipe and made Duck Breasts with Raspberry Sauce. I had some friends over and we had a lovely dinner except my cat eating the cheese appetizers.
Not all has been rosy and easy in the kitchen. Over the years, I have prepared some memorable meals, not for how good they tasted, but for how horrid they were. I am totally inept with tofu and the very word is a joke around here. Tofu is supposed to be nutritious and versatile, so I decided to try a tofu stir fry one night. I served up the new dish but right away, we all realized it was awful. My son was around two and he clearly wasn't going to eat it. Barry and I struggled along trying to pick out some vegetables but soon gave up. Barry was in a hurry to get to a meeting so we ended up eating bread, cheese and bananas for dinner. Barry now has a very negative impression of tofu.
Then there was the pork roast with dried mixed fruits I made. Pork pairs well with fruit and the recipe for the crockpot sounded so good and easy. My family has been trained to eat anything put in front of them with a smile so there was silence around the table as we ate that night. The meat was tough and dry and the fruit did nothing to help matters. I was sulking away as nothing makes me madder than to ruin dinner. Finally Barry said to Cameron, "Drink some milk. It will help wash that meat down." At that, I started laughing. It's pretty bad when your children are choking on your food.
I could share several more stories about times we've had to throw out my cooking and go out to eat. The point is that everyone will mess up. Your meals will not always be a success but anyone can learn to cook with practice. Get a good basic cookbook and start with simple meals. Take cooking classes or ask a friend to help you. But remember, when disaster strikes, laugh it off then go out to eat. Just try again another day.
I'm disappointed no one has commented about my new photo. Yes, I'm holding a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. I paid $3 for a cupcake from Queen Bee Cupcakes in Florida last summer only to find it tasted like it came from an Easy Bake oven. I was so incensed that I started a cupcake baking frenzy. If you are going to call yourself Queen Bee, you'd better be good. Much to my family's delight, mine are better. Also, thanks to Cheleygirl for her comment on the Sausage Ravioli. I'm glad your family liked it. Thanks to all my readers who comment and I'm glad if my blog gives you a laugh.