My Recipes for Disaster

My kitchen is filled with recipes for disaster. I’ve tried them all, and been told repeatedly that if I just “follow the recipe” my meal will be delicious. That is not true.

Once, when on a beach trip with my family, we all took turns cooking one meal during the week. My only responsibility was to bake some tater tots. They ended up burnt on the outside and cold on the inside.

The most anxiety-ridden bridal shower I ever attended was my own, and included a small wooden box that looked like a pretty little house. When I was first presented with it, I thought it was an odd gift, but cute. Maybe a tiny little bird feeder.

Then I noticed the roof came off, as I looked tentatively inside I spotted the dreaded contents of that box. It was filled with all of the wonderful recipe cards brought by the guests. I would rather have had a box filled with bees, because I preferred immediate pain that could be treated by Benadryl versus the years of failure that awaited me in that box.

My mother has always said, “Donna, you can cook when you want to. You’re a great cook.” That’s never been true. Not for one single day, but I guess that’s a mother’s love for you.

Cooking is an art form, and I am in awe of those Dames who can do it. My mother was a great cook, my sister is also an artist in the kitchen. If I were allowed to write with my food, I might have a little hope.

I don’t understand what “pinches” of salt are, and I once thought a garlic press was some kind of play dough toy. Rolling pins only worked when I was a kid, rolling out mud pies under our big oak tree in the backyard. Since then, rolling pins have done nothing but turn my dough into road kill, sticking to the pin in desperation, much like those pieces of dust on the Swiffer commercial.

My husband loves to cook, and is an artist extraordinaire. He is the one who introduced me to the garlic press, and he uses things like cooking sherry (something I believe I drank once in High School to accompany a bag of Doritos in the back seat of my best friend’s Vega).

I salute him and all the rest of you that create works of art that are then quickly consumed. All I ask is that you keep your recipes away from me. Hand me one 3X5 card with some cute little oven mitt drawn on it and I will break out in a sweat and reach for the anti-anxiety medication.

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