No, Really. I Cannot Cook

I have a confession to make.

I cannot cook.

As far as confessions go, that is not a big thing.  But the majority of my friends, and GF bloggers, can.  Or they are wicked bakers.  I consider it a win when I make my 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies or make something from a box that turns out.

But back to cooking.

I mean, sure, I can do the simple things like make Gluten-Free grilled cheese, french toast, pancakes, and spaghetti. For years, my lunches would be a different Mrs. Leeper’s “Hamburger Helper” box every week. I am great at throwing meat on my Foreman grill and nuking some steamer bag of veggies.

But this is not cooking. This is not eating well. My stomach and my taste buds know they are missing out.

Lately I have attempted to face my fear and start actually cooking.  Well, kind of cooking.  On occasion, I use the crock pot I inherited from my Grandma.    My tendency in those instances are to find the recipes that call for things to be thrown in with very little work on my part, turn it on and walk away.  I think I have made 1 non-crock pot/non-“Hamburger Helper” type recipe on the stove in the past 5 years.

My problem is, I start to look at recipes and if the ingredient list goes on my eyes start to glaze over. If the number of steps exceeds 6, I turn away overwhelmed.  If there are terms I do not know, my brain starts to glaze over.  And if it requires multiple tools?  Forget it!  I freely admit that the one recipe I made that told me I had to “Mince Garlic” required a trip to Google to find out what the heck that meant.  So you can forgive me for not looking up how to julienne something, right?

Now, I know my kitchen is small.  If I want to use my crock pot, I have to unplug my microwave and move it, the Foreman grill, and the toaster to  another counter.  My kitchen has 1, yes 1, usable outlet.  Once I move everything, I really don’t like using my stove because there is no elbow room, and at 6′ tall, I tend to need a little bit of room around me.  So understandably, I don’t have too many extra kitchen tools floating around.

To give you an example of how poor my kitchen skills are, let me give you a fairly recent example.  Monday night I get home from work, a callback, and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race at a local bar with friends.  I have all the ingredients for Stephanie O’Dea’s “Super Simple Cranberry Roast“.  It is one of my favorites and super simple, just like the title says.  After I get all the ingredients in and cooking overnight on “low”, I prep a pot to make rice.  I measure in my water out of my wet measuring cup and grab a dry one to measure in the rice.  Nothing hard about that, right?  Except that when I turned the rice off after my timer dinged it was awfully watery.  Looking at my dry measuring cup I discover that in my hurry I grabbed the 1/2 cup instead of the cup.  Thank goodness for the strainer!  Oh, and that super simple roast?  I woke up in the morning to the smell of burning cranberries.  Thankfully the meat is still tender and moist, along with whomever developed crock pot liners so I don’t have to scrub that mess out!

I try.  I really do.  I’m too cheap to eat out all the time, but apparently the kitchen and I will continue our battle.

Maybe eventually I will learn.  In the meantime I will keep abusing recipes like the ones linked above as I work on my kitchen skills.

Or get rich and hire a private chef.

 

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One response

  1. That’s how I was when I first started cooking (and sometimes still am with more complicated techniques (or even just unfamiliar, not necessarily complicated)). If I see too many ingredients, I’m just like “okay, nevermind!” It’s easy to pass up on recipes like that, especially when we lead busy lives. I’ll save learning new cooking techniques for when I’m not working 50 hours a week and in school part time 🙂

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