“If you can read, you can cook!”
I read that somewhere a while back, and I could’ve died laughing.
I can read well enough, thank you very much. But cooking? Now that’s a different story.
As it turns out, that line is actually the title of a cookbook. I’ve never read that particular cookbook.
But I’m way beyond the point of help, anyway.
As far as I’m concerned, the need to “refuel” is not only a major inconvenience, but an unfortunate human inefficiency as well.
It’s a necessary evil, at best.
And how utterly ironic that I am always hungry, yet I don’t want to be troubled by stepping into the kitchen to prepare anything that might take longer than 30 seconds.
Every time I open the fridge, I secretly wish that my next meal will magically materialize before my eyes.
I can bake decently. From a box. I’m usually able to follow those directions well enough.
Unless I don’t have all the ingredients and end up having to do a little experimental substituting. Who needs a stick of butter anyway when you’ve got a whole tub of rice pudding?
I have no business being in the kitchen. If I had a personal chef, I could probably get out once and for all- before somebody really gets hurt.
Case in point: I’ve almost been knocked out by the freezer door on several occasions. And I’m convinced the ice maker on the fridge is also trying to kill me, as it spastically fires off sharp-edged ice cubes at random angles across the kitchen.
There’s also The Oven Fire Incident, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
Onions aren’t the only things that can bring tears to my eyes.
For the record, I can tell you from experience that if you accidentally rub your eyes after handling an onion, you’re in for a world of burning inferno waterworks.
Kitchen gadgets terrify me. I occasionally wander into those kitchen stores at the mall out of morbid curiosity. I can’t figure out what most of that stuff is, let alone what purpose they could possibly serve.
Cookie cutters are fairly self-explanatory, but all of that other stuff? Not so much. Some of these bizarre looking items look like they belong in a science lab.
Butter churners look downright dangerous. Nutmeg mill, anyone? Banana slicer? Butter curler? Wow, there’s something for everyone.
And yet, it’s all so useless to me.
I can slice and dice things just fine. Oh, and I do excel at making mixed drinks. I’m a natural at that! Surely, that’s got to count for something.
Speaking of drinks, Baileys is the ultimate utility player in the kitchen. I’ve used it to transform random ingredients into a work of… well, a real piece of work. Baileys is a delightful addition to cereal, yogurt, and strawberries. Voilà! Instant meal, with a little added bonus.
In my house, we tend to plan our meals based on what’s about to expire. Oh, the eggs are at their sell by date, the twisty tie for the loaf of bread mysteriously disappeared, and the plums are starting to shrivel? Guess we just solved the dinner dilemma.
If the produce is getting too soft and the yogurt is a couple of days past the sell by date, it’s definitely smoothie time. It is the ultimate saving grace, the fabulous Waste Not approach.
Smoothies are easy, sometimes delicious, occasionally nutritious, and most importantly, a great way to use up all those bananas, blueberries, avocados, and brussel sprouts that are a mere 6 hours away from turning into moldy mush because they’ve been hiding in the ghastly shadows of gallons of milk and apple juice for the past two weeks.
Perhaps the best part about smoothies is that if you’re feeling lazy and think chewing might take more effort than it is worth, all you have to do is gulp it down.
Which may be especially beneficial, depending on the alarming mixture of foods you just dumped into that blender. On the plus side, you can drink it out of a cocktail cup to make it feel like an extra special treat.
A few more perfectly valid reasons why the kitchen and its gang of appliance and gadget buddies are not my friends:
-I once forgot to put the coffee pot under the machine before flipping the switch and wandering out of the room. I returned a few minutes later to the sight of coffee spewing out of the machine, across the counter, and forming a muddy lake that snaked all the way across the floor.
-There was also that time I reached over to unplug the toaster. It was still hot, and it burned my arm. Yes, I actually got beat up by a toaster about a year ago.
-I’d forgotten to coat a pan with canola oil before pouring the brownie mix in, and ended up eating the brownies all by myself right out of the pan with a fork because it just wouldn’t come out otherwise, and I hate wasting perfectly good food.
-The blender literally blew up on me while making a smoothie a few weeks ago. In my defense, it was pretty old.
And my greatest failure in the kitchen (to date) that has clearly set me up for a lifetime of culinary success:
-When I was in junior high, I attempted to turn pita bread into pita chips by tossing it into the oven for a few minutes. When I reached in to grab it, it was hotter than hell. The next thing I knew, the oven mitt went flying into the oven.
It came out engulfed in flames
Seriously, if that doesn’t’ make my point for needing to stay out of the kitchen, I don’t know what will.
Needless to say, the smoke alarm and I are old buddies.
Take that, Martha Stewart!