I earned a reputation when I was young for being a danger in the kitchen. If I wasn’t breaking appliances, I was spoiling meals. The reputation followed me when I became a young married woman. All the fiascos with burned dinners, and frozen Thanksgiving turkeys worked together to make me very unsure of myself. I was blessed to be married to a man made just for me. He championed my every effort and had a cast iron stomach!
Since then, I have actually developed an actual cache of recipes that are hits for family and guests. I can sometimes believe that I can cook.
But I recently had a night that had me worried. It all began when I couldn’t find the green onions sitting right in front of me in the fridge. Before I went on my 15 minute hunt for them, I had set out a cutting board. When I finally found the onions, the cutting board was lost. I was preparing a marinade and couldn’t remember what container to use. I almost used a 2 cup measuring cup, and upgraded—if you can call it that—to a round cooking stone. It was too big for the meat to be submerged, so I had to double the recipe. Only after the meat was in did I remember that we use baggies.
I was marinating thinly sliced beef that was supposed to be thinly sliced. I got frustrated trying to stand the meat it up on its side to make it thinner when my husband took over, trying not to laugh at me. So I got to work on the rice. After I washed it and began to add the water, I couldn’t remember how many cups of rice I’d put in, so I had to just guess. When I tried to put the container of rice away, I got frustrated because the container wouldn’t fit in the cupboard. It took me a minute to remember I’ve always kept the rice in my garage (my make-shift pantry).
Next I cooked the bean sprouts. Only a few lapses in concentration allowed for them to cook without mishap. But then I pulled out the colander so I could rinse them out. I was absolutely shocked when I had the colander sitting on the counter and I poured the beans into them. I shouted, ‘there are holes!’ as water spilled everywhere. I could see genuine concern growing my husband’s face at that point, so I hastened to assure him that I really did know it was a colander and I chose it on purpose so I could rinse the sprouts. I had just forgotten that the water would come out. I don’t think I helped my case.
My daughter came in while I was cutting zucchini, carrots and spinach to stir-fry and asked for someone to come see her fort in her bedroom. I knew I was in trouble when Daddy said, ‘I can’t really leave the kitchen right now.’ It hadn’t occurred to me up until then that NO ONE keeps me company in our tiny kitchen. He wasn’t keeping me company. He was making sure I didn’t get hurt!
Thankfully, all the absentmindedness had no effect on the taste of dinner. Who knows? Maybe it helped, because the meal was inhaled. Now I better go look for that cutting board!