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Thursday, November 16, 2006
Culinary Malfunction
People will study for years on end to become master chefs, and some cook for fun or practicality. There is a subset, however, that just CAN'T. Boiling water somehow turns into a five hour ordeal and making toast turns into a demonstration of intestinal fortitude. When you have a standing reservation with 911 because you start a fire everytime you cook, you really should eat take out every day. Every. day.

How do you tell someone that their food tastes like rotten shoe leather without hurting their feelings? People seem to be territorial over their cooking, and usually for good reason since most people can cook. Cooking ability is something most people tend to trump up. Like, how many times have you heard, "Girl, I put my foot in that potato salad" and when you tasted it, you thought you could actually taste the cook's foot?

One of my sweet older neighbors made dinner for me last night because she saw that I've been working hard lately, so she thought she'd be nice and take the stress off of me for the night. She made me some collard greens, candied yams, and shepherd's pie. I love all of those things, when cooked properly, but this stuff just wasn't good. The collard greens looked and tasted like parsley, the candied yams were more like candied cardboard, and the shepherd's pie tasted like shepherd's belt buckle. I really appreciated the thought, but I most certainly didn't appreciate the food. I didn't know how to break it to her that next time she wanted to give me food, she should order a pizza.

And I've actually pre-judged people's cooking habits based on what they look like. Is that bigotry? I don't mean based on race or anything. I don't think all black people can make fried chicken (umm, but for the most part, we sure can eat the hell out of it), nor do I think all French people can make yummy chocolate croissants. But I have a tendency to pre-judge based on your lifestyle, and I know this is wrong. I remember the first time He® cooked breakfast for me. I expected it to be just god-awful because I had an image of the stereotypical bad bachelor cook. But His® cooking was actually good! I got perfect looking and tasting turkey bacon, grits, and eggs. I guess the surprised look on my face said it all for Him® because He® said, "I bet you didn't think I could cook, huh?"

If you can't cook, just be honest. No one will be mad at you. Matter of fact, that might help some people lose weight. But don't try to impress people and make a new recipe the first time they come to eat at your house. Order some chinese, make some ramen noodles--wait, don't do that. I'm not sure that fricaseed salt and cardboard noodles is palatable. I can only ingest so much pepto bismol before things go seriously wrong with my tastebuds. Just accept the fact that we can't be good at everything we do. Some people are good at making filet mignon, you're good at putting Cheerios in a bowl. Work with the talent you've been given. My stomach appreciates it.


Blogger Gunfighter said...

You poor soul.

Perhaps I should have a dinner party for my favorite local bloggers.

Blogger Tasha said...

that would be so fun! Every time you post a new cooking adventure I'm left drooling!!

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