I’ve never been skilled in the kitchen. My friends can confirm this, my kids can confirm this, even the family dog can confirm this; her name is Hope. The last time I tossed Hope a French fry while making dinner, the crunching sound startled us both; she might have chipped a tooth considering her smile has seemed self-conscious ever since.
I wish I were a better cook, but I’m just not wired that way. My son has a 13-year-old friend who cooks circles around me every time he comes over and always insists on making dinner, claiming that it’s the least he can do since I let him spend so much time at our house. I think he just doesn’t want to eat whatever it is I might make. One of my daughter’s gal-pals is the same way, except that she brings her own money and orders a pizza when she sleeps over.
When I was little, I’d sit in the living room and listen to the noises coming from the kitchen. There was a lot of clanging and banging going on in there and I used to think cooking must be one wild undertaking. Now, I’m thinking my mother was just mad at my father.
One thing I never understood is how some people can walk into a strange kitchen, root around in the fridge and the pantry and use what they find to whip up a delicious meal. I’ve never been able to do that. Even that 13-year-old friend of my son can do it, which absolutely blows me away. The few times I’ve tried to do something like that we’ve ended up ordering in.
Which reminds me of the time my mother tried to cook a turkey for Christmas Eve and it refused to brown. No matter how long the turkey cooked, it hung on to this weird brownish-pink color. In the interests of everyone’s health, my mother finally gave up and sent my dad to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
With regard to cooking, I really must say: Everything I know, I learned from my mother.