Adventures in basic cookery

out of the frying pan
Photo by waferboard

I made breakfast brunch yesterday for the ladies at my scrapbook weekend.  I decided to make a scramble with eggs, diced potatoes, onions and peppers, then top with cheese and call it good. I made bacon, as well.

It was good, but along the way it caused me no little anxiety. I burnt the first batch of bacon by forgetting it was in the oven.  The potatoes were slightly burnt; the eggs took way too long to cook; the cheese melted and got sticky. It was tasty, but it ended up looking pretty unappetizing and hit the table about 45 minutes later than I (and the hungry people) anticipated.

I am not sure what makes cooking so difficult for me.

Okay, strike that; I am trying to be more positive. How is this: I bet I will get better at cooking with practice! (and I sure do need some serious practice!)

What could possibly have been the problem with such an easy breakfast plan? Why, thank you for asking. Basically, I get the idea of cooking. There is a recipe set of instructions. You follow them. You get the end result: food. Pretty straightforward.

Yet, somehow, the time management piece of cooking has always tripped me up. I get excited and dive into a recipe without being sure I have all the ingredients I need. I get going on one dish, only to have another dish burn. I put things in the oven, forget about them  (out of sight, out of mind), and they burn. I burn myself. (Okay, that’s space management, not time management.) I can never seem to time the main dish and any/all sides to be done simultaneously. I am the one still in the kitchen stirring the gravy when Thanksgiving dinner is over and done with. I am not good at juggling all the separate tasks.

So, you may be asking, if I can’t really cook, what do we eat? We eat stuff that only needs basic assembling. Tacos are easy because you really only have to cook one thing: the meat. Everything else can be prepared and then left until the meat is done. This is my kind of food. We also eat in stages quite a bit, cooking one thing from start to finish, eating it, and then going on to cooking the next course. This can make the whole dinner process take ages.

For a person who has such issues with cooking, I have a surprising number of gadgets and cookbooks. Well, I guess it’s not that surprising, considering a) I love gadgets and I love books, and 2) I think many people acquire things that they think will assist them in areas of challenge. The magic bullet, if you will. (Not the trademarked small appliance…) If the answer to my cooking needs could be purchased from Pampered Chef, I would have had it long ago.

What I need are cookbooks that have set menus and built-in timelines so that I know when to start each step. Someone should market these and make millions.

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for Bethany and Melissa, my Girl Scout co-leaders, for their great company and hard work. I’m super mega grateful for this little tiny laptop, too. I love it.
  • I’m lighter! I processed a huge stack of mail tonight. I also tried to backup the old laptop, but of course it blue-screened before it was anywhere close to done. AND… ta da! I was only 4 minutes late to Girl Scouts.

3 thoughts on “Adventures in basic cookery

  1. Same!!! Can totally relate Lori! My fav recipes are things I can dump into a crockpot and leave simmering all day. But I’ve messed that one up many times by not remembering to do this until 4pm when I wonder what’s for dinner (ack! I forgot to turn the crockpot on!!)

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  2. Too funny! I do exactly that with crockpot meals. Maybe I need a personal assistant following me around giving me pointed looks and saying, “Lori! Crockpot!”

    Soooo glad you can commiserate, Donna Lyn. Sometimes I get discouraged by being middle-aged and still trying to figure this whole thing out, so it’s nice to know someone else experiences it!

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  3. Try backing it (the laptop) up in Safe Mode. While the operating system is loading hit F8. you may have to hit it a lot unless you know when to do it. Then select Safe Mode. This might help. I know this works when you have a bad virus and you want to save everything before reinstalling the OS. so it should serve the same purpose.

    Check out this book.
    http://thehouseholdhelper.com/ebooks/MealPlanning.html

    Here is another good Blog
    http://simplemom.net/how-to-menu-plan/

    We plan on Sunday for the following week for dinner meals. So I look up the recipes I want to cook we see what we have and what we need to go shopping for. We decide what day to eat which meal depending on Left overs. I usually take a guess at what to do first like Cut vegetables for steamer, Pre heat oven, prepare fish, place fish in oven set timer start steamer.
    You only have two hands so there is only so much you can do at one time so just see what can be done when make a plan before you start it might become easier.

    Set a timer. as for the crockpot put a note at eye level by the door you will ext from that says start crockpot. and even place a few notes if you think you will overlook it. I do that and it works nicely.

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