Making myself at home

Ladies and gentlemen… I have cooked dinner three times this week.

Technically, I should have cooked dinner every night, but I gave myself a few passes along the way:

  • the night I worked all the way up until we went to see The Presidents of the United States of America at the Crystal Ballroom;
  • the night I took my monthly giant dose of prednisone;
  • the two nights I went to meetings after work and didn’t get home until bedtime.

Regardless of these excused absences, however, I’ve been cooking. You should be properly impressed.

You see, I don’t cook. I know how to follow a recipe, but I have very little confidence that a meal I prepare will a) be edible, b) be ready at some certain time, or c) not burn to a crisp. (I think everyone I know in real life has been treated to the spectacle of me burning tortillas by forgetting they are in the oven.)

Needless to say, this past state of affairs was not good for me or for my family. I believe in healthy eating. I believe in having dinner together as a family. Heck, I even believe in cooking: I subscribe to cooking magazines, purchase cooking implements, and buy food for meals I am ostensibly going to prepare. Instead, the food either goes to waste or gets put to use in my default meal-preparation mode: assembly.

I can definitely assemble a meal when I need to. Assembled meals are those where you prepare individual ingredients and then put them together on the plate or in layers. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy stuff: Tacos. Burritos. Spaghetti.

I can also make single dishes. I can wrap salmon in a foil packet with lemon and herbs and bake it. I can grill or steam vegetables. I can make noodles or rice or potatoes. But as I said, they are never ready at the same time, and I am never sure they will turn out well.

For Lent, I have decided to cook dinner every night most nights. I know, I know – one is supposed to give something up for Lent. Don’t worry; I am. I am giving up my fear of cooking failure. I’ll go into the kitchen every night and cook a meal.  If it turns out well, I’ll be thrilled. If not… well, I will still be facing my fear and slowly making myself more at home in the kitchen.

Heck, I may feel comfortable cooking by the time I’m 50! Good job, me!

2 thoughts on “Making myself at home

  1. I think cooking dinner every night is quite a noble goal! Definitely Lenten worthy. I hate to “cook” unless I have a whole day to plan, shop, prepare. I have never had double ovens or Kitchenaid or fancy stuff, so it’s a major undertaking and (like you said) takes tons of planning to get everything to come out close to the same time!


    1. I think it is a skill that is learned over time. Perhaps if we’d had it ingrained from childhood, we could pull it off… but that might just be me making excuses for not practicing! (I often tell young ladies, that no excellence in [cooking] is to be acquired, without constant practice.)


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