Faking it: Me holding my great grandmothers copy of Emily Post in Creative Loafing
I have a dirty little secret and it’s not what you think. That fact is that I do not, under almost any condition, enjoy the art of cooking. I am terrible at it and if it were not for the fact that by law I have to feed my children, I would never do it. I don’t even like the grocery store. They keep moving things around and food conglomerates across the world keep repackaging perfectly good marketing campaigns and I can’t find a thing. As if that were not bad enough, the lighting is almost always horrific and contributes to my half crazed appearance and migraine headaches. Indeed, my idea of a grocery store is Dean & Deluca, Something Classic and Reid’s Fine Foods.
Sadly, grocery shopping on a family budget prevents weekly splurges to the upper echelon of pre-cooked dinners. Thus, I land at Trader Joes, where almost every nutritious meal is pre-packaged, pre-cooked, organic and microwaveable. Poor sweet Scotty, he actually thinks that I am cooking him dinner as I dump a bag of flash frozen penne into my one sauce pan. This act is followed by a quick nuke in the microwave of whipped butter, poured onto bakery rolls, salt and peppered and wrapped in tin foil. . .he pretends it’s homemade bread.
Secretly I am tortured by my favorite friends as they carry on long conversations about cooking show divas whose names I honestly do not know. I am bored to tears as they share recipes and brag about techniques “to do this and that” with beaters and blenders and I don’t even know what else. I love them and so I try to pay attention. . . My eyes wander off and I know they know the truth and I am honestly a little sorry about that.
This Week: My first hard-boiled egg! I googled how to do it and guess what? It worked!
I dread the playdate when my friends will open the refrigerator, only to be greeted with moldy leftovers and the to-go containers that are ruining our environment. I am lazy as I let Scotty pick up Chipolte, Moes and Brixx Pizza three nights week.
I love food. I love good food, exquisite food, the kind of food that I am not capable of making at home. The divine morsels served at Lulu’s, Upstream, Barringtons and Copper. . . The list goes on and on. Sadly though, when it comes down to it, the truth is that I am exhausted by 5pm every single night. Cooking is the last thing that I want to do and even if I did want too, I wouldn’t want to put one more measly dish in the sink to save my life. As it is, my nails are so thin from cleaning that they peel right off and I promise you that if something happens to me prematurely, the doctors should test my body for high levels of Clorox and Windex.
Two weekends ago I chipped, sanded and repainted the entire backside of our house. I also planted at least 20 plants and helped Scotty mulch. My list of house work is a mile long and that doesn’t even touch the daily laundry, vacuuming, windexing and toilet bowl washing. Our house is 90 years old and I have a screw driver in every drawer to prove it. I think I am pretty darn good at running a mid-size household and yet I only do 2/3rd of the job and I outsource the rest.
All this and I promise to try harder, to listen longer and to give more of a gosh darn about our daily culinary experiences. Because I like my friends, I really, really do. . . and I love my family more.