Unlike Meredith, I practice frantic cooking. Coming from a mother who loathed cooking and who pretty much boiled to mush every foodstuff with which she had to deal, I have never been at ease in the kitchen. Knives cut you, stoves burn you, moldy bread sickens you, dirty dishes depress you… why would anyone ever want to go there? Isn’t that why God invented restaurants?
In my community, there are several great cooks – would they want to be called chefs? – and so I am content to let them stir and simmer their pots and potions while I set the table, serve the cocktails and do the washing-up. On the rare occasions when I am doing something more elaborate than popping a package into the microwave, I approach the task of cooking with trepidation – like a general with a few limping troops trying to besiege a mighty fortress.
I start sweating even before I ladle in the curry powder, Tabasco, Worchestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and other dribs and drabs that I use to give my “cooking” some zest. Unlike with most things in life, I begin by assuming the worst and beat myself up when it all goes awry because of my lack of culinary skills. On those few occasions, when whatever I end up with turns out to be palatable, I allow myself to be inordinately delighted.
Where am I going with this? In what area of your life have you decided that you are hopeless? What pretty ordinary thing can seem like an insurmountable burden to you? Or am I the only weird one out here?