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Confessions of a (really not) Great Cook

Posted by Didi Gorman on

Once upon a time there was a fantastic chef who happened to be nearsighted and astigmatic and therefore, upon attempting to bake fruit pie for dessert, accidentally mistook dried tomatoes for dry cranberries. Oh, was that fruit pie one of its kind!

One day, that same chef attempted a vegetable soup recipe. As it happens, she was also a food blog writer, and as a consequence, had a tendency to get totally distracted while cooking and run to her laptop to write ‘just a few more lines before I forget’ – as writers sometimes do. That day, after carefully placing cut-up carrots, celery and parsnips in a pot of water which she seasoned with a selection of flavorful herbs, and while waiting for the soup to simmer, she happily went to her laptop to enthusiastically commemorate her culinary endeavor in a blog post such as the one you’re reading right now. She wrote and wrote for many hours, and when she finally raised her eyes from the screen, she suddenly realized that A) she had completely forgotten about her soup and B) strangely enough, that there was no aroma of steamy soup filling the house, as one would have expected after so many hours of brewing. Intrigued, she went to the kitchen and found, to her great amazement, that she had forgotten to switch on the cooker. Her perplexed family members, to whom she served her ‘fresh veggie summer soup’ (although this was in mid-February) puzzled at the pieces of raw veggies bobbing in cold water, and voted unanimously in favor of ordering Pizza in, instead.

Ha, ha, that was so funny, but perhaps not as funny as when I – I mean she, had mistaken a bag of compost for frozen chicken (and don’t ask how the compost had found its way into her freezer in the first place…) or the time when a small pink plastic spoon had drowned in her boiling meat stew (and was not discovered until said stew was served at a family dinner; strains of molten plastic floating in the pot, adding a je ne sais quoi to the stew. This recipe, by the way, was later dubbed ‘mommy’s plastic stew’ by her children).

And then there was the fire brigade incident. That’s when a fire truck showed up on her driveway, sirens, hoses, extinguishers and all, just as she was cultivating her expertise in the exquisite art of toast-making. She had plopped a slice of bread in the toaster, pushed down the knob, and while waiting for the toast to merrily announce its existence by popping out of the toaster, went to check her Facebook page, read another chapter in her favorite novel, brainstormed a few ideas for a future novel of her own, played a quick tune on the piano, folded the laundry and watered the plants on the windowsill, all the while oblivious to the fact that the knob on the toaster had been stuck and her toast was transforming into charcoal. The firefighters were very courteous about the whole thing, though for reasons beyond her understanding, politely refused her famous homemade cookies.

And if any of the above rings a bell at all, know that she has also learned the hard way that beets and white shirts do not pair well and that cutting veggies up too vigorously, say for a salad, may result in fingernail shavings stealthily making their way into the dish.

But all these antics pale in comparison with the story of a friend who worked for a catering company and on her very first shift, tripped and fell into a massive pot of porridge…

By Didi Gorman