I can’t cook.

For real. My parents made me cook a few times here and there growing up (I think it was once a week while I was in high school). I “cooked” tacos or spaghetti every.single.time.

For the majority of our married life, Jonathan and I have lived on tacos, spaghetti, casseroles, and whatever Jonathan cooks.

But since Hula Girl’s initiation to table foods at the ripe old age of 6 months (that’s 2 Decembers ago), I have tried to up it in the cooking department. Especially since I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I really have no reason not to have a nice warm delicious dinner on the table when Jonathan comes home from work. Except one- I can’t cook.

Don’t get me wrong. I can follow a recipe okay. But even when I do that, things generally don’t go well. We usually have to “doctor” our food quite a bit before we can get a reasonably edible dish. For example, I once cooked an “Asian BBQ Shredded Beef” dish in the crock pot, and we actually had to wash the meat before we could eat it. That, my friends, is how bad it tasted after I followed the recipe and everything.

I’d like to take a moment, after sharing that horribly embarrassing anecdote to bolster my kitchen rep just slightly. I challenge ANY of you to come over to my house and beat me in a banana bread or zucchini bread or just plain ol’ whole wheat bread competition. It can’t be done. I am a bread-baking champion who can’t be beat. I don’t know what it is, but every time I bake bread, it turns out really, really well. Reputation restored… or bumped up a notch, at least.

Anyhow, cooking is not my thing. I really do try. But something always goes wrong. Today’s example: I quick-soaked some pinto beans. That went well. Then I rinsed them and put them back in the pot, with plenty of water, to cook for tonight’s burritos*. But apparently you can’t cook them for as long as I wanted on medium heat. They boil over. And then they start to burn. I know this now. Fortunately I got to them and added more water and turned down the heat before the smoke detector went off in the middle of Hula Girl’s nap.

*Burritos are the fancier version of tacos in our house. I even warm the tortillas before filling them! And sometimes I melt the cheese to the tortillas before adding the beans, meat, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa! Now that’s expert cooking right there!

Jonathan has mentioned once or twice that once Hula Girl and Gelato get old enough to leave them for the evening (like, when they’re 42 and 40, respectively), he’d like to take cooking classes together. I’m still trying to decide whether he really has an interest or if he just doesn’t want to be eating spaghetti…again… on our 30th wedding anniversary.

It’s been said that practice makes perfect. But in this circumstance, practice only seems to make caked-on messes that taste nasty. Any ideas on how to improve my performance in the kitchen? I do feel like a terrible wife and mother. At least what I lack in cooking skills I make up for in fun! Jonathan has never once said he’s bored after hanging out with me for a while.

Maybe someday we’ll have enough money to hire a cook. Applications accepted starting now.



  1. Michele said,

    February 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Do you like cilantro and feta? If so I have a recipe that really is just mixing that might be up your alley. It is called farfalle with cilantro salsa. Also, I use cooking light recipes lots and they always seem to work out well…if I like the ingredients I will like the final outcome.

    • February 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Michele, I LOVE feta, but I can’t eat it right now since I’m pregnant. 😦 I will look into the cooking light recipes. Thanks for the suggestions!

      • Michele said,

        February 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        It is an easy recipe for after the baby. I will think of other recipes that I have found to be easy…

  2. Kelly Lee said,

    February 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Kim, my best advice is to not try random recipes that you don’t know if they taste good. Start with learning some of your friends faves, their easy go-to recipes. Then once you’ve got your groove with those, then you can branch out with some new stuff. I think a cooking class with your hubby sounds fun!! Go for it! I didn’t know how to cook pre-marriage. I started out learning all I could from a dear friend that is a great cook and then I began branching out.

    • February 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Kelly, Thanks! I will be posting a question on facebook asking for recipes tomorrow! πŸ™‚

  3. Kristy said,

    February 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Oh, I love Kelly’s advice. Some recipes are just plain not up to snuff. Not that I am a gourmet cook, but I would love to trade food if we lived closer. I could make some meals for your freezer and you could make some of that fantastic bread for our freezer! Breads are usually my “eh” foods – fine, but not as good as I think they could be.

    In lots of categories, I am liking Pinterest for having easy, sometimes fool-proof ideas. Recipes as well as other ideas. Maybe it’s because lots of people have to repin an idea before I see it?

    • February 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      I have been telling Jonathan that I need to do a bunch of freezer cooking before Gelato comes. But then I thought about it, and I don’t really want to eat stuff I make. So in lieu of a baby shower, I’m going to ask my friends to make me a frozen meal. Yes. πŸ™‚

      Pinterest… don’t get me started. It’s bugging me more than anything these days. I think it’s because I’m already overwhelmed with the amount of STUFF in our house/life and I just want to simplify. Pinterest doesn’t seem to want that to happen. So Pinterest and I are off again (for the moment).

      • Kristy said,

        February 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        Ha ha, I know. I “ground” online resources too when I’ve had enough, at least for a while. Facebook’s been on severe restriction for like, years. I guess Pinterest isn’t one of the ones that bugs me right now. πŸ™‚ Your friends will probably be happy to help you with frozen meals, so that will be great.

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