Heidi January 17th, 2008
I have always been insecure about my ability to cook–or rather, the lack thereof.
And today, yet again, I have proven this lack of skill by the contents of this bowl.
But before I reveal the pitiful contents of this bowl, I’m taking you back about seven years to the first time I ever attended a Homemaking class at church–where my cooking insecurities all began…..
Charming and I were fresh newly weds and I had grand dreams of cooking wonderful, delicious meals for the two of us.
While we were still new in our first ward, they announced a Homemaking class for all the sisters to learn about cooking.
Awesome!! I thought, What better way to start my marriage than with some great tips on cooking how-to’s??
So, Charming drove me to the activity and dropped me off at the church.
After waving goodbye, I went in and sat down with a bunch of sisters I didn’t know.
The instructor was a friendly young woman who looked eager to begin the class. I smiled, excited to learn from her.
She began and introduced herself. She was a professional chef for a local fancy restaurant I didn’t know.
Then she pulled out an array of ingredients I didn’t recognize and demonstrated how to prepare a fancy hors d’oeuvre I’d never heard of.
My heart began to drop.
Umm, I thought, This isn’t quite what I was expecting….. Wasn’t this supposed to be Cooking for Dummies 101, instead of Gourmet Kitchen 540?
All the other women in the audience were exclaiming things like, “Oh, that’s just divine!” and “That will go perfectly with my glingershloppin!” and other such nonsense I didn’t understand.
My heart began to pound.
Then the instructor passed out a list of “What every household kitchen absolutely must have.”
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Oh good, I thought A list. I can handle a list.
I got one and started to read it.
What the–?? I thought, What are these things??
My heart started to pound again when I realized I didn’t recognize a single thing on the list.
The instructor went through the list and explained why you needed each item.
“The first thing you need is a doodlenoggin,” she said, “You use it to chop shnizzercakes and make really tender klockerdocks.”
Then I blinked.
Then I looked around.
Is she even speaking English? I wanted to ask the lady sitting next to me.
But the lady was watching the instructor with rapt attention, nodding and smiling.
“Yes, klockerdocks, of course,” she murmured to herself, making a quick note to herself.
I felt completely alone in my gaping ignorance and began praying for the night to just end.
Finally it was over and Charming was there to take me home.
As I got in the car, he asked cheerfully, “How did it go??”
Seeing the hopefulness on his face that clearly said, “Boy, I hope you learned how to make some yummy meals for my hearty manly appetite” was the final straw for me.
I burst into hysterical tears.
“Holy cow, Heidi!” he exclaimed, “What on earth is wrong??”
On the way home I told him all about what a terrible wife he’d married who didn’t know anything about cooking fancy hors d’oeuvres with fancy ingredients.
“And this!” I cried holding up the list with a fresh round of tears streaming down my face, “I’m supposed to have all this stuff and I don’t even know what they ARE!….. And even if I had them all, I’d have no idea how to USE them!”
I was a complete and total wreck of sobs.
Charming looked at me and then he looked at the paper in my hand.
Without saying a word, he grabbed the paper and threw it out the car window!!
Then he kept driving as if nothing had happened.
Absolutely stunned, I finally stammered, “What–what did you do that for??”
“Because,” he explained (and this is why I love this man with every ounce of my soul), “if it’s making you this upset, then there’s no reason to keep it.”
And thus began my culinary insecurities and why inviting people over for dinner makes me break out into a cold sweat.
I can’t help thinking of the list and I secretly wonder if they know what klockerdocks are…..
Which brings us back to this bowl.
Tonight we’re having the missionaries over for dinner.
The missionaries, as you may know, are poor starving young men who’ll eat buttered sawdust and hungrily ask for seconds.
And yet, if you can believe it, even they make me nervous.
So, I carefully planned a very simple meal and this morning was trying to prepare a few simple things ahead of time.
I figured we should have some kind of fruit with our meal and canned pears are one of the only fruits Charming will eat.
Canned pears, I thought, That’s simple. I can do that.
I opened a can and put it in a bowl.
Then I realized we’d need at least two cans for all of us.
So, holding Bubbers (who is congested and a bit more clingy than usual), I went out to the food storage for another can of pears.
I reached in the tub of canned pears and pulled one out.
Then I went back to the kitchen, opened the can and poured it into the bowl.
What the–???? I thought in confusion when I saw this.
Then I realized what I’d done and just shook my head.
Stupid list, I thought to myself, Stupid, stupid list.