As a single dad, when it comes to cooking, it’s just like the old adage: it’s either sink or swim.
Except in this case you get three choices. it’s either learn to cook or go hungry. Or order a pizza from Domino’s.
I’m not a cook by nature, more by necessity. I started off with some fairly simple recipes. For example, in one of my first attempts to cook, I added raisins to my grape nuts.
Look! I cooked something!!!
Yes, learning to cook has been a trying experience for me over the years. And trying for my kids, too.
But it had its upside as well. For example, you know how a lot of kids groan and complain at dinner time with “We’re having this again?!” Well, my kids can’t say that because they don’t even know what it is I’ve attempted to cook.
One of the first things I had to learn as the cook of the house was to have all the tools I needed handy. I made sure I knew where (get ready as I’m about to use some cool cooking buzz words I’ve learned over the years) my SPATULA and KNIVES were. It was good to have a can opener on hand because soup doesn’t taste nearly as good while it’s still in the can. And while you never see them on a cooking show, I’ve found it’s always good to have a fire extinguisher right there on the kitchen counter.
I know what you’re thinking: the extinguisher would take away from the appearance of my kitchen.
Ahhhh. You see, that’s where I was using the ole brain to think. I adapted by changing my kitchen’s theme to fit the extinguisher. I call the theme of my kitchen “Early Office of Emergency Services.” In addition, I have some other kitchen necessities that those pretty boy chefs on TV will never tell you about. You know, important stuff, like band aids, bandages, a diagram of the Heimlich maneuver, and an essay I wrote a few years ago called “The Nutritional Value of Burnt Food.” I keep it handy because my kids and guests often want (need) to read it.
But this is a great time to be a man with poor cooking skills. You see, a lot of companies realize that there are a lot of busy (stupid) men like me out there who think it’s cause for celebration every time we bring water to a boil.
And so, you can go to the store and buy meals. These meals come with pictures of delicious dinners. And get this, the meals often LOOK like the pictures.
And I’ll tell you something else: a lot of these frozen meals come in a variety of appealing colors. Heck, I thought all food only came in one color. I was kind of like the Henry Ford of cooking: I’ll cook food in any color you want, as long as it’s black.
So yeah, there’s been a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the kitchen. But that’s ok. I keep repeating, it not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
Unfortunately, that journey often leads right back to the Pepto-Bismol bottle.
But see, that’s where I was thinking ahead once again. Because the bottle is right there on the counter, nestled snugly between flour and the oxygen tank.