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What To Do When You're A Bad Cook

Tips on feeding the masses when you're less than the best in the kitchen.

Magazines, moms and television try to make cooking look so easy. But there are those of us out there who really don't get along with our kitchens. It's a constant battle between good and evil; it can turn ugly when stoves are left and skin accidentally gets burned.

There aren't enough therapists in the world to ease the tension between a novice cook and a sadistic kitchen. Still, here are a few pointers for surviving the daily encounter.

  • Face your fear. Be Batman! Well, kind of. Don’t pick up the secret life of a vigilante suddenly or anything; face your fear of the kitchen, the utensils, the flames, the oven and ingredients. Sometimes baking homemade pizza crust will set off a smoke alarm. Sometimes steamed green beans burn at the bottom of the pot because a TV show was too good to look away from. Sometimes your husband will smile sweetly while feeding dinner to the dog under the table. Having a husband who cooks better than I do is a little intimidating, but his encouragement makes a major difference. A satisfied “yum!” from him is enough to make me try again.
  • Invest in fall backs. There are literally only a handful of meals I can actually make without wasting a ton of groceries on a science experiment. I can make pizza margherita, pancakes, any kind of eggs, French toast and steamed green beans. While it isn’t much to brag about, there was once a time I couldn’t cook any of them. They are my fall backs in case my science experiment makes my husband nauseous. Having only a handful of options might not impress Emeril, but it’s enough to save the day if things go awry.

What really helped me tackle my fear of cooking (okay, it isn’t all fear – truthfully, cooking kind of bores me) is reminding myself that I can cook something. Even if it’s only done badly, it’s still cooking! At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I think I'm right. I usually am, anyway.

Brenda July 26, 2011 at 10:30 PM
A great cook is using the right cook book. Its not something I enjoy anymore when my children left and got married. My cooking went out with them. I do like to cook sometime if they r home or if my husband want something special. Actly he had surgery and I made some pecan cupcakes that where wonderful. A dear friend brought us some over and shared her motherinlaw's great homemade receipe. They are like pecan pie but really easier and not quiet as fattening. Just remember the more you cook the better you get. I know my daughter was 30 before she wanted to cook and know she cooks great! You do get burned sometime and you do burn some things, It get better as you do it more. Keep it up your husband will be so proud of you!!
Sue July 27, 2011 at 10:42 PM
I do believe that recipe card looks familiar! Haha! :)
Deena C. Spell July 28, 2011 at 08:42 PM
I will! I think I'm helping him lose weight when other wives would fatten up their husbands, ha ha!
Deena C. Spell July 28, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Yes! An amazing cook gave me this recipe...

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