domesticity,  na blow me

Day Thirteen: The I Hate Cooking Post

drains to bay

I’m drained.

You know how tempted I am to just stop this post right there? Very. But I’ve been composing a post all day in my head so I will try my best to get it out. I’ve been thinking about my cooking.

I’m a horrible cook. I bungle everything. I have terrible bad luck and I’m not very good at following directions. This is not a good combination in the kitchen where food and chemistry are involved. I’ve been cooking nearly every night for the last five years and I have not gotten one bit better. I think I have gotten worse, in fact. I just hate cooking!

Cooking while Baby Bug is strapped into the high chair has made me even worse. Now on top of having no idea how to whip up anything that tastes good, I also have a deadline. That deadline is a toddler’s ability to stay strapped into a high chair without losing it. I have to rush everything because if I don’t, her dinner will be dumped on the floor and/or smeared all over the wall and she’ll be crying which makes it so I can’t think OR cook.

The other night I decided to make Toby’s favorite recipe. It’s called “Dad’s Chicken Wings.” Except I forgot to buy the right kind of chicken wings. I bought the entire wing kind that look like little flappy arms instead of the neat and trimmed “party wings” kind. I hate cooking meat that still looks like the animal it came from. The little wings looked like they were waving at me, crying out in pain as I simmered them in my pan.

I’ve made this mistake before. More than once, even. You’d think after being traumatized by flapping chicken wings waving at me that I’d have some thought process that would help me not repeat such an error. But no. The poor bloody chicken seems to have made no impact on me. I must be a zombie when I grocery shop.

Last time I made this mistake I just waited for Toby to come home and he chopped through the bones and fixed them for me. I cannot cut bone myself. I faint. But this time Toby was not home. He was out shooting and not answering his phone. The toddler clock was ticking, I didn’t know what to do.

I decided I would cook the poor little flappy chicken wings anyway. Let Toby deal with them cooked. By now I didn’t have much of an appetite anyway. Then I realized I was out of sherry! No worries, white wine can do in a pinch. But I was out of white wine too! What to do! What to do! I couldn’t just hop in the car and go buy a bottle of sherry. I had a toddler in a highchair covered with food! Ack!

I had to call somebody. I decided I’d call Toby’s parents. This takes a lot of guts because I don’t call them every day. I had to be quick with my phone call too because our phone situation is not optimal.

Let me just take a moment to bitch complain about our phones. Number one: our cell phones do not work in our house. What kind of service is that? I’ve complained, there is no change. I guess we just need to move or switch cell phone companies. Neither is going to happen any time soon. Number two: our house phone is not cordless. It used to be but it died a horrible death and now we use a cheapy $10 Target phone that is red. Its only redeeming quality is that it is red. The cord is short and it crackles. Half the time I can’t hear the person on the other end because it sounds like there is a firestorm going on inside my phone. It’s horrible.

So I had to make my phone call quick because I was stranded on the other side of the breakfast bar from a quickly-getting-bored toddler and a simmering scorching pan of flappy chicken wings. It is hard to be quick on the phone with family you do not call very often. You have to explain the whole situation regarding the necessary quickness and say hi and be polite. Thankfully my mother-in-law answered and was very friendly and quick and understanding. She’s the best. (This is Toby’s step mom, not his mom for those who are wondering…)

But she didn’t have a clue what to do about my white wine situation. By then I had remembered the bottle of last year’s new year’s champagne I had in the pantry and my mother-in-law agreed with me that it might work. So into the pan with the champagne. Dinner just gets more exciting by the minute.

Amazingly, the champagne was not too horrible. Toby came home, made fun of me and my inability to chop chicken bones and said that dinner tasted delicious. Crisis averted but still, I hate cooking. I hate it! These sorts of things happen to me every night! Maybe I should enjoy the element of unexpectedness and challenge that cooking brings to me but I don’t.


  • bethany actually

    Everyone who cooks should go bookmark this site right now: ! It is a cook’s thesaurus of ingredients, and contains more substitutions than you can possibly imagine, even for exotic things like ghee and duck eggs and dragonfruit. I use this site all the time because I am too lazy to plan out my recipes and am forever coming up short one ingredient for something I need to make.

  • Becky Z

    Yep, I’m with you on the “why even bother”. Someone I know (husband) works late in the evening nearly every night so it doesn’t even matter if or what I cook.

  • Nicole

    Girl … I hear ya! I hate cooking. I wish I didn’t. I envy those supermoms that can whip up a tasty and healthy dinner using whatever they have in their cupboards. My mom is a phenomenal cook. I clearly didn’t inherit these skills. What I am good at is grilled cheese, quesadilla, eggs and I can reheat like a champ!

  • Molly

    This NBLOPOMWhuteva thing seems to have put you in a bad mood. Not that I am one to talk because I still haven’t posted Halloween photos on my blog! I used to have fun cooking until I had a little one. Now I just eat whatever he eats. And that sometimes is not pretty. Pasta (no sauce) and peas out of the freezer with a milk chaser, anyone? At least I draw the line at eating it off the floor. YIKES!

  • Kuky

    I know what you mean about cooking food that still looks like the animal. I really try not to think about where my food comes from. Or for that matter anything that comes from animals. I can still remember the first time I cooked chicken. I was soooooo grossed out. It was a whole chicken. All I could think about was, I was washing and preparing a little carcass. Bleck! Now I just grin and bare it. Or I’m desensitized? But the last time I got a whole fish from the Asian market. Aacck!

  • Beth

    Sounds like you do know how to cook, you just don’t think so! You like to eat….yes?…well you keep plucking (no pun intended) away at it…and before you know it…..
    DING, dinner is ready!
    maybe try singing or doing a musical while cooking. Entertaining for BB and distracting for you! Can’t hurt to try…right?

    sings…..”these are a few on my favorite things…”

    good post, thanks for the laugh!

  • bluejaye

    I make this recipe all the time, but we use thighs because there is more meat on the bone. First I pull of the skin so it is less fatty.
    Around our house there is always a bottle (case) of beer hanging out in the fridge. I used a whole bottle in my speghetti sauce when I made lasagna for the in-laws.
    Yes, I was brave enough to serve a sauce to George!!!!

    I hate to cook also. The kids want to eat at 6’sh, me all the time, and the the husband doesn’t want to eat until after 9, close to 10. If he hasn’t fallen asleep already. It seems like the night I put in the biggest effort is when nobody is hungry.

    Opps, that was a rant. When in doubt have—add a beer.

  • bluejaye

    I just looked at the recipe you have posted and I think you left out the ginger. When George gave this recipe to me more than 20 years ago it didn’t have 5 spice, but it did have ground ginger. Now I use fresh ginger.

    Get a 2-3″ finger of fresh ginger. Peal it with a spoon. You can either grate it on a box grater or a fance ginger grater you can find in the chinese market. I like to julienne it into 1/4″ slices. It tastes great just to eat with the meat and rice.

    I always save and freeze any leftover sauce and use it as a marinade for another meal. Great flavor for a BBQ.

  • Sari

    At least you get the best ending to a meal ever — someone who tells you your cookingis great! That makes up for all the icky wings and missing sherry :)

    Foolproof way to fight boredom while cooking? Pretend you’ve got your own show on Food Network and Baby Bug is in the studio audience!

  • Lexi

    I swear by the big red Betty Crocker cookbook…it’s my cooking bible! The recipes are relatively simple and don’t usually contain exotic ingredients.

    And I totally do stuff like make my lasagna w/Prego….why not? It tastes good.

  • Gramma

    I’m all for no brainers…my favorite…put frozen pork chops in the bottom of your crockpot. Put a can of well drained crushed pineapple on top (drink the juice). Add couple squirts of soy sauce. Set on high for four hours and forget it. Goes good with rice.

  • Moose in the Kitchen

    I bought the wrong type of chicken wings once. Crunching through each little bone with my knife was one of the least pleasant experiences of my life. And that includes the time I had to spend the night in the bathroom of the St. Louis airport.

  • Julia

    I actually love to cook, but I absolutely am right there with you about hating to have meat that looks like the animal it came from. I need some psychological distance between me and my food. The absolute worst are those tiny little birds (quail?) that just lie there on your plate looking like a bird. I seriously cannot eat those. My favorite meat is scallops because they look like these lovely abstract pieces of protein (not to mention that they are delicious), bearing no relation to any living thing. As you may have guessed, we eat a lot of vegetarian meals at our house. :)

  • mrsmogul

    I used to hate cooking when I didn’t know how! Now I can but don;t have time! Chicken wings….yumm. However, with the bird flu going on, it’s becoming less appealing.

  • Scarlett

    well i m just gld i’m not the only one who doesn’t like to cook, let alone cooking meat of any kind. i don’t like touching raw meat or cooking meat. i will eat meat, but i don’t like the cooking part. it’s even made me think of stopping eating meat altogether. dang it’s a difficult decision for me! anyway. you’re funny and i wish i had your red refridgerator. my kitchen walls are red. !

  • Clownfish

    Horrible cook – not true. You’ve had me to dinner and it was splendid! I believe you and Toby watched me go back for seconds.

    I’m lucky that I get a strong Verizon signal in my house but a friend had a very bad connection in their appt. in Orange. Technology: Love it – Hate it!

  • jenn

    ugh Im with you, I hate cooking, and then feel like ima terrible mom for that.. I havent cooked in months as a matter of fact! im mom of the dang year!

  • amy

    Great shoes. Love them.

    Surely you have a few favorites recipes? I am ok with cooking these days, helps to have two 10 year old girls who love to help. Maybe Baby Bug will in time do the same :)

  • Jennifer

    I don’t mind cooking. I hate dishes. I get dinner on the table every night, hubby does all dishes all day long. This is a HUGE help because there are a lot of dishes flying around here.

    I have my three kids and watch a little girl who is here till close to dinner time. So that makes 3 kids under two and a very demanding and verbal 5.5 year old, haha. The one contraption that has allowed me to get the food on the table every night is the crockpot. It’s pretty hard to mess up a meal and everyone seems to enjoy the food. If the dish calls for chopping of veggies I do it all the night before. I just throw everything in the pot in the morning, while the kids are eating breakfast, or throwing their breakfast on the floor.

  • Annika

    I want to start a cooking school for people who think they can’t cook (or hate cooking). I’ll come to your house and we’ll have so much fun cooking that you’ll stop hating it! It will be awesome.

  • eticket

    FoodTV rocks! Anyone who feels the way you do(or not) should catch Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, or Tyler’s Ultimate with Tyler Florence. And no I am not gay. Shame on you. Just a fat bastard that likes to eat.

    Make you a deal Brenner, I’ll buy you a cordless phone if you make me another picture or 2. Deal? You got my email, lemme know.

  • carrien

    One word. Rather url They email recipes and shopping lists and directions and you don’t have to think of a single thing yourself. And you can choose from several different menus. And it’s cheap. You’ll thank me later.