Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

Be Thankful I’m Not Cooking

Hard as it may be to believe, Tasty Tuesdays was not the result of my natural inclinations. Yes, the mask of my foody obsession must at last be removed, to my shame and chagrin. I loathed cooking as a teenager. Loathed. The kitchen was my bane, the electric mixer my sworn enemy. It wasn’t until around 2 years ago that I learned to enjoy the creativity of blending spices, flavors, and colors. Part of this might be owed to my earliest attempt (and subsequent failure) at cooking Thanksgiving dinner when I was 16.

An Ideal Thanksgiving Feast

It was like a train wreck from start to finish. My mom was working through the holiday and my dad wasn’t about to set foot in the kitchen. It fell to my aunt and I to make the meal. And we were afraid…very afraid. Neither of us felt gifted in a domestic way and making chocolate chip cookies was an undertaking on a good day! But we rolled up our sleeves and set to work because there was a turkey to be made and a bazillion course meal to be put on the table.

It was bad. You think I’m exaggerating? The ready-made biscuits that we merely needed to bake in the oven were the texture and size of hockey pucks, the turkey was drier than the Sahara desert, the green beans rivaled a bog in cold sogginess, the mashed potatoes had more lumps than a Black Eyed Peas song, the stuffing was burnt and doughy at once, and after all of that we didn’t have the heart to try making pumpkin pie.

The damage to my psyche after this horror of an inedible feast has stayed with me. The scars remain and so I must admit that not since then have I undertaken to make a whole Thanksgiving dinner, nor a turkey for that matter. I settle for enjoying the wonderful cooking of my grandma and aunts and consider myself a designated bringer of pre-made dessert (because a baker I am not) and wine. Cross your fingers for me, dear readers, for this year I venture into the kitchen once again. We have two dinners planned with family and friends over the long weekend and I’ve inexplicably volunteered to bring an appetizer to one and a salad to the other. I think I can, I think I can… With my cooking confidence given the chance to grow over the past few years I am hopeful that the Thanksgiving Disaster of 2003 will not be repeated. But just in case, let’s keep this little history of my culinary failures between you and me. Poor J isn’t ready for the truth of what he’s getting himself into. 😉

On a more serious note: As I get ready to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends, my heart goes out to my brothers who are each away (one in Afghanistan) from family during this holiday and I pray that can celebrate whole-heartedly with their brothers-in-arms. I think of the people I met in Israel who are living under fire and threat of war and hope for their continued safety and peace. And for those struggling here in the U.S. due to the economy and the hurricane, I pray for a warm, safe place to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoy this day. And with that, I wish you all safe, wonderful, and very happy Thanksgiving.

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. ~Victor Hugo


12 comments on “Be Thankful I’m Not Cooking

  1. Curly Carly
    November 21, 2012

    Cooking definitely doesn’t come naturally to most people. It takes time to learn the little things that seem so common sense. Cooking a bunch of things at once can be like a casual jogger suddenly deciding to run a marathon. I can be great at several different things, all prepared separately, but if I have to do it all at once…you can bet something will be burned. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. ethelthedean
    November 22, 2012

    Doughy and burnt all at once is my ultimate cooking nightmare! Hilarious post and quite the fandango! I can totally understand how the memory of this meal remains 🙂

    Big love to you sweets, and Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday filled fab treats and much merriness.

  3. Ad-libb3d
    November 22, 2012

    Well, judging from the picture, at least the hockey puck cooked evenly. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving Audrey.

  4. whatimeant2say
    November 29, 2012

    At least you had the excuse of being only 16! I still cook like that, and I am – well, I’m definitely not 16!

    • Audrey
      December 3, 2012

      Haha, but you have so many other talents! Wrangling bulldogs is far more difficult and you teach too so you’re my hero!!

      • whatimeant2say
        December 3, 2012

        Teaching is a breeze compared to wrangling Wonderbutt 🙂

  5. Angelia Sims
    November 29, 2012

    LOL. Hope it turned out okay, and you had a fire extinguisher nearby. 🙂 I’m not a cook either. When I was dating, a requirement was to find a man that cooks. And hey? It totally worked. 😀 Prayers out to your brothers, hope they made the best of their holiday. 😦

  6. storiesbywilliams
    December 1, 2012

    That IS hard to believe! Well kudos to you for making peace with this early kitchen-related trauma and getting back out there! So how did it go after all? I trust the people were pleased and said so?

    • Audrey
      December 11, 2012

      Oh thank you! I still have my kitchen mishaps now and again and it takes me back. And still I am NOT a baker, by any stretch of the imagination. I’m finally learning how to make proper flapjacks and don’t let me attempt to cook eggs over-easy, haha! Yes, the eats turned out great and my stuffed mushrooms may just make a reappearance for Christmas since they were such a hit. 🙂

  7. storiesbywilliams
    December 1, 2012

    I also realized something after doing the math with your story. You’re 25, yes? That makes me just a few months shy of being a full decade older than you, and yet I’m still less traveled. I feel old and sedentary now… Excuse me, I must go weep 😉

    • Audrey
      December 11, 2012

      Yes, I’m 25. Oh but you’ve got plenty of travel under your belt and so much more to come!! 😀 I started traveling internationally when I was 17 and there’s just no going back…

  8. betunada
    December 2, 2012

    whooo: 4t-unately, betty makes a universally-reknowned toikey, which she baked whilst we vizzidid “sunny boy” (& his wonderful paramour) in steembote spurrings. twas good, as yoozual, and familial, but un4t-yoo-naitlee for that ski town, too warm and none of the white stuff (we watched them, him ‘n her, kick some poor other hockey team’s butt sattittee mourning).
    you’re yooz yoo uhlee “awn” in regardz the cooking stuff, i’ve noticed. and! i started to tell S.B. (“sunny…”) about the bacon wrapped jalopeenose, and THAT is something he has incorporated into his reportoire. eh.
    see ya’ (sew 2 speek)

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