Julia Child, I am not!

Try as I may I am not too graceful in the kitchen.  Even with the best of intentions of having recipes collected, grocery lists made, ingredients brought home, and new kitchen gadgets, my skills in the kitchen just don’t always pan out.

I will say that my cooking adventures do make for quite the humorous of stories… It’s much easier for me to laugh at myself in the kitchen versus getting completely distraught and frustrated.  Even if a few choice words end up falling off the tip of my tongue at some point during a kitchen “fiasco” I do somehow end up laughing at some point during or immediately after.  I’ve come to learn that I just can’t take myself seriously in the kitchen!!! 

My motto in the kitchen... and life in general!

My lack of  success in the kitchen has not stopped me from volunteering my “skills” to others. 
 
For example, a fellow director and myself decided we were going to make lunch for all of our teachers last week in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.  Keeping in mind that both of us are extremely busy, we kept the menu quite simple.  I was responsible for making Ham BBQ Sandwiches, baked beans and brownie cupcakes while my partner in crime was to make hot dogs, potato salad and pies.  Sounds like a pretty easy task, don’t ya think?  It WOULD have been if it were anyone other than this girl!!! 
 
Making Ham BBQ for 21 people was a little bit tricky… How many pounds of chipped ham should I buy?  What would you say?  I opted to buy 5 pounds and was unsure if it would be enough.  
 
I have no recipe for the sauce… it’s sort of a hodge -podge concoction that ends up being a little bit different every time I make it.   This time I did add a special ingredient that really made the sauce just a bit more delicious!  Who woulda thought that a jar of sweet hot pepper mustard would have been such a fabulous idea?  Mmmmmm.   
 
Did you know that 5 lbs of chipped ham won’t fit in my largest pot with the sauce?
Did you know that 4 lbs. of ham BBQ won’t fit in my largest crock pot?
Did you know that 3 lbs. of Ham BBQis enough to feed about 14 people for two days?
Did you know that I ate Ham BBQS for days straight and still had some left over with a lb of chipped ham in the freezer?
 

Disclaimer... this is not my Ham BBQ! Can you believe I didn't even take a picture???

 
Next up to make were the brownie cupcakes…  These are DELICIOUS!!! And I’ve made them a million times before so no troubles should be had at all; especially because I just use boxed fudge brownie mix, pour the batter into cupcake papers and then bake for about 30 minutes.  Piece of cake!  That was until I went to ice the cupcakes… I had returned Jaime’s pastry bag, piping tips and couplings a while back so I decided I would use a large Ziploc baggie.  No, worries right?!?  I’d done it before.  but, no large Ziploc baggies were to be found. So, I decided to get extra Martha Stewart-y and attempt to use a small (dollar store brand) Ziploc. NOTE TO SELF:  Very important to not overstuff small Ziploc baggie with icing and then squeeze hard to get the icing to come through the hole I made.  END RESULT:  The bag explodes with chocolate frosting all over myself, the stove and my wall…. Yes, my friends.  That’s what this girl did…
 
After having said a few choice words, I began to laugh at the sight that was to be seen.  Only choice left was to clean it up and pull the back-up icing out of the cup board.  GOOD TIMES!  And I must say they must have been pretty good because they were surely eaten.
 
The next minor fiasco related to the teacher appreciation lunch dealt with baked beans…  As it was already late in the evening and directly after the icing debacle I decided not to doctor up the baked beans… they’d be just fine without it.  Took the can to work only to find that the two can openers we have at the school didn’t want to work.  I was left fighting with the can openers and can when preschool parents arrived looking at me most perplexed because 1.) surely the Executive Director knows how to open a can of beans… what’s the big deal? and 2.) How many people did she think she was feeding needing to the institutional sized can???  A grandfather cam to the rescue and pried open one side wide enough to get some beans out… Only a quarter of which fit into the crock pot that I brought.  Another note to self:  Don’t take the advice of my dependable partner in crime on buying the institutional size!  Upon cleaning up, I clearly LOST the battle with the can as I sliced my finger on the edge of the can.  Can – 1 Meg – 0.
 
Reminding myself to just laugh….
 
In the midst of all of this I volunteered to “host” Mother’s Day at my house on Sunday in order to give my mom a break from cooking.  She LOVES to cook and is amazingly good at it!  As I’ve said before, I didn’t inherit “cooking genes” from her.    I decided to keep it simple… Chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and taco dip (a long time family favorite that makes it’s appearance at EVERY holiday gathering).  I don’t recommend using McCormick’s bag/seasoning combo for chicken… It smelled yummy but the flavor just didn’t do it for me or most of my family.  I forgot that my sister doesn’t like cream of mushroom soup so the green bean casserole was a partial bust.  Everyone was gracious for the meal, but I’m thinking I shoulda just made two pans of the taco dip and called it a day! 
 
All in all I do enjoy my experiences in the kitchen… They could only be made better with continued “practice” and perhaps a better kitchen set up.  An apartment sized kitchen doesn’t lend itself well to cooking large quantities of food, but I make do.  I’m not gonna give up.  I’ll just keep on plugging away.
 
So if I offer to cook for you, keep in mind that while I may be more closely identifiable with Martha Stewart because of my crafting tendencies, Julia Child, I am not!
 
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8 thoughts on “Julia Child, I am not!

  1. Oops! That was meant to read:
    Next time have a potluck and that way everyone feels proud about contributing to the meal… Works like magic. 😉
    E

  2. Oh no Maggie!!!! That sounds sad, but a little comical the way you wrote it. Like a Three’s Company episode. But that’s how you do it, just keep plugging away, you’ll find your own way of cooking, and will be a whiz in no time. Just try smaller batches, because that sounds like you’re going to be eating ham chips for a while. 😀

  3. Oh my Megan, I did get a good chuckle out of this one! As your partner in crime, I must say those Ham BBQ’s were yummo! In the future, I will not recommend the institutional size can of baked beans unless feeding a large army! AND….While I always appreciate when my mom makes potato salad for a large family event I now know how long it takes to mix up 10 pounds of that stuff…crazy!

  4. Aw sorry hun but you made me smile, I could just see me wrestling with the can too, things don’t open smoothly for me 🙂 Cooking anything for lots of people is a nightmare, just say no next time!!

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