Tuesday, December 02, 2008
So while Larry was helping me mop up the kitchen counter and floor
(Note to self: To add water to the stock pot on the stove, carry the water across the kitchen in a heavy glass measuring cup with a handle. Do not use a Dark Knight plastic cup from the convenience store)
we had the following conversation:
ME: I wish somebody would invent cooking for total incompetents.
L: You're not at all incompetent. You're a great cook. You make wonderful things.
ME: Yeah, I know that, but I can never do it without some big infuriating event happening, and going ballistic.
L: You're not incompetent. You just say you are because you hate it and that means you don't have to do it.
ME: That's a very insightful statement.
Understand, the whole "I have to do it" thing is not imposed on me by Larry or anybody else. I impose it on myself. My share of the cooking -- and he does a major amount of the domestic work around here -- could be accomplished with the small but reliable repertoire I've assembled over the years precisely to fit my abilities, with very little opportunity for disaster. One-dish meals, slow cooker stuff.
But I feel the need sometimes to push my limits and do the things I'm no good at. Why? Bleep knows. Boredom with the same 5 dishes. Bursts of Pioneer Woman Who Wastes Nothing fervor. Lingering Donna Reed Show-era damage. Or just that I hate to admit defeat. I like to think that I can do anything I put my mind to.
I'm an intelligent person. I can make a multilevel meal with a variety of tasks and timing.
Or: I can quit buying overpriced, prepared [cookies, piecrusts, whatever] and make them myself!
Or: I can make soup on the real stovetop -- all i have to do is remember to turn the heat down to "simmer" after it boils.
Yep. That's all.
Monitoring something drives me up a wall. (This also applies to recipes that cheerfully instruct me to "stir constantly until thickening occurs, 20-30 minutes." I. will. go. slowly. mad.) The boredom will either make me completely crack up, or drive me to pick up a magazine or, God forbid, a book, go online, even do laundry, just to keep my brain from shorting out and then, yep, it's time for the Brillo [TM] to get the blackened crud off the pot.
There are such things as kitchen timers. We have the technology. I have a real problem with being beeped and buzzed at. I hate being beeped or buzzed at. I hate ruining the product of all my chopping and measuring labor even more than I hate the beeper that prevents it, so my failure to set the timer is pure denial.
I don't need to subject myself to that frikkin' thing! I'll just check back in a few minutes..... Famous last words, and a guarantee that I'll have to make a mad dash to add water before it boils away.
But a timer isn't much help for for things that need to be watched constantly or frequently, not just checked on.
This invariably leads to an event that, in turn, causes the whole "warm cozy home with delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen" scenario to collapse. Larry is instead subjected to:
"I HATE &$%#ing COOKING!"
...and has to decide whether to come closer and see if I need help, or whether this would be a good time to go downstairs and find an hour-or-longer task to do.
The whole mess is now in the slow cooker where it shoulda been all along.
Poor Larry. He didn't get Donna Reed. He didn't even get Lily Munster.