As I'm completely consumed getting ready for the launch of Chloe's Watcher, I'm sharing a few favorite old blog posts. I burned my hand on the stove a few days ago, so this one seemed especially timely.
THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2011
I decided to burn a batch of cookies for my kids the other day. They love cookies and I thought it would be a nice thing to do. Of course, it would be nicer to bake rather than burn a batch of cookies, but I'm such a bad cook, I can't really make them without burning them. So the whole thing is more a symbol of love than anything else, since they never can enjoy the cookies as much as know I thought of them and wanted to do something thoughtful for them. It's one of those perfect examples of "it's the thought that counts."
They come home, they sniff, they smell the ash. "Mom, have you been burning things again?"
"Yes!" I say. "I thought it would be nice for you to have homemade cookies."
Yes it would. "Thanks," they say. And go up to their rooms.
Of course they don't race to the kitchen to grab a couple or three. They know as well as I none of us wants to eat them. It was just a nice gesture I could do for them.
I've examined and explored my subconscious and my technique to try to figure out why I always burn things when I cook. Is there some subliminal action going on? Am I sabotaging my efforts for some unseen but deep-rooted psychological reason? Or is it simply the fact that I absolutely hate cooking and can't stand to stay in the kitchen longer than it takes to fill my plate before I escape to the dining room to sit and eat my food?
I've ruined—or more accurately melted--several tea kettles. The last straw was one day after the family came home from playing tennis and came and found me tucked in my office typing away on one of my books.
"Mom! What's going on?" they all exclaim in a cacophony of excited voices.
"I'm writing. It's really going well!"
"The smoke alarm, Mom! It's screaming. The house is filled with smoke!"
Oh my. Really?
So we run upstairs, getting on hands and knees of course when we hit the main floor to keep below the smoke.
But unnecessary. My husband is there. He's turned off the stove. He's got the fire extinguisher. What used to be the tea kettle is fused in an enamel glob onto the stovetop.
"I thought I'd have some tea," I say. "Guess I forgot."
That was when the rule was made I couldn't leave the kitchen once I turn the stove on. All pots from then on were to be watched, boiling or not. How awful. Not banished but fettered to the very place that makes my toenails curl.
After much (or maybe not so much) self examination, I've discovered the reason everything, including the appliances, burn when I try to cook is that I can't stay around long enough after the heat is turned on to see the project through. The old adage meant to demean and punish is music to my ears: If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Gladly! Besides, we can always go to Mrs. Fields.
Want my stories delivered right to your inbox? I can do that! Click the button below to sign up and I'll make sure to send my post right to you each day that I blog.