I adore food (and I'm sure I'm the only one who feels that way, right?). I love going to fantastic restaurants, whether they're hidden gems or world famous, and I've been known to go on culinary tours instead of actual vacations. That's why it's pretty hard on my ego to accept that fact that I'm bad at cooking. Well, let me make sure the record is straight, before I go further: Sometimes I get it right when I'm cooking. In fact, I used to get it right far more often than I do now, but not enough time and too many distractions have seriously compromised my abilities. I burn all kinds of things on the regular.
So what's a mom to do? Well, I have a few secrets I'm willing to divulge. First of all, follow recipes. Don't assume you can wing it like other people, and have your meal turn out okay. I've made that mistake too many times, and it's a giant waste of food. Second, don't bother attempting kids' meals that you may fail at. That's another waste of food, and your kids will end up hangry as they wait for you to figure out another option for them.
Finally, develop a sense of humor about your failures. Because seriously, if you can't laugh about burning water, I'm not sure there's any point in cooking ever again.
Here are some of the struggles that every person who loves to cook (but really can't) goes through:
Scraping The Burned Part Off Your Food
Look, if you threw away everything you burned, you and your family would starve. So you basically have to adapt and accept that this is going to happen, and you're all going to eat anyway. So you scrape off the burnt-to-a-crisp edges of whatever vegetable, grain, or protein that's affected and quietly resume living your painfully typical kitchen life.
Praying No One Notices The Burnt Taste On The Food You Tried To Save
I have fished out the burnt broccoli florets from a stir fry and then served the rest, hoping the taste hasn't spread to the other vegetables. (Newsflash: You can always taste it.)
Owning Cookbooks But Not Using Them
I adore cookbooks, but I avoid the recipes a lot of the time because there are just so many steps! Or too many ingredients. Or not enough time to cook the recipe. This is never not a mistake.
Trying To Salvage A Dish You Just Ruined Half The Ingredients Needed To Prepare
What's that? You just accidentally added twice as much salt as the dessert recipe called for? NO PROBLEM! (That's a lie. It's a major problem.)
Ruining Pots And Pans Regularly
I have become really good at scouring away the burnt bottoms of one of my pots in particular, but I've thrown out another that was too far gone, and given up and continued using one that has a really cool design that was burned into it.
Destroying Meals That Are So Simple, People Don't Believe You Are Actually Capable Of Ruining Them
I've ruined mac & cheese from a box, guys. I've burned countless jars of spaghetti sauce. It's sad but true.
Wanting To Recreate A Meal From A Restaurant
...and then sobbing when you realize there's just no way. This is not your life journey, as much as you wish it was.
You want so badly to impress people! But you know it's best to go with something simple that you can't ruin within an inch of being edible. (Also, there's a good chance that your friends and family know by now that you are not to be trusted in the kitchen, despite your enthusiasm for going into one; You're asked to bring cups to potluck dinners now.)
Accidentally Lighting Something On Fire
It happens to us all, at some point.
Having To Endure Watching Your Family Force Themselves To Eat Your Meal
There is nothing worse than watching your family gnaw away at meat that's too tough.
Watching Food Porn Videos Online
They make it look so easy, don't they? It's a total lie, and it mocks all of us who struggle with cooking.
You watch them. You love them. You want to be like those cooks, but life hasn't dealt you a fair hand, and you don't even dare try their "easy recipes" from the shows. Oh well. You are really good at ordering takeout. We all have our strengths.