When I was in Junior High, we had to sew aprons in Home Economics. I was so confident in my abilities as a seamstress, I decided I would sew my RED apron with WHITE thread. Contrast. Snappy. Disaster. Turns out, not so good at the sewing.
This same false confidence applied to my cooking abilities, however, by the time I got married I was well aware of my severe limitations in the kitchen. I had solid faith in the fact that following a recipe, like EXACTLY, was the only way I was allowed to waste ingredients.
Today, inexplicably, I decided to clean out my recipe binder. This binder has copies of our regular recipes and hundreds of recipes I have pulled out of women’s magazines for the last 16 years. It was overstuffed, and a mess and honestly, when I need a recipe I usually google it and reprint it because it is easier to find. So Grace and I went after the project.
Here is what I learned about myself:
- I have a strange affinity for recipes that use cabbage, and yet, I can confirm that I have not purchased cabbage in over 5 years.
- I am sure that someday I will have world enough and time to make elaborate desserts like tangerine soufflé, cream puffs and molten chocolate cakes. I had 1, 4 and 7 recipes for those desserts, respectively. And again, I have never made a soufflé, a cream puff or anything molten on purpose.
- I have 2 – 4 copies of most of my favorites (due to the google approach above).
- I have recipes that call for ingredients I don’t buy, won’t buy and may not even know what they are.
- There was a notable pile of side dishes, snacks and cookies but a dearth of main dishes. Apparently, I know where my main dish is coming from (that would be the freezer).
All in all, I still have hope that I will try the tangerine soufflé and the molten cakes, but I think I will never make a cream puff. I threw away the cream puff recipes along with all the duplicates and weird stuff and made peace with the fact that although I enjoy cooking, and like good food, I will never be a hero in the kitchen.
And finally, since I am still brightly aware that some day, someone besides me will go through my binder, I made sure to include extra copies of whatever the girls will fight over and left a couple wildly ambitious recipes I know I will never make so the girls can say “Why does mom have 10 recipes for pies and tarts made with unknown varieties of tomatoes? Do you ever remember her making Heirloom Tomato Tart?”
A girl can dream.