I happen to like lists. I can’t help it – it’s in my DNA, probably stemming back to the time I was a fetus (be born. check. take first breath. check.). And you know when the best time to make a list is? Well, anytime, really but especially at the new year. January came screaming in a few weeks ago and the list-making began soon afterwards.
I don’t know if I would call it a list of “resolutions”. Probably because the term resolution seems…um…not always resolute. But a new year means a new chance to look back, learn from the last year, and look at what this year could hold.
For me, one of the things I wanted to do more of this year is cook. You know, to see if I could learn to love it as much as baking. It seems like a skill I should be proficient at and, let’s face it, eating out costs a pretty penny. I do actually have basic cooking skills and have made some yummy things. But there are a few barriers to me fulfilling my dream of becoming a Food Network chef. The only ones:
1. I’m pretty terrified of poisoning myself with my cooking. I never have. But chicken, specifically, scares the living daylights out of me. The threat of salmonella is real, people. It’s very real. If I could cook a chicken breast without having to use the “phone a friend” option (thanks for being on high alert, Katie and Mom!), I’d consider that a real win.
2. I. AM. SLOW. This is not a problem when I stress-bake because the process is part of the end result. But when I get home from work and am ready to gnaw my own arm off because I’m so hungry, slow is not really what I’m going for. Because I like both of my arms. And I don’t like eating at 8:00 at night.
3. Quantity is a problem. Recipes in cookbooks are not really designed for a single person. And I don’t care how good it is, I don’t want to be eating lasagna for the rest of my born days. The freezer, also, is a cause for concern. If I freeze something, how long will it last once it’s defrosted? How long will it last frozen? Do things go bad in the freezer? These are all questions. Burning, burning questions. (Ooh, freezer burn! Another mysterious element of the cooking endeavor.)
4. I’m kind of picky. One of the many benefits to cooking at home is the fact that I know exactly what goes into my food. For instance, I don’t have to add the kale if I don’t want to. I can substitute zucchini instead. But it is also kind of limiting as to what cookbook recipes are appealing. That’s my fault, I realize, but I sometimes watch cooking shows and am envious of the judges – they just eat whatever is put in front of them, no questions asked! Now, that’s courage. Maybe that should be a goal for 2016 – broadening horizons. And developing courage.
The upside to my evening? The Caprese chicken dish that I made required that I wear my cute new Anthropologie apron and buy a kitchen tool: a meat hammer! (I’ll learn the terms later.) And a new kitchen tool meant a stop at Target and also meant that my kitchen utensils jar had to be upgraded to make room. And since I was at Target, I figured I might as well pick up some cute slippers that were on sale. And a glass vintage-looking water bottle, because that’s just good for my health.
Sigh. So, to sum up – I’ll be taking the cooking one step at a time, but I think it’s clear I need to take a step back from Target.
Happy New Year!