Ok, so here's the ugly truth... I'm not a great cook. I have a few dishes that I do well, a couple I do really well. I use those to flash and awe my family and friends, but in general I kinda suck. I get stuck in ruts, I get nervous, I don't read the recipe all the way through and make mistakes, I'm intimidated by exploration and improvisation. There are more not so yummy attempts at something new than there are successes when I'm at the helm. My man, on the other hand, is a fantastic cook. Of course that makes me jealous, lazy and super hesitant.
I watch Top Chef and other cooking shows religiously as though I'll suddenly attain amazing techniques and a highly developed palate through osmosis. I collect cook books and am a kitchen gadget freak. There are some fantastic tools in my possession and yet they are stabled in a drawer, cupboard or cabinet most of the time. It's kinda ridiculous.
If you recall, on my fridge list I wrote "cook". It is a goal. It's something I want to get better at. It's something I at least want to try. Lately I've been picking up some tips. I finally know how to use a knife somewhat proficiently. Still have a way to go, like which knife is best for what and so on, but it's a start.
Yesterday was the first day of my fridge list living, so I cooked. I tried two different things that most would call pretty basic, but scared the poop kittens out of me. The first was an omelet. Now I didn't wake up with the gumption to do it, but as I stood in front of the pantry about to grab a box of cereal to feed my guy I stopped. We had a free morning, there was no need in taking the lazy route. I thought... "humm, what do we have on hand..." Well, we had eggs, milk, some cubed ham left over and cheese. What the hell. I gave it a go. I tried to make my very first omelet. It wasn't pretty, but it was tasty. Shawn later informed me we don't have the proper pan for an omelet, so I should cut myself a little slack. I showed him a picture and he was a little impressed. So was I.
Next on the agenda was banana nut bread. Oh, I know, banana nut schmamana nut. Most folk learn that one in high school home ec class. Well I didn't. I've never baked a bread or a cake or a muffin that didn't come from a box. Never. My husband makes the most beautiful from scratch bread and cinnamon rolls and pancakes and waffles and all sorts of hoo ha. Me? I'm all about the bread machine and a box of Krustease. Give me a tin from Stonewall Kitchen and I'll whip up some delightful flap jacks, but the from scratch stuff makes my neck go stiff. So me hand mashing some over ripe bananas and putting them in the stand mixer with a bunch of ingredients freaked my crap out. But you know what? I did it. I put on my big girl panties and did it. I followed the recipe and I baked some by gummed banana nut freaking bread. I even toasted the walnuts! Boo yeah! I have to be completely honest, it was yummy but needed to bake a little longer. It was a tad puddingish in the middle of the loaf. Chalk it up to one down and a lesson learned for next time.
Now.... what to cook today.... hummmmm.....