After recently making a few things in the kitchen for dinner and having them turn out… not quite right… or even inedible, I’ve decided to suck it up and face something I’ve been long suspecting….
I can’t cook.
Now, I can bake. Oh yes, I can bake. Granted, I can’t make a seven-layer cake with raspberry ganache. I haven’t even tried pie yet (I know, I’m such a chicken). But I can make bundt cakes, various cookies, scones, cupcakes and bars from scratch, thus solidly putting me in the “amateur baker” category.
But, my stovetop cooking is haphazard at best. I’ve had a few incidents where I’ve scurried away from the sizzle of oil on a frying pan, or when I’ve cursed at the burnt pancake I’ve produced once again, and Clark, my roommate, has seen me and shaken his head.
“There are two kinds of people,” he sagely intones as I shake a spatula at the stove in a threatening manner. “There are those who are cooks, and those who are bakers. Guess which one you are.”
Yes, despite my love of food, I am not much of a cook. I can make sandwiches, I can fix basic salads, I can make rice with the help of a rice cooker, which doesn’t say much. I can fix up pasta, actually, and make a nice lemon-butter sauce for it, or dump a glug of marinara into a pot from the jar, so I’m not completely forsaken to a life of take-out and frozen pizza. I used to make fried rice fairly often. But don’t ask for more than that, unless you’re asking someone else.
This doesn’t mean I won’t try to cook any more. I have too many cookbooks with too many recipes I’d like to attempt, even if the end result winds up being me crumpled in a heap in the corner, sobbing. Learning from our mistakes is what makes us more experienced in the kitchen, whether we are baking or cooking. The same philosophy can be applied to life as well.
Still, if you invite me over to your potluck, you can count on me for the cake or cookies. At least for now, anyway, while I build up my bruised cooking ego after the horrible peanut butter tofu disaster.