Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I've Made a Discovery...

You might as well know that if you're visiting here for some word of encouragement today or depth of insight, move on. I know what it's like out there in blogland - barely enough time to read all the posts you want to come back another day if you want value for your time.

Right now I'm looking for some commiseration. I made a discovery today. My twin sister got all the cooking genes!

OK...I've been upfront about my lack of kitchen skill. It's been no secret. I haven't ever tried to impress anyone with my culinary ability. I admit to opening mixes instead of starting from scratch. I'm not embarrassed by my freezer full of "M&M" boxes (no, not the candy...the frozen food!). My name is not Betty Crocker or Sarah Lee. Nor am I Rachael Ray or Martha Stewart. I'd be happy just to be Pillsbury Dough, but even that's a stretch.

What prompted these feelings of inadequacy today?

Doesn't that look appetizing? That's SUPPOSE to be a homemade loaf of bread! Look at it! It's got more craters than the moon and is bumpier than most roads here in Ontario - and that's saying something! My husband thought it WAS a 'blog'

How did this happen? I followed the recipe perfectly. I even watched the video demonstration that came with the breadmaker. I measured meticulously. All you do is throw the ingredients in and the breadmaker is suppose to do the rest. It let me down big time!

Normally, I wouldn't have cared. I mean, this isn't the first time something I've tried to bake in the kitchen hasn't turned out - it's a daily occurance - but, for some reason, I was so disappointed tonight. I had tried really hard to go the extra mile and do something special, and my "special" ended up in the garbage!

I've tried to better myself. I took a night school course a couple of years ago with a girlfriend. It said it was for beginner's in the kitchen. The course outline sounded perfect. The first night we made a dish I couldn't pronounce with utensils I had never seen. The second class only 3 students returned. That alone should have spoken volumes right then, but it only made me feel sorry for the instructor. So, beside the fact that this chef was speaking a foreign language to me, I decided to stick it out and see what I could learn. I was paying big bucks because I didn't want to hurt this guys feelings. He was a really nice guy. He was the head cook at a fancy smancy hotel in Toronto and he would share stories of cooking for celebrities that came into town. I've always remembered how kindly he spoke of John Travolta. Anyway, unless your family eats mutton weekly or finishes each meal with crème brûlée, this really didn't seem to be a "beginner's" cooking class to me.

You know, it wouldn't be so bad trying new recipes and making a mess in the kitchen if I actually had the enjoyment of some home-made delectables, but I'm only tantalizing my tastebuds. Nothing ever turns out like the photograph in the recipe book and most attempts need to be accompanied by a quick glass of water to wash down each valiant effort.

It doesn't help having a sister with the midas touch. She not only can make anything taste good, but she does it with the ease of June Cleaver. Meanwhile, I'm more like Lucille Ball.

So, tonight I surrender my apron. Not only did the bread fail miserably, but the crock-pot recipe I tried was dry and as I went to bring the butter dish to the table it slipped from many hands and my floor was now greased better than my baking pans. Anybody want to invite me for dinner tomorrow night? I could bring the bread! :o)


Beth E. said...

Hahaha! That was great! I needed that laugh! Oh,'re looking for commiseration, aren't you?!

I'm a what I would call a mediocre cook. I do fairly well at times, and not so well at other times. Everyone in my family has survived, though, so I must've done something right! lol

Does your sister live nearby? Maybe she could give you some lessons. Don't give up...keep on trying...hang in there...and please take more pictures! :o)

Check out the latest cooking escapades of my guys. I posted some videos. Maybe you won't feel so bad after that!

Joyful said...

Yes, Beth, my sister almost lives around the corner. That's what adds insult to injury. You can just faintly smell the aroma of her meals over the smoke fumes wafting from my home as the fire detectors go off!

Catherine said...

Aw sweetie...we'll get ya through this! I'd be happy to work through a bread making recipe with you. They are finickity (is that a word??) for sure! I remember hearing that the yeast cannot touch the wet ingredients at all. Let's plan a day to make a recipe together! Call me....and we can watch a movie while your bread is baking.

You can do this!!

Your smoke detectors go off? Ah, that's when you take after your other sister! LOL!! I put mine far away from the kitchen or there would be days that mine would be singing out too. Oh wait....I'm supposed to be encouraging you to let me cook with you. Ignore the smoke detector comment. :o)

Pot roast anyone???

Julie Gillies said...

I am laughing, girl, over your husband thinking that loaf of bread was a BLOG. Hilarious! I sure needed the laugh this morning.

I guess I'm in the middle here. I do NOT like cooking, but I LOVE baking. Not that my hips need me to bake. LOL

However, in an effort to eat more healthily I've started using recipes from the Cooking Light cookbook. What a P-A-I-N! 34 steps to cook dinner? Puleeze! I nearly ripped off my hubby's head when he called home a few months ago. I was in the midst of step 23, juggling all manner of hot pots, pans, stirring sauces, and wiping the sweat from my brow. How dare he call while I slaved to fix him the perfect meal?

I wound up calling my poor husband back (once I found a place to pause and turned off the stove) to apologize. Sheesh. I learned a lesson that day, Joy. I will stick with simpler recipes (no more than 5 steps, thank you very much!)and leave the fancy cooking to someone who cares.

We're all much happier now. Well, I am for sure. LOL

In the meantime, quick and easy (but still homemade) spagetti, anyone?

Anonymous said...

O.K. .. Let's face it, I don't have to be that good to win the baking challenge!!! If my loaf simply falls out of the pan "looking" like a loaf, I've won - regardless of how it tastes!!!

But, just so all your visiting friends know that I have heart as well as talent (Giggle!), we'll see what we can do!

And, in your defense, if I got all the "cooking genes" you more than made up for it with the "cleaning genes". Your place is ALWAYS immaculate!!! - and ... well... maybe we could get together and make a deal - I think I forsee a blender/swifter exchange??!!! But for now, go on down to the freezer and pull out your M & M Box and enjoy "Lucille"!!!!
Love always "June" XXOO

Zoe said...

LOL Joy,
You have made my day! I'm grateful for your transparency and wilingness to show us your latest baking creation.
You are more precious than you'll ever know.
Bread Baking Blessings my friend,

Denise said...

You mean that the smoke detector isn't supposed to go off automatically when you cook? Really?!

You are welcome to come to dinner but would you please buy the loaf of bread - that one was really scary!

While I don't have my mother or sister's skills in the kitchen, I am blessed with a man who isn't too picky! It is only when he calls it "surprise" do I know it isn't a recipe to keep! :o)


Leah said...

Dear, Dear Joy,

I am laughing with you!! God has equipped you for every good work--it just seems they are not to be done in the kitchen. That's ok. Look how often you 'feed' those of us who come to your blog. You are a culinary queen when it comes to feeding us the Word of God. Don't fret, dear sister. I bet the Israelites manna wasn't beautiful every day either.

Love the comment from your sister. Ya'll should do comedy.


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Dearest Joy,

You may not be a "Martha"(Stewart?) but you definitely are a "Mary"! You sit at the feet of Jesus and then pass on the nourishment to many of us!

I guess I was blessed with the "cooking gene" too. Not sure why except that I love to cook. Not as much now as in years past though. I have an EASY crockpot recipe for a great roast. You may already fix it as most people already know this recipe. But if not, here it is.

Buy whatever size chuck roast that you need for your family. Put roast in crockpot. In another bowl combine 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 envelope dry onion soup mix, and two (soup) cans of water. Pour over roast. Cook on high for 6 hours OR on low all night or all day....whichever. Make some "instant" potatoes to put the gravy over and ...yummy, yummy! Plus the house smells good all day!
I have been cooking deer steaks like this and it is now our favorite way to eat them.

Thanks for sharing this little episode with us. Makes me know you are human like the rest of us!

God bless you Friend!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Let's go out. That is so funny! I used to have a bread maker, but the bread left something to be desired.

Thanks for making me laugh. I really enjoyed participating in the humor.


Pamela (His maidservant) said...

Joy this is funny-really. My mom brought me some amish friendship bread and I will probably end up with a loaf looking like that. I can cook but I tend to burn my breads! Grief.


In His Graces~Pamela

Yolanda said...

You are such a "joy" to our hearts. Your cooking skills may lacking, but your HEART does NOT!

Love ya,

PS: I would love to have your for dinner, and keep you right here for awhile, I KNOW I could learn a thing or two from you!!!!

Bonita said...

Let's talk- Lucy to Lucy. That bread looks way too familiar. It looks like mine, the one that I made about five years ago before I gave up trying to make bread. I'm right there with you on the cooking except that I was never brave enough or interested enough to take a fancy schmancy cooking course. Good attempt on your part!

Kelley said...

Hey Joy,
I know you can make a mean angel food cake with pineapple and whipped cream!! HAHAHA! Thanks for making me giggle tonight anyway...


Paula (SweetPea) said...

Ah...but how did the bread taste? I bet good. Who cares what the bread looks like, I'm all about eating some bread in any shape or size.