Come Along, Enjoy the Fun, as I Possibly Poison My Family!

*sung to the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club* “Come along, enjoy the fun, as I possibly poison my family!”

Did you hear all the drama about BlogHer ’09 in Chicago? Someone caused a major scandal at the Paula Deen event. Well, if you didn’t hear about it, let me fill you in. Some girl had the nerve to tell Paula Deen that she can’t even hard boil an egg!  It went something like this:

Strange girl: “Paula, my husband really admires you and I would love to learn how to cook like you! How can I start learning the basics?”

Paula: “No worries, sweetie (I think I may have imagined the sweetie part). Just start watching the Food Network”

Strange Girl: “No, see, that is way too complicated. I don’t know how to hard boil an egg yet”

Paula: *mouth on floor* ” I have just the perfect thing for you! Go to the store and get my book called My First Cookbook. You will find it in the toddler area!” *audience laughs* “Now, don’t be embarrassed about it, you go right on and work your way through that book” *she honestly is just as sweet in person as one of her pies*

51WQZu-4NmL._SL160_OK, OK, I admit…I am that girl! and YES! Paula Deen did tell me to buy a toddler cookbook. There were many witnesses!

When people first meet me and the subject of cooking comes up, they do the polite little giggle that I don’t know how to cook. They don’t really get that when I say I don’t know how to cook, I really, really mean it. My best friends and family know though that it is not a silly little joke. They run for their lives if I say I made something. I try, I really, really do. It just never turns out well!

In order to give you some relative background on my kitchen mishaps here are some of the highlights:

  • After Carter was born we hired a catering service for a while. Instructions said “put in oven for 20 minutes at 35o”. Instructions never said, remove plastic lid. Nice oven fire on that one.
  • I once bought a mix of banana bread and made it for the PTA. I had no idea that vegetable oil could go bad! Nearly poisoned the PTA.
  • I made boxed mac and cheese and it came out as round as a ball. What? Doesn’t yours?
  • I made pesto once with cilantro instead of basil…might not have been bad if I planned it that way but I just didn’t know the difference. Hey, I tried.

Thank god my husband is an amazing cook. The poor guy has to be. If I say I am cooking, both the fire department and local take out are put on alert.

Economically, it never made sense for me to cook! We would have to throw it out and order out anyway. So, it got to the point where we just ordered out. Our typical dinner plans are this:

Husband at 5:00 on cell: “Hey, whats for dinner?” *by this he means what do you want me to bring home*

Me: “I don’t know what what do you feel like?”

Husband: “Haven’t had Changs all week. Want that?”

Me: “Sure. I will call it in”

Yes, a variation of this happens every night at 5 in our house. Do I have the best husband in the world, or what?

People ask how this is even possible. How can a 30 ‘something’ woman with 2 kids not know how to hard boil an egg?? Well, I blame my family really! My parents worked in restaurants my whole life. To me, that is where food came from! They never cooked at home (except barbeques) and my Grandma Ragone died when I was really young. One of my best food memories as a kid was going there every Sunday for Eggplant Parm.  Man, she would roll over in her grave if she saw what I mess I was! So, see it really is not my fault, I grew up thinking that food came from styrofoam containers! *yes mom, you should feel guilty* (to be fair, with my competitive swimming schedule growing up, there was not much time to eat at home)

But, here is the deal. I really would like to learn how to cook. I am afraid of the kitchen though with all my past experiences. But, the many women at BlogHer who came up to me afterwards and actually thanked me for speaking up and saying what they were too afraid to encouraged me to follow Paula’s advice. So, I am getting a copy of My First Cookbook and working my way through it. I would love to give credit to the funny girl at BlogHer who gave me the title for my new series “The UnFoodie: Mayhem and Mishaps in My Kitchen” but I cannot remember who it was. Leave me a comment please if it was you! So, keep watching here as my family suffers the trials and tribulations of my attempt to follow Paula’s advice.


Oh, and if any of my friends or family want to tell some embarrassing food stories about me, feel free to in the comments. People may then believe that I am so not joking here!