The end-of-year holidays are in the air. As soon as the chill came and Halloween was over, Thanksgiving was ushered in quickly. It does not escape me that the season of food is upon us.
It’s the season of recipes handed down from generations past. It’s the season of favorite dishes. It’s the season when I get assigned what I’m bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas cookies and cakes and everything fattening is on every imaginable surface at every location I visit.
I forgot I was supposed to lose weight before the season of food. I should have laid off that Halloween candy.
I don’t often get out my recipe cards, but if ever there is a time, this is it. My mother hasn’t been feeling well and I may be tasked with the pound cake and the dressing this year. I have a recipe for one, but the recipe for the other is only in her head. Time to learn!
I regret not learning my grandmother’s “head recipes” before she passed. Now they are lost forever. I need to be sure not to let the moment slip with my own mother while we have time.
You know what I do NOT have time for? New recipes online. Sometimes I think I might like to add a new recipe in the mix. This is a mistake.
This may be the season of food, but this is NOT the season for people who do not like to cook.
I do not like to cook.
I watch those T.V. shows where people make themselves look like arrogant spoils for being too bougie for the houses they are looking at buying. They MUST have the latest and the fanciest. It’s the KITCHEN that gets them every time. It MUST be renovated and with a tile backsplash and granite countertops. They won’t even consider it if it’s FAKE granite. UGH.
Not me. I’m like “Psssh… don’t care if it HAS a kitchen.” I just need a toaster oven to make my 3-year-old her daily toast. I need something that cooks pizza. Oh, and well, obviously a dishwasher because I don’t want to have to spend any more time in the kitchen than I must. Plus, I need something to wash all the plastic forks and Chinese take-out containers I’m gonna reuse.
So Thanksgiving isn’t exactly my time to shine.
Here’s what is NO help – online recipes that pretend that I keep capers, tapenade, or garbanzo beans on hand. I’m not sure I even really know what those things are. Complicated ingredients and instructions are easier to find in an online recipe than not.
What is easy to find.. lengthy articles preceding the recipe. I have to read all about how the person came upon this recipe, how it made them feel, and what tricks and tips they have discovered. The substitutions are in lengthy paragraph format, rather than bullet points. I thought I was here for the toffee pudding recipe, but suddenly I find myself in someone’s biography where they are reminiscing about their time in England next to their great love lost and something about sitting by a hearth in a cozy robe. I don’t know… I just want to know how to cook the durn thing.
Here's how I would like you food bloggers to give me a recipe:
Step 1. Turn your oven on to 350.
Step 2. Why didn’t you let your meat thaw by now? Go do that. Your dinner is going to be late.
Step 3. Since you’re an idiot, you need to absolutely know you need to put some oil, some salt, and some pepper on that chicken.
Step 4. I can’t even pretend I would know what step 4 is because I’m lost already but keep it super simple. Do not throw weird ingredients at me. I have some garlic salt from 2015 and some oregano from 2012. Does it expire? I don’t know. Worchestershire sauce. What can I do with that? It’s also old, but I’m pretty sure it’s like full synthetic Pennzoil and never expires. (I’m assuming car oil doesn’t expire. That may be a mistake).
Step 5. Put the durn thing in the oven. You do not need an oven mitt. The casserole dish is not hot yet.
Step 6. Wait twenty minutes. Wave a dishrag in front of the smoke alarm. It’s for sure going off by now.
Step 7. Write yourself a note to clean out the bottom of the oven where the pizza crust keeps falling so the fire alarm quits going off.
Step 8. Wait twenty more minutes. Pull the chicken out of the oven and serve your family a wonderful, gourmet meal that they rave about for weeks. They will post pictures of it on Instagram and sing your praises to anyone who will listen.
See? Now, is that so hard? I don’t need your life story. I just need something that will impress people. Preferably with three ingredients or less, one of those being Worcestershire sauce.
Since this type of recipe does not seem to exist, I just do the next best thing. I bring in a chef to do it all for me. It’s called my husband. Girls, marry a man who knows how to cook. Sign up to bring the crème brulee and spend your time painting your nails.
If he cooks, I’ll clean. I don’t mind cleaning the granite-less countertops, but the bottom of the stove… that’s all him, baby. I do the laundry seventy-five times a week. This is HIS time to shine.