I've always known, I can't cook. During the winter of 1964, I worked as a deck hand on a crew boat for Kerr McGee in the Gulf. My duties included cooking for the captain and myself. The captain weighed close to three hundred pounds and loved food. I think he lost about thirty pounds during the couple months I worked with him. I had no trouble tying the boat, navigating up river with radar, loading and offloading, or handling the locks. All that was simple. But cooking, now that was a challenge.
After I returned from Vietnam, Diane and I lived in Yuma, Arizona. I sometimes tried to prepare meals to surprise her, man was she ever surprised. :-) My very best meal was serving a can of stewed tomatoes. I could salt and pepper them with the best of folk. But everything I tried to cook was either too hard, too soft, or just plain bad.
My mother taught me how to wash dishes and insured that I could set the table, and put the dishes away, but even though my dad was a very good cook, I never achieved proficiency at it.
While living in Texas, I began smoking briskets, and I can really do a good job of that, if all one wants is meat, I'm your man. Both my sons can cook and produce some extremely tasty dishes, but I simply cannot.
About two years ago, I started out to boil some eggs-- do you realize that eggs will explode if you leave them boiling for twenty minutes or so? Well, they will. Phew! What a stinky mess!
I've learned how to heat up Diane's wonder goulash and other fine dishes, but I still seem to find some fine narrow crack through which I can really mess up. Today, I heated some pasta in the microwave, then prepared to add Picante Sauce to it. Grabbing the bottle by the handle, we use those large plastic bottles of picante, I commenced to shaking vigorously only to see foreign matter flying across the kitchen as well as landing on my person. The lid was not screwed on the bottle--probably my own oversight from a previous time I used it.
I quickly grabbed paper towels and dish rags to begin cleaning everything up, Diane was not yet home from work. I worked feverishly to remove the evidence, but I knew she would soon begin asking questions about pieces of onion, pepper, and other ingredients scattered about. Therefore, the only course open to me was to "fess up" quickly and try to turn it into a joke on me. She didn't laugh. However, she did quickly find everything I missed in my clean up.
I guess some people just can't do some things. My son-in-law doesn't know the radiator from the crankcase on a vehicle and in fact once filled one of my vehicles with water through the oil filler tube. Nah, not so funny, then. Perhaps one day my wife will laugh at my kitchen peccadilloes the same way I now laugh at David's mechanicing, then again---maybe not.
2012 Mike Rasberry