cooking confessions

Do you know that the first turkey I baked, I didn’t know they stuffed both ends with, well, stuff? I cleaned out that front cavity meticulously, salted and seasoned the bird to perfection, and after four hours, pulled out a plastic bag full of goop from its rear end. I didn’t know if it was even safe to eat. I have never tried to be Martha Stewart or Paula Dean, but unfortunately my immediate family had to endure this lack of culinary expertise.

I have other stories as well. In our first apartment, we had an electric stove and oven all built in one unit. It had a handy storage drawer underneath where I kept all the extra pans and for lack of a fit, my wooden rolling pin. It never occurred to me that we didn’t have a broiler. One day, I opened the bottom drawer to get out a cookie sheet, and noticed my wooden rolling pin with a black burnt stripe down the length of it. Truly, it’s a wonder we didn’t have a full-blown fire. I guess the only thing that saved me was how rarely I cooked.

The other thing I can think of that early marriage taught me was that not all pork is cured. The first time I made pork chops I thought they were like bacon, since my mother used salt so liberally on them. It was some surprise when I took the first bite and realized it wasn’t the same salty taste like ham or bacon. Who knew these secrets? I realize most people would not admit to this kind of ignorance, but few of life’s lessons come without a little field trip. For me, learning to cook has been no exception.

My family would tell you that I’m a better-than-average cook, but my darkest secret is I never have mastered the fine art of Jello. I avoid it like the plague. Years ago, I tried the recipe for Jello Jigglers. *Notice there is no URL link to this jewel.I thought the kids would think I was the best mom. Nope. Not even with blue Jello. There are some things I simply was not meant to master and Jello is at the top of the list. Fortunately, it only comes into question once or twice a year. So, this year our table will be filled with every traditional delicacy I can concoct, but never, ever—Jello.


7 thoughts on “cooking confessions

  1. OK, Annie, I just sent you an e-mail and popped over here to see what you’ve been up to! I was just going to read and then run downstairs to spend some time with Cliff, but I cannot resist the jello conversation!!!! I am sorry but I just cannot believe these lovely ladies do not know how to do jello. I think they are just trying to make you feel better about your indadequacy in that department! I will admit, there isn’t a lot of respect that comes with being Chef Extraordinnaire of Jello cuisine, but honestly, it’s really not that hard!!! Shoot, I’ve got a whole cookbook of just jello recipes!!! I usually insist on making a jello “mold” (Angie!) for either Thanksgiving or Christmas and I don’t care how many variations I try, none of my family are crazy about them! I love them, they don’t, I’ve finally given up……but it was such a sad day for me!

    I get to go to my sweet dil’s and son’s house for Thanksgiving this year! I only need to make 2 pies and homemade rolls (yayyyyy!!!), though like Angie, I bought a turkey to cook for leftovers!

    We have so much to be thankful for and precious Clifford is at the top or our list! And you lovely praying ladies are right there, also!

    May you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving and enjoy the warmth and love of family, friends, and most of all our Heavenly Father. God bless you all!

    Love, JeanM

  2. Hey, I made pork chops exactly like you – with no salt, after all pork is cured like ham and bacon. Mom sure put a lot of salt on it!! Guess we were not the recipients of alot of cooking lessons. Mom made it look so easy. I swear I never saw her salt them. Love ya, (see you Thurs.)

  3. Shonda-what’s a girl to do with three turkeys? Oh my!

    Angie-I’d always stick with the pies! Then, in case of leftovers, who wants jello mold? (I had forgotten that scene in Christmas vacation!)And, LOL, about Meghan’s comments–at least the girl knows what’s important. Time in the kitchen is time away from shopping, right?

    Jean- it’s always a joy to give you a smile! I’m considering making omelets again!

    Barbara – Just when I was starting to feel alone and not that proficient, thank you for validating my Jello fears. I feel loved. Happy Thanksgiving again(?) to you.

    JeanM,I know you’ll pipe in here soon as you had a hard time believing my Jello problems when I first confessed to you…see others share my pain.

    And to each of you, I am most grateful and count you among my treasures of blessings this Thanksgiving. Blessed Day to you!

  4. Finally, someone else who struggles with Jello…. I just can’t make it jell, no matter how hard I try!!!

    Thanks for your funny post!

    Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving (we’ve had ours in Canada already!).


  5. I have cooked maybe two turkeys in my whole life. This year I bought one to cook strictly for leftovers. It should be interesting. Thanks for the reminder about cleaning it out first! Funny you should mention Jello. I am usually in charge of Pies. I usually make pumpkin and pecan. This year my mother-in-law asked me to make a jello mold. I don’t even know what that means. I wonder if I need to buy some kind of special mold. I told her I don’t know how to do it. And… whenever I think about it, I am reminded about the jello mold that the grandmother brings to Christmas dinner on “Christmas Vacation” where she accidently puts cat food in it. I asked my mother-in-law to put me in charge of something else.

    I asked Meghan if she is hungry for any home cooked meals when she comes home and she said, “Mom, cooking isn’t really your thing. Can we go out?” I laughed. She’s right. I’m not the perfect mother! That’s okay with me. Love you, Angie
    p.s. 🙂

  6. Very funny Annie! We’re having the fried turkey, baked turkey debate. I thought 2 turkeys would be a win/win solution. No–now he wants 2 fried turkeys! (Guess I’ll buy a 3rd one for the oven.) 🙂

    Blessings in Christ–

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