A Woman On A Kitchen Mission

You know that saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?”

Well, if that were true I’d be happily married.

Just kidding, I’m not that conceited, but I do have to boast a little bit.

I’ve been a completely self-sufficient individual for just over a year now. In other words, college campus dining hasn’t been filing this mouth since May 2016.

I’ll never forget that humbling experience in about mid-May of 2016, when I realized I didn’t know my way around the kitchen nearly as much as I thought I did.

It wasn’t due to a lack of my mother trying (God bless her), since I always insisted that she has already taught me how to do (fill in the blank) countless times. But then when she wasn’t hovering over my shoulder, I had no idea what I was doing (or I at least second-guessed myself).

I’d often dial her up on the phone, put it on speaker and shout across the room while clanking pans together.

Eventually I got so busy that I didn’t have the time to cook (or so I told myself, how do you people with kids do it?), so I ate out a lot.

Well, now per my bathroom scale I’m back in the kitchen again, and I’ve got to say, I’m reaping some better results than a year ago, despite putting in time in the kitchen on the backburner — HA!

For instance, I made this new recipe when I lived in Wahoo that had me cut up chicken, brussel sprouts and a sweet potato and spread it out over a cookie sheet. Despite spraying a bunch of cooking spray, my cookie sheet does not look too new anymore (which I’m sure isn’t a surprise to many of you).

Well — lesson learned, and now I line the sheet with aluminum foil.

It’s small victories like those that I think would make my mentors proud. My mom and grandma have had plenty of practice over the years — each alternate days to feed my dad’s ranch hands. Each has their own style and favorite recipes, and I was fortunate to grow up just two miles from grandma, learning both (and eating her amazing cinnamon rolls).

Despite my small victories in the kitchen, I recognize I’m certainly no Paula Deen (in more ways than one), but I’m getting there, one kitchen experiment gone awry at a time.

What useful kitchen lessons have you learned the hard way? What recipe do you recommend to everyone? I’d love to have you share them with me at asobotka@dglobe.com.