In the kitchen, I’m useless, and always have been. Every attempt I’ve ever made at cooking has been a nightmare. There have been many disasters along the way, but here are the top 5 standouts.
Pepperoni and Cardboard Pizza
Did you know that you’re not actually supposed to bake a frozen pizza with that round piece of cardboard still under it? Because I sure as hell didn’t.
Who I blame:
This is a clear case of negligence on the part of DiGiornio and I fervently believe that, had my husband not come home and asked “What IS that burning smell?”, our resulting lawsuit (had we survived the fire) would have made us rich beyond our wildest dreams.
Salty Mac and Cheese.
Freshman year of high school, I decided to take a break from being an asshole 14-year old and made dinner for my mom. I have no idea what prompted this idea but I suspect I’d done something stupid and wanted to head off my mom’s wrath by doing something sweet to stifle her rage when she finally got wind of whatever it was.
Uncharacteristically, I decided not to get too ambitious and stuck with the basics for my menu. Grilled cheese sandwiches, with a side of macaroni and cheese. How could I possibly fuck that up?
After a lot of hard labor, I proudly presented my mom with my culinary masterpiece. I watched eagerly as she took her first bites. The grilled cheese went off without a hitch. The mac and cheese, not so much.
Who I Blame:
This one is all Kraft’s fault. Their instructions were way too confusing. How was I supposed to know that “TSP” stood for teaspoon, and not tablespoon? Mom finally set me straight – after she finished choking down that first (and last) super-salty bite.
Senior year. My BFF and I were hanging out in my room, bored, when we came across a recipe in Seventeen magazine for write-your-own fortune cookies. We immediately decided this was a brilliant idea and set to work.
The first sign that something was wrong came when we tried pouring the batter into circles on the cookie sheet. It was way more watery than the picture and quickly spread into one huge rectangular fortune cookie, instead of four smaller circle-y ones. We tried to start over, but the batter was so gooey that we couldn’t get it off. The obvious answer (for us) was to go ahead and bake it, but when we took it out of the oven it was charred and we couldn’t even pry it off the pan. Still, we refused to give up – scraping the charred batter off the pan, bit by bit, and sucking it off our fingers, one gooey, sticky finger after another. Then we went back to plotting a raid on my mom’s liquor cabinet.
Who I Blame:
Seventeen Magazine. First of all, this was a terrible recipe. But more importantly, why were you giving teenage girls cookie recipes in the first place? Stick to what you know, Seventeen: fashion spreads, makeup tips and making sure a hideous body image is successfully passed from generation to generation.
Eggs and Rice
After I got married I was determined to make SOMETHING that wasn’t an embarrassment. I kept taking random stabs at it, but the results were always disaster.
One night my husband called from work. “What are you doing?” he asked, checking in. “I’m trying to cook something delicious, but it’s just turned into a pan of mushy goo,” I answered.
“Let me guess,” he said. “It involves rice and eggs.”
“How did you KNOW that??!?” I asked, amazed. I looked around to spot the hidden camera.
“Honey, every time you try to cook anything, it ALWAYS involves rice and eggs.”
When I thought about it, I realized he was right. I’d once eaten a bang-up dish of fried rice at a local Chinese place, and for like eight years I’d been trying, over and over again, to recreate it – without ever making the connection. Yes, this says a lot about me (on more than one psychological front) – but the point is, fried rice looks way easier to make than it actually is.
Who I Blame:
The Chinese. Obviously.
Crock Pot Stuff Pork Loin
The Crock Pot is one of America’s greatest scams. It’s a crock of shit, is what it is. They put it out there like it’s this super easy thing, like anyone, even an idiot like me, can make something delicious and wonderful in only a few simple steps. It’s an evil web of lies.
I really don’t know where the recipe for the ill-fated Crock Pot Stuffed Pork Loin came from, but I can tell you it sure as shit didn’t come out looking like a stuffed pork loin. Honestly, the end result more closely resembled a handful of dirt rammed up the ass of a mummified weasel.
Even Simon, the cat who once ate an ENTIRE rodent of some kind, threw it up and then ATE IT AGAIN, wouldn’t eat it.
Who I Blame:
Crock Pot itself, for false advertising… and all of my friends and family who insisted I needed to try it, because it was so easy to use even a culinary dimwit like myself couldn’t fuck it up. Don’t ever dare me like that again, people. I think I’ve proven I’m up to the challenge.
Blythe Jewell is a freelance writer/editor and professional-grade smart ass based out of Austin, Texas. Her work has been featured in numerous publications both online and in print, and she’s won many awards in recognition of her tremendous talent including an Oscar, a Pulitzer, the Nobel Peace Prize and a Daytime Emmy. She also tends to lie a lot, and enjoys referring to herself in the third person. Find her sometimes hilarious, always off-color, insanely unpopular blog at http://www.themusicalfruit.net/. Also available for childrens’ parties.