Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'll Invite You All To My Book Signing Party. You Bring The Food.

I've made a decision.

I've decided to write a cookbook.

How do you spell that sound you make when you laugh without opening your mouth so it just comes out like a snort in the back of your throat?  I need to know how to spell that so I can tell y'all not to do that. 

Oh, what the hell...... I did it myself when I wrote that I was going to write a cookbook.

I actually rolled my own eyes at me. 

But...... I've decided that there are people out there who need my cookbook.

I don't like to cook.
I don't do it well because -
     I don't do details
     I don't read directions
     It takes energy
     I have to stand up
     I frequently cut myself
     I have to clean stuff afterwards
     I have to touch raw meat
     I don't like long lists
     I don't have patience
     I have warped taste buds after years of ketchup abuse
     I have no idea what words like blanch, al dente, dredge, clarify, fricassee, or meuniere mean

I really don't.  I just googled 'cooking terms' to get these words and didn't even read the definitions except for meuniere - because I think that's one that lots of people have no idea about.  

Do you know what it means?  
Is anybody raising their hand with the answer?  
No?  Well, I'll have to tell you.

Meuniere means dredged with flour and sauteed in butter.   

I think I gained four pounds just by reading that.  

Let's face it.  I hate cooking.  And I stink at it. 

 It's just not a princessy thing to do.  You know??

Anyway, I refuse to believe that I'm the only one like me out there.  I know there has got to be other princesses women who eat out at Subway five times a week, think putting a Lean Cuisine in the microwave is cooking, cover their food in ketchup and hot sauce, and don't own a muffin tin.

Actually, I own a lot of cooking apparatuses.  I have NO IDEA how to use most of them.

 I own:
 * A food processor (purchased last Black Friday when I was supposed to be buying presents for others but had a whiny fit of "It's my turn" and started buying stuff for myself).   I've used it ....... once.  And that was to make salsa that DIDN'T EVEN TURN OUT RED!!!!!!!  Since then, I've forgotten what all the little parts of the food processor are for and I long ago threw away the directions. 

That's another thing.  Since I don't read directions, I just throw them away.  I have no idea how half the stuff in my house works. 

* A George Foreman grill.  I've had this since I got divorced eleven years ago.  I've used it two or three times.  You know, the problem with a George Foreman grill is that it doesn't clean itself.  And it's a bitch to clean. 
Maybe not a bitch. 
But you do have to clean it.

* My famous Texas-shaped waffle maker.  I've made waffles once.  And come to think of it, I didn't even make them then.  Kara did.   But it was my waffle maker!

* An iced-tea maker.  Well, half of one.  I've lost the pitcher.  Doesn't matter, because it NEVER got used.

* A commercial-grade blender.  I went on a smoothie kick back in 1983 and Charlie wanted us to get a blender that would last a lifetime.  And I swear, this blender is going to outlive my children's children's children.  It's non-destructible.  Like a Tonka truck.  It will be the one heirloom that will be passed down through the line of my direct descendents.   Aren't.  They.  Lucky.  

* A pancake griddle that I bought last Spring while having hallucinations fantasies about making pancakes and fried eggs for numerous happy people that were just sitting around my living room playing board games. 

There are quite a few things wrong with that picture.  First, if numerous happy people were over here, I can guarantee you that they'd be watching TV and playing with their respective laptops, phones, and ipods.  Not playing board games.  Second, Christmas is really the only time of the year that I get numerous people over here at one time and they don't usually tend to be .... happy.   There's always lots of sullen grumpiness with periodic outbreaks of down-right hostility.   Now, that behavior is my kids, mind you.  I tend to vacillate between pretending I'm Donna Reed and pretending I'm the Queen of Sheba.  Ummmm, not pretty.  And finally, if there were numerous happy people over here, you can bet that I'd be in the middle of the crowd suggesting that we all go out to eat.  Dutch. 

* A hand mixer.  And yes, I know how to use it. 

* A snow-cone maker.  I bought this a few years ago so Nina and I could make snow cones together.  While singing Kumbayah.  You know the rest of that story.

* A s'mores maker.  Unfortunately, we've never had the thingamajig that you're supposed to light so you'll have a little fire in your kitchen.  Plus, I'm afraid of a fire in my kitchen.  I don't trust my ability to keep it "little".

* A fondue pot.  
Snort!  Give me a break.  I'm an overeater.  I don't do fondue.  Like cracking nuts with a nutcracker, it just takes too dang long.  

I also have a new coffee maker (used a few times), an ice cream maker (from the days before electricity when you had to crank it yourself - hasn't been used since then either), an air popcorn popper (that makes the driest popcorn in the world and is therefore only used when I'm hungry for cardboard), an electric knife sharpener (that Charlie forgot to take when he left), a rice maker (another Charlie thing - I don't even like rice), and my crock pot.  My trusty crock pot.  I do use that.

So, you see that I could write a fancy-smancy cookbook utilitzing all my cooking apparatuses.  


But I won't.  I want to write a cookbook for the me's of the world.  

Recipes that you can cook while doing Facebook on your phone and applying make-up.  Recipes that you can remember all the ingredients without looking at the list.  Recipes that use ONE well-known spice rather than a myriad of spices that you've never heard of.  Recipes that you can eyeball amounts rather than using measuring devices.  I personally appreciate recipes that call for a "can" of one thing and a "handful" of another.  Recipes that start calling for "a teaspoon", "a third of a teaspoon", six-eights of a tablespoon" - make my eyes blur over and I start seeing all words as "wonk wonk wonk".  

Don't you know someone like me who could use a cookbook?  A cookbook designed just for dingbats?  Ohh, please tell me you do!

I don't want to be the only one. 

Stay tuned.
Chef Jenn


  1. You just need to write a book Jen. It would brighen up so many peoples lives. Your bog makes my laugh and puts a smile on my face. We need a book that would do the same thing. Besides it would make you famous and then I could say I know someone famous that would actually talk to me if I saw her on the street or came to her book signing. Leave the cookbook to me I can actually cook.

    1. Thanks, Rita. And you're right - I should leave the cooking to you because you can cook. It makes me hungry every time I read about something you've cooked. You cook good old Texas food. There is NOTHING BETTER in the world.

  2. There's loads of people out there that need that kind of advice Jenn...

    Make sure all recipes come with a picture and are 1 page or less long... the length can be off putting for some! :-)

    The fresher the ingredients and the less time cooking = the less herbs and spices and condiments required...

    How's that pedometer going?? Aren't you meant to be walking 10000 steps a day... you havent written about that in a while.. (nag, nag nag)

  3. Deezer, thanks for the advice. I actually took pictures of what I cooked last night and, I swear, they would scare anyone off. The "football chicken" - shredded chicken with enchilada sauce - actually looked like refried beans. I need to get a lot of practice in before I start taking pictures. Or I need to take pictures and post "how not to do it".
    And thanks for nagging. I need it. ;-)