It is no secret that I am not a good cook. However much I like to watch the Food Network, like to bake, like to decorate what I bake, like to eat, I just don't cook well. Other than eggs, maybe.
When my kids were little, they would take the most beautifully decorated treats into their classrooms for their birthday parties, but then they might come home to eat over-cooked meatloaf, under-done baked potatoes and a side of canned corn. I would give cooking "the old college try," with the goal of offering protein, fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy and limited fats, but somehow, it just didn't look/taste like my mom's meals. But they lived. And they learned to appreciate cafeteria food.
But I can make a fabulous long-haired puppy cake or giant decorated cookies on a stick with people's names on them.
Anyway, I think most people enjoy doing what they're good at and the converse (That's not the right word. Help me, people, I'm on Benadryl.) of that. Thus: I don't enjoy cooking.
Last night, however, I spent nearly 4 hours in the kitchen preparing Sunday's meal: Cubed steaks for the crock pot, peeling and quartering potatoes for mashed potatoes, chopping and assembling a giant salad, deviling eggs and mixing Oreo Dirt Pudding.
Guess what? The experience wasn't that horrible. The reason? It finally occurred to me use my newly-inherited-from-my-daughter Ipod while I slaved in the kitchen.
Ohmygosh. Time flies when you're working with Tom Petty, Maroon 5, The Spinners, REO, Duffy, The Jackson 5, George Michael, Nora Jones, Joan Jett and John Mellencamp.
Thank you, my new best kitchen friends & Ipod. You have lightened a load, put a lilt in my step (albeit an awkward step) and allowed me to sing loudly without hearing myself. Of course, there was that one moment when I let an Aretha-worthy note fly, and Jorge, asleep on the couch, jerked, knocked the remote onto the wooden floor and jumped about four feet.
Anyway, my playlist made time in the kitchen fly. This is nothing short of miraculous.
And in honor of this momentous discovery, I had so much energy and "lilt" that I created a new mac and cheese dish in honor of Rob Thomas: "Pepper Jack Mac."
Who are you listening to currently?