Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday Dinner - How I Coped

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?


Brenda Susan said...

OMG! Those puppy dog cakes are adorable! I also hate to cook, mostly due to boredom & getting sidetracked.
Loud music is my fav helper while cleaning the house, it truly makes it fun & makes the time fly.

But cooking? no thanks, just Christmas treats & special occasion meals for me.

Debbie said...

Without my ipod and my "Cleaning YUCK!" playlist, no cleaning would be done in this household. I have playlists for every possible occasion. They get me through the day. And I listen to just about every genre of music except Rap.

Joyce said...

I need music for cooking and cleaning both. And exercising. And driving. Couldn't get by without it.

I love the cakes...they're adorable!

SouthLakesMom said...

My daughter borrowed my iTouch for an afternoon. This Saturday as I sat at the library to wait for her I put my earbuds in and hit the play music icon...all of HER music is on there...and she LOVES show tunes. Yikes! I can't even find my music in the midst of all that Broadway!

Thank the Lord this is Spring Break and she'll be able to cleanse the thing!

But I do love to cook. ;-) K

Mocha with Linda said...

Those puppy dog cakes are the cutest things ever! I can fix a meal with no problem, and I love to bake, but being artistic in my baking is out of my league.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Are you kidding? Puppy dog cakes? I'm in the kitchen ALL. THE. TIME. but I don't think I would have tried that! Those are AMAZING! I think your dessert decorating skills make up for the under-attention to cooking. No biggie.

Kim said...

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G baked goods. Puppies are too cute for words!

So who cares if you over cook the meat loaf and under cook the potatoes when you can create goodies like that?!

Happy you've discovered the joys of the iPod in the kitchen :-) I hadn't thought of that. I usually take the computer in there when I'm going to be a long time and start a show. Although a lot of channels block me because I'm living overseas, more and more are offering online full-length videos. Just the other day I watched a PBS offering from The American Experience series on origami. Wow! Amazing stuff you can do with one sheet of paper!

Jenny said...

Those cakes are so cute. I love to bake more than cook too.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

The iPod makes almost any not-so-fun task a little more bearable for me too :) Cleaning, running, you name it, it's better with you music.

Valerie said...

I just took my Griffin Amplifi (amazing sound and bass for such a reasonably priced speaker system for an mp3 player) into the kitchen with me Thursday night. I was the only one home. My current playlist? Dave Barnes - What We Want, What We Get. That's the only thing I'm listening to. AND. I. LOVE. IT. Dave and me, well, we made some awesome chicken and roasted carrots, and I couldn't believe how much easier it was to get the cooking done. Not my favorite thing to do after a long day at the office. So, it's now Monday, and the Griffin still sits on the kitchen counter. I may just have to crank it up again this evening. The natives get restless when there isn't any food. :D

Betty said...

You could have fooled me, by the look of those cakes, you must be better at baking than you say! Awesome!
I think I need an ipod!

Praise and Coffee said...

ipod!!!! YES!
Those cakes are darling girl!

Linda said...

I like cooking if I have someone in the kitchen with me to visit with! LOVE those puppy cakes!

I just saw the button for Random Dozen this week...chicks! Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

My kids always think something is wrong when I crank up iTunes on my laptop and start dancing and cleaning at the same time. Of course, my dancing leaves much to be desired, but I could cut a rug with the best of them back in the 80's. My Shakira isn't too bad either, although I don't want to surprise anyone in public by the amazement of it.

Currently listening to Pilgrim's Progress. Can you say fabo! But I don't listen to the book at the same time. I get too distracted by the recipe instructions and lose track of the story. That's strictly a knitting activity to listen to.

Sonkissedpeach24 said...

I love listening to my ipod and cooking too!

2Thinks said...

My favorite cooking story of yours is the ham that looked more like a pig when he came out than when he went in. I will always remember how loud I laughed out loud when I first read that. Yours was the first blog I ever read and that was one of the first posts I'd ever read.

I love your cookies in this one- adorable!