Friday, September 2, 2011

Let the cooking begin...

I made the best, scariest, wildest purchase in my life.  Could not wait to hold it in my hands, open it up, study it, learn from it, and work at it.   I am sponge, soak me.  This purchase was a huge step for me.  

I have said over and over again, and might say it a million times more, the kitchen is not my friend.  I know not my way around the kitchen.  I know not what to do in a kitchen.  So maybe that is a little over the top.  I sort of know my way around the kitchen, and sort of kind of know what to do in a kitchen.  I do make a mean pot of coffee.  It all started a few weeks ago, with an idea.  I wanted to see what would happen.. and I liked it.  

Here, let me show you...

I hadn't made french toast in forever.  One morning I asked my sweety, "how would you like french toast this morning?"  I think the question shocked him, as much as it did me when I heard it escape my mouth.  You know the times, when you say something without thinking it through?  This was such a moment.  Before I knew it, a bowl rest between my palm and fingers of one hand and, the carton of eggs were in the other.  

Out of the middle of no where, my hands were taking me for a ride.  Sausage links were found in my right hand as, my left hand grabbed the bread.  Half my brain was screaming "SOME ONE STOP ME"  ~  the other half was relaying steps to my limbs "now, while beating the eggs; add a small amount of milk."  In one pan the links were cooking, flipping was going on in another pan, and scrambled eggs were just about ready to slide out of another pan.   Right before my very eyes, someone or something had taken over my body.  I was cooking.  It was like watching yourself in a home movie, and saying "I did that?"  
To top it all off, the meal was good.  Shocker, I know, They almost had to pick me up from the floor!!  Now I know that my hands can no longer be trusted, what do you think happens about a week or so later?  Huh?  They go a pick up a copy of   {angels singing in the background}   *  The Pioneer Woman Cooks  * book.  Figures!!  Sold out by my own hands.  

The only thing to do now, is give in... try it... give it my best. 
I opened the book, flipped through the pages.  Enjoyed the reading, and said plain as day "I am going to make Chicken Fried Steak, PW Mashed Potatoes, and gravy on my next day off.  Sound good to everyone?"  You could have heard a pin drop.  All eyes were on me.  I was back in that dream where I am standing on a stage in front of an audience full of people; trying to give a speech, when suddenly I realize ~ I'm not wearing any clothes...  UGH!!!
The closer it drew to my day off, the more it sank in my mind.  We started to work around the house early that morning, in fact I even helped my mothers neighbor with her porch.. take a look at the clean up job we did;

her porch looks fantastic.  But, through all the odd jobs and rain, some how the cube steaks and ingredient were forgotten.  Seeing how I am a woman of my word, there was going to be a well cooked meal regardless.  Chicken was thawed out in the refrigerator, half of a 5 pound bag potatoes were in the pantry, flower and seasonings were in the cupboard.  I only needed a few simple items to follow the recipes matching my food items.  I made the short list, handed it to my sweety as if it was the Olympic Torch, and told him "Hurry, I can't start the chicken without these items, or the mashed potatoes for that matter."  In a flash he was off.  While my sweety was gone, I pealed the potatoes, pulled out all the supplies needed for the meal making process {Boiling pot, frying pan, potato peeler, baking bowl stone, flour, chicken, corn... and etc.  

Potatoes ~ cut and ready

Chicken ~ thawed and ready

You get the idea.  I read every word of The Pioneer Woman Recipes.  Followed each detail.  Looked over each photo, step by step.  When the cooking was finished, and the three men were called to eat, I stood back and looked at what I accomplished; my heart filled with pride.  I had cooked a fabulous dinner.

I was told, not only by my mother, that the dinner was awesome {and she wouldn't hide the truth}.  My sweety made it clear that would not be the last time I cook that meal.  My eldest brother Fred, could not stop glancing over at the plate of chicken; he finally just grabbed another piece.  Mark, my other brother, packed portions of the meal for lunch the next day.  Each one making a point to tell me how great the meal was.  

The best part of the meal for me, was that I really enjoyed cooking it. 
I looked through the recipes of The Pioneer Woman.... 
There will be other meals.  
There will be more cooking.  
Big.  Huge.  Monstrous


  1. Wow, Mom! I'm impressed!! It looks fabulous!

  2. Thanks Baby, this is just the beginning. I have become a cooking fool. Make no mistake; I am still not on great "terms" with the kitchen, but the friendship is building.