Tuesday, April 17, 2012


“I don’t cook.”
 People who know my background give me a strange, confused, look when I state this fact. The look says “But your mom, brother, sisters, and aunts can cook. Your cousin has a degree in culinary arts.”
Ok, if you had those people cooking for you would you learn to cook? Well, maybe you would. But I didn’t. In fact when my mom went out of town when I was growing up my brother cooked for the family and I cleaned. Yes I liked doing dishes rather than making dinner.
There are a few reasons I think I never really started cooking.
1.       Sticky. I don’t like being sticky. You get sticky when you cook.
2.       Stains. I don’t want to stain my clothes with tomato sauce.
3.       Raw meat is so nasty. Probably why I cut so much of it out of my diet.
Anyway, that’s a small list that should give you a good idea of why I don’t cook.
Because I don’t cook it has turned out that I can’t cook.
When I was living in Royal Crest 311 (one of my best roommate arrangements) we had a system developed in early in our first semester of our year together. We ate our own food during the week and on Sunday we had a big apartment dinner. We alternated who cooked every Sunday.
I remember one Sunday I made double stuffed baked potatoes and red velvet cup-cakes. By the end of the day I had broken (thought I’d broken, it revived itself) my roommate’s microwave.  I couldn’t get the potatoes to bake. The cupcakes fell. They also had this odd pink-muscle color instead of a deep rich red. The frosting was gross. The whole thing took me about three hours and calling my mom hysterically about eight times. In the end I scowled all through dinner and my kind roommates tried to assure me it was still good. I have never accepted comfort well.
Another time I tried to make chili and had to call a roommate for help as the meat was smoking so bad and I couldn’t get it to stop.
The following semester most of us were in the same apartment. We kept the arrangement. But I noticed that my name was just somehow never on the rotation. I really didn’t mind. I was all set to eat whatever my roommates made and I’d help clean up. It’s an arrangement that has worked for me.
Well, currently I’m living with my grandparents. Apparently my grandmother has realized that my “I don’t/can’t cook.” is not just something I say to be modest. It is true. (Modesty about my abilities isn’t really something I’ve mastered or bother to practice). It might have been that I made myself toast with Nutella on top for dinner last night.
This morning we were planning our day and my grandma said “Do you want to make your grandfather a cake?”
Um. Sure. I can make a cake mix cake. And of course I want to make a cake for my perfect grandfather. I’m just not sure he would want to eat the final product if I was the artist behind said creation.
Side note, this is the grandfather who ate a cookie with about an inch of frosting, layers of sprinkles and topped off with candy that my sister made him for Christmas one year. This thing was huge and basically looked like a heart attack. You know when there is so much sugar it is bitter? That was this cookie. My grandpa does love sugar, but he ate this thing that only a 3-6 year old would have thought looked good because he knew it would make my sister happy.  
Anyway, if my grandmother asked me to make him a cake I was going to make him a cake. Because they don’t really let me do that much to help out here. So today, after our trip to the library, I started the cake.
I got out the Cake Mix Doctor book and inspected the mixes we had. Unfortunately, we didn’t have plain vanilla cake mix. They had lemon cake mix. I couldn’t find anything to make that required a lemon cake mix and ingredients they had in stock.
My mom said I should just make it like a regular vanilla cake without anything that would taste bad with lemon. I couldn’t find anything.
I couldn’t find anything.
I must have called my mom six times at least. Then, finally, she said “Why don’t you just make it like it says on the back?”
What? Never! I might not be able to cook, but I was not making my grandpa a wimpy back-of-cake-mix-cake!
So I finally found a recipe for “Inside Out Lemon and Pineapple Cake” or something. Anyway, lemon cake mix and canned pineapples.
My grandma did have to show me how to put the hand mixer together. But I did it pretty much by myself.
It fell in the oven because, apparently, if you open the oven constantly to make sure the cake hasn’t become an alien then it falls.
But I was able to get it out of the pan in one piece. Ok my grandma helped me with that too.
But this is it!!!!!It didn't explode or cause a fire or crumble into nothing!!! We haven't tried it yet, but it looks good.

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