Why I’m The Worst Best Chef Ever


This is what dinner was supposed to look like at 6:30PM.
Photo by Deborah Jones epicurious

I made a bet with my husband the other day. If I won, he would finally plaster and paint the holes in the walls that I made by hanging up pictures I now don’t want hanging. If he won the bet, I would NOT cook for him for a week.

Really, I’m not a bad cook. Actually, during the last 6 years of marriage, I’ve actually become a pretty good little chef with one very big exception.

My time management is terrible. I am literally incapable of timing out each dish for a meal so that everything can end up on the table at the same time. It’s not a problem if you don’t mind eating in stages-like 7PM salad, 8PM rice, 9PM chicken, etc. but unless you’re European or drink a lot (which might be the same thing), you probably wouldn’t dig my serving schedule.

So yesterday, when my husband requested a home-cooked chicken dinner, despite having won our bet, I was nervous thrilled to oblige.

Ok, I’ll admit, it’s stupid to be scared of cooking dinner for my family. But I can’t help it! It totally stresses me out. I worry SO much about everything from my aforementioned poor time management skills, to keeping the kids busy and away from the boiling water on the stove, the 400 degree oven and the carving knife on the counter, that I inevitably screw something up big time.

And last night was no different.

I accidentally set the convection oven to the wrong setting. So after cooking the chicken for an hour and a half, my bird was NOT cooked. I took out the meat thermometer and stuck it in the breast, just like my Thanksgiving fairy godmothers taught me, and left it in while the birdie baked in the oven.

A little while later, I opened the oven door and adjusted the thermometer so I could see if we were anywhere closer to 160 degrees.

In my cooking-stress-induced panic to feed my family and make sure the wild mushroom and sauteed onion noodle side dish and wilted spinach, mandarin orange, and feta crumble salad didn’t get too cold and mushy, I turned the thermometer in the 400 degree oven with my fingers, without gloves.

I just stuck my hand it and turned it around. A metal thermometer.

WITHOUT GLOVES! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I screamed, and proclaimed myself the dumbest human being in the entire kitchen and ran upstairs to satiate my wound with some special cream a doctor friend had lent us for our daughter’s burnt fingers last winter (apparently, this is a family issue). Fortunately, the cream, plus 4 Aleve, did the trick, but I looked like this for the rest of the night…

My ouchies!

So the next time my husband asks for a family meal, I think I’ll use an old family recipe passed down from my mom to me called take out. It only takes 30 minutes and is totally painless!

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