Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Learning to Cook I

Hmmm.... seems as if basil and The Mean Sister (who's 5'6") are scheming to embarrass me by telling all my culinary disasters. Well, I am going to beat them to it...

basil mentioned my recipe for peanut butter cookies....hmmm... well, I don't really recall having a recipe for peanut butter cookies, and I doubt if I will ever have one, even though they are a favorite of mine. I don't do much baking; I just don't have the patience for it. For one thing, I can't stand all the dirty dishes it creates (because I am a REALLY messy cook) and I can't stand having to watch the oven for 11-13 minutes or some other ungodly time. I mean, good grief, that's not even enough time to look up a website and take notes (I'm a teacher) or read basilsblog and respond to a post, or watch something interesting on tv without having it interrupted by the burning cookies, or...well... you get my drift, don't you? That means I have to stay in the kitchen and babysit the cookies and get the pans ready for the next batch, and I just can't stand being stuck in the kitchen doing one thing over and over and over and over.... Don't get me wrong, I like cooking...I just don't like baking...I guess. Oh, Lord, I have digressed....

When I was about eleven, Mama decided it was time for me to learn to cook on my own.  So I did. Problem was, I didn't know how to cook, but I had to cook supper anyway. Oh, I had watched Mama a lot, but that's about like watching somebody riding a bicycle and riding it yourself. Big difference.

Anyway, one day, I remember wanting to cook some biscuits. Mama's are soft, and she always makes "baby biscuits" which started out as the leftover pieces of dough she just stuck in the corners of the baking sheet, but quickly became the focus of fighting for us four siblings. After we grew up and started bringing home grandkids to Mama's, she wised up and started making LOTS of "baby biscuits" for everybody to have AND grandkids. We still wonder why she didn't do that back then. I mean, it would have been a no-brainer to have split one big biscuit into three or four baby biscuits, but no, we almost always had only one baby biscuit, and the fights ensued. Oh, I have digressed again....

Anyway, I wanted to make biscuits and I tried to repeat what I'd seen Mama do. Well, I did my best, and they were about the right size (not baby biscuits), but they were really brown (not burnt, but still really brown) and really hard (sort of like a hockey puck).  Our uncle (the one who was in the Air Force) was visiting for the meal and he made all kinds of compliments on the meal I had attempted. (He always has been "in my corner", bless his heart.) But as he was finishing his meal, he asked my brother basil to pass the peanut butter cookies. That's what he thought my biscuits were.

Well, it caused quite a laugh riot that my siblings fondly recall to this day. They still call my biscuits "peanut butter cookies" and they are still trying to get me back for having to eat all the basically inedible stuff I prepared when I was first learning to cook.

I still can't cook good biscuits like Mama's. It's probably because they have to go on a baking sheet and cook for some ungodly time like 11-13 minutes, or something like that, and I just can't stand to have to stay in the kitchen and babysit whatever's in the oven, and...




  1. Hey Big Sister, you just get yourself on over to Rachael Ray Redux (in the WTW blogroll). Follow her recipes and you'll be looking down your nose at these slack jawed yokels in no time :)

  2. The Baby Sister (who's 6')March 9, 2005 at 9:21 AM

    Although I am the "baby" sister, and I really don't remember this episode, I do remember the ridiculing of "Big Sister" for her peanut butter cookies or hockey pucks. In her defense, they are really good now, but I do remember wondering if my teeth would break when I was younger.

  3. We always called that kind "riot-biscuits".

  4. Cletus:
    Speaking with her off-line, she seems a little excited about the idea of recipes. I think she'll enjoy the sites that list some good food.

    Little Sister:
    You were old enough, you just weren't in the room when it happened. But it didn't take much for you to join in on the fun at her expense.

    I wonder what you would have called the spaghetti that ... well, I'll have to save that story for later.

  5. don't worry, big sis (who's 5'4"). i wasn't born a chef, i had to make mistakes like anybody else that has ever learned to cook. learning from the mistakes is the best education that anyone can have, whether it's cooking or anything else that one tries to learn. that was the most important thing i learned from chef school. one old, crusty french chef/instructor told us " you're paying to make your mistakes here, and learn from them, rather than making those same mistakes in the workplace and losing your job"
    if you're not a professional chef, it might read: "aw's cooking again! can we order Pizza Hut?"
    but the feeling would be the same.
    failure sucks. learning, and making the dish perfectly, or at least much better than the first time around, rocks!
    can't wait to hear the one about "Chicken and Dumpling"!

  6. Yeah, I'm looking forward to Learning To Cook II, too.

    Hey, I used all three of the homonymns within four words!


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