Monday, October 11, 2010

Call me ugly, call me stupid, but don't call me late for dinner

So I love food. I am entertained watching others prepare food. I am entertained trying new food. I enjoy reading about food. I, at times, enjoy planning out and preparing my food. I will get giddy with excitement anticipating a good meal. My brother use to make fun of me because I would watch cooking shows and infomercials about things like the Ronco Food Dehydrator before the Food Network was born. I believe there is power in food.

A few weeks ago I was teaching the Young Women in my ward how to make sweet rolls. I was showing how you could make 3 kinds of rolls from one dough- Cinnamon Rolls, Caramel Apple Sweet rolls and Orange Marmalade rolls. Each girl got to take home a pan of rolls and the recipes. But I forgot one of the recipes. So when I was passing out the missing recipe on Sunday, I jokingly mentioned that they weren't allowed to make these rolls for boys until they were 21. Because if they did, the boy would immediately propose marriage. One of the girl's eyes got big and she said outloud, "It's true!" She later told me she had given her pan to a boy and that night he talked to her for hours. I smiled knowingly and said, "Now you know the power of these rolls. So don't use that power unless you want the attention it will produce!"
I also think food can communicate love. I can easily turn down a store bought treat in a second. But I if someone takes the time and effort to make a homemade goodie, I consider it a slap in the face to not try one because "I am on a diet" or "I am trying to cut back." People often talk about things being made with love or the secret ingredient in their dishes being love and I believe this is a real thing. Not just something you say to be cute. Often when I make something specific for someone I will try to create something that I know they like or have mentioned it being a favorite. For my brother-in-law, JJ's birthday I made bean burritos that he ate at my house and raved about. They can be frozen and eaten over several meals. I told Eric this and he said, "Did JJ one time offhand say that he liked them and now you are making him a whole batch?" I replied, "No, he didn't 'offhand' mention it. He has told me several times how much he likes them and wishes he had some more."
Which brings me to another point about food. Just like frequently a prophet is not revered in his own land, a cook isn't always appreciated in her own kitchen. I am part of a cooking club and not to toot my own horn, but I have been told by some of my fellow cooking clubbers that they would like me to prepare their last meal. I, mistakenly, mentioned this to Eric and he said, "Well, you're a pretty good cook." WHAT?!? Pretty good?!? I politely told him that in some circles I am revered for my cooking. He just sort of raised his eyebrows at that. And I'm constantly being told by my kids that I make weird things. But honestly there is nothing that breaks my heart more than telling me you don't like my cooking. Although I suppose every Rocky needs his Mickey to tell him where he needs to improve and Eric and my kids are Mickey to my cooking Rocky. I guess my everyday kitchen can be my training boxing ring where I can experiment, make mistakes and have failures. Just as long as I come out fighting to have some winning dishes I can showcase in the championship ring.
So in honor of all this cooking talk I am going to post one of my winning, most requested recipes on the cooking blog I am a part of- Tried and True. It is the spaghetti sauce I can every fall because Eric won't eat store-bought spaghetti sauce. I am naming it "The Spaghetti Sauce that isn't quite as famous as James Dashner but almost" because James Dashner is the most famous person I have ever dated. He was my first date and he wasn't famous then but he is getting to be famous now. He is the author of the book "The Maze Runner" and the sequel to that book- "The Scorch Trials" comes out this week, so it seems especially fitting that a recipe be named after him now. So if you want the recipe just click on the name above. And remember- "Call me ugly, call me stupid, but don't call me a bad cook."

9 comments:

Lori said...

You are a great cook! And I did get to have some of the rolls you brought Gwen and they were delicious! Recipes PLEASE.

Thelissa said...

I have a few things I make that I know are good to the right pallet. But my kids think they are all gross. It doesn't do much for the cooking self esteem. I just want to say I would love to be a taster at your dinner table. The couple of recipes I have tried of your have been sooo good!

Julie said...

You are the best cook I know. I love you.

Liz said...

Ummm...I'm hungry!

Yeah, I know how you feel. Parker is embarrassed by my dancing ability. I try to tell him I'm cool and that people pay me good money to teach them, but he doesn't believe.

I think I need that roll recipe!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Jamie was my only date in high school. Maybe I should have made your rolls back then.

Kelly said...

I threatened to never cook again to my unappreciative children last night and they just reminded me that I've made that threat before and I just keep comin' at 'em! I dream of the time when people will rave over anything I make. I'm really not a bad cook, they are just the pickiest eaters in the world. I've made some of your recipes and they rock.

kto1s said...

Mmmmm...thinking I need that roll recipe. And funny--I just finished his book today for book club!

Michael said...

Can't believe I haven't checked your blog for sooooo long! First does Julie really think your Mom is a sophomore? Can't wait to see the birthday photo. You're cooking is fantastic!!! Love your insights into life.

Janet said...

Your reputation as a fabulous cook is exactly why I have never invited you and your family over for dinner. But we love you guys anyway! I hope you will post your roll recipe soon!