It happened to me yesterday.
Staying at my parents’ house for Mothers Day weekend, I invited some friends over for dinner. Mom thought it was a great idea, and so did I, until her day off turned into a work day.
It was a bummer to not spend as much one-on-one time together during the day, but the real panic set in when I realized she now expected me to do the cooking.
I never cook.
I hate fast food. I try to eat as “whole” as I can without breaking the budget, but I am also busy.
((For a twenty-something single person who works at a camp with crazy schedules, I’m busy. Not in any way shape or form busy compared to a mom. Just to be clear.))
In fact, I remember coming to the realization a few months ago that one day I might have a husband, and he might want to eat something other than hummus & pita bread with steamed veggies on the side. And, gasp!, what then?!
Well, the moment had come. I concluded that this couple and my parents expected something a little more substantial than my everyday (twice a day) meal.
When I was little I remember marveling at people saying they couldn’t cook. After all, I had an easy-bake oven, and those brownies I whipped up were delicious! I helped Mom make this and that in the kitchen from time to time, and as we followed a step-by-step recipe, I could not understand what the big deal was.
What if this recipe is terrible? Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s good! And there’s no way I’m using a cookbook we have in here from the 1970’s. Just say no to casseroles. Everyone pins well-photographed recipes on pinterest, but no one has actually made any of them! Surely they just made up that list of ingredients to sound cool. No way that stuff exists.
Finally, my soul breathed relief.
Her name is Ree.
The Pioneer Woman. Our best friend. With pictures that almost over-communicate the recipe. The woman is brilliant.
I knew all of this, but as a cynic who never cooks, and who accused her of consistently using too much butter, I confess this is the first PW recipe I have made! I made these yummy shrimp tacos, and dinner was a success! (I just left out any of the extra butter. We have a secret deal going.)
It was not really worth panicking about, I know. And I didn’t really. But it did get me thinking. There are a few seasoned, wiser women reading this out there murmuring to me through the screen, “It’s not that hard. It just takes doing. Just try it. Don’t be afraid of failure.”
I think that’s the way most things are in life. I don’t expect to be a fancy french chef like in Julie & Julia, but sometimes practicing is all it takes. Practice, and courage.
Courage and practice. In the kitchen and out.