It’s no secret that I’m not a great cook – adequate, yes, but I’m not really interested in cooking. I’d rather be outside working on the farm than in the kitchen whipping up meals. But after hearing the phrase time and time again, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach,” I thought I’d never find a man who would accept my lack of culinary skills. So how did a woman who can't wield the mighty saucepan, who looks at a cookbook and her eyes glaze over, find love? Was I doomed to days of loneliness because my flambés don't flame and my soufflés don't rise? No, ladies, I'm here to tell you, for those of us who are less than adept in the kitchen, there is hope.
Last 4th of July, on Red Pine Mountain, we had a lazy day. Thunderstorms rolled through, rain teemed down upon the roof, and it was chilly and damp necessitating a fire in the wood stove. And, while I sat reading a book, lazily reaching down to pet the dogs sleeping by my side; I listened to the hum of activity in the kitchen. Mountain Man was preparing our holiday feast; homemade potato salad, barbecued chicken, fresh asparagus and apple tart. The most wonderful aromas made my mouth water in anticipation.
How do you find a man like Mountain Man who enjoys cooking? You have to have a strategy. First, search for a man who had a wonderful relationship with his Mother. He spent time with her in the kitchen munching on cookies fresh from the oven, licking cake batter spoons and being the first to sample delectables cooked by his Mother's loving hands. His appreciation for all things culinary will have been inculcated over the years.
Then search for a bachelor who has been on his own for a number of years and is used to cooking for himself. Not a bachelor who runs to the local eatery for his meals, but one who loves to entertain and delight his friends with his newest creations. He knows the difference between a microwave and a pressure cooker, has his personal preference in cookware, and spices adorn his shelves.
Okay, you've found that perfect bachelor. What next? How do you keep him from relinquishing the cooking duties to you?
Well, here’s my secret. I didn't set out to have it happen this way, really I didn't, but when it comes to cooking, everything I touch goes up in flames.
My attempts to surprise Mountain Man with grilled chicken:
Then I set the oven on fire while attempting to cook lasagna.
Mountain Man surveys another one of my burned meals. "You expect me to eat this?"
That was it. With the thoughts of our farm going up in smoke and our fire extinguisher needing to be replaced, the hungry Mountain Man was more than happy to reclaim his kitchen.
And once again, he’s smiling and happy. And me, well, I'm content to be reading my book sitting by the fire; which is nicely contained within the wood stove.