My dad loved to cook.
My grandma loved to cook.
It's in my blood.
There was a time however, when I probably could have used a transfusion.
I wasn't always a very good cook.
There was the time I made mint cookies.
Extracts hadn't been invented yet, so I went in the yard, found the mint plant, pulled it out of the ground, shook off the dirt, tore the leaves off, and carefully placed a few in the center of each little lopsided ball of dough on the cookie sheet.
They smelled so good before they were put in the oven.
They smelled like a grass fire while cooking.
They smelled up the trash can until collection day.
Years later I decided to give cooking another try.
Actually I had to wait for my parents to forget about the mint incident.
It took a long time. Anytime I even went near the kitchen they would jump up and start shouting and waving their arms all over the place, herding me out the door and back to my room.
I spent half my childhood in my room.
I had a burning desire to cook.
My dad used to say I had the desire to burn what I cooked.
He was the comedian in the family.
I asked for an Easy Bake Oven and a Kenner Big Burger Grill for my birthday every year. I got the Kenner Big Burger Grill, but they wouldn't let me have a light bulb to cook my food. I was a smarty pants though, and I used a flashlight, but soon found out that the Kenner Big Burger Grill was not intended to be used as a slow-cooker.
My next cooking experiment was a watermelon cake.
It was for my mom's birthday.
I made it in a mixing bowl so it would look just like half a watermelon.
It looked like a watermelon alright.
But I never had to use a hacksaw to cut any watermelon I ever ate before or after that cake.
Somewhere between the mixing and the baking I unknowingly discovered the chemical properties of petrifying food. It was a one time thing. I haven't been able to do it again. Many years passed before I got even a glimpse of a kitchen again. In fact, it was right after I got married.
My husband had no idea.
I made him this.
For a while he kept the emergency number for the Poison Control Center on speed dial, and the phone next to his plate at every meal.
Just in case.
After a few near misses, and the bad chicken scare of 19-something-something, I got the hang of things and became the resident, Martha Stewart - Julia Child in my neighborhood.
Nobody who knows me today would ever guess that I am the reason for all those ridiculous warnings on food labels. Thank me all you want.
Picture courtesy of cyco4toys on eBay.