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Tonight I remembered all the reasons why I hate cooking.
Want me to tell you about it?
Okay, I will anyway.
Recently I learned about a company that will send you all the ingredients you need to make a featured meal of theirs in under 30 minutes. HELLO! Perfect for a lazy mom like me! Even if it isn’t a Lazy Mom Recipe (five ingredients or less).
I have been using this service for the last several weeks because I had a few codes that made it free for me to try. You see, I was thinking to myself, “maybe I don’t like to cook because I hate getting all the ingredients bought, and pulled out and such.” However, I have since learned something about myself… that’s not the problem.
Apparently I DON’T mind gathering the ingredients, it’s the cooking with the ingredients I hate. So while this company has a great idea, and people who enjoy cooking, but hate shopping and pulling out everything, will love this type of service; I do not personally benefit from it.
Now, tonight. Picture it. I was all prepared and (dare I say it?) a little bit excited to try out this recipe. Lazy Dad had made the previous ones and tonight he was out of town. It was all on me!
I had all the ingredients before me in neat little piles.
I had the instruction card placed just so.
I even had my big-girl panties on!
I was ready.
I glanced at the front of the instruction card… should take 20-30 minutes. “I can handle that,” I thought to myself and started opening the chicken breasts while heating a very precise 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. And by “precise,” I mean I splashed some in there, and then splashed a little more in there and hoped for the best.
I then placed the four chicken breasts into the pan, forgoing the instructions to rinse it and “pat dry.” (Seriously, who does that?) So far so good. I even remembered to salt and pepper the chicken as instructed.
Next, I had to prep the veggies for the sauce. I pulled out the garlic, groaned over the thought of chopping onions, and had the tomatoes at hand for their turn under the knife. The garlic chopping was actually quite enjoyable. It smelled so good as I sliced through it. But about midway through the “mincing,” I tossed a glance over at the chicken and noticed it wasn’t cooking at all. Hmm… that’s funny. I thought I had… Oh. Turned on the wrong burner.
Turned off the wrong burner, turned on the right burner. Realized I should go ahead and heat up the water in a large stock pot for the pasta, and also realized the pan I have the chicken in is too small for the pasta sauce I’m supposed to make in it as well, so two more pots hit the stove. *more-to-clean-later grimace* Mincing commences.
Incidentally, have you ever minced a clove of garlic? Those suckers are SMALL. But I made it through it and was a little bit proud of myself. (Oh, honey, pride comes before a fall!)
Next I “rough chopped” the sun-dried tomatoes. Which is like trying to rough chop gummy bears. I bounced my knife up and down over them, tugged and pulled them off the knife at times, and then basically decided it was too much work to rough chop them and pushed them over by the freshly minced garlic.
On to the tomatoes! Which I had to “quarter, seed with a spoon and rough chop.” It’s about this time I suddenly remembered all the reasons why I hate cooking, but I’m in too deep now. There’s no turning back, and there’s no other adult present to yell at “I’m done! I’m NEVER COOKING AGAIN!” as I stomp to my room and slam the door.
Not… that… I’ve ever done that before….
(Don’t ask Lazy Dad if you still want to be my friend.)
I get through the tomato fiasco (which took forever) and set my sites on dicing the onions. Which I HATE doing. (I hate it so much, I use this fabulous Laz Mom Tip to avoid it.) But, I figure the onion-inducing tears will hide my real tears as this night of cooking continues, so I go for it. Gotta stay positive.
Now, the chicken, which should be done by now, is not. Because I failed to also “cut each breast in half to yield 4 thin cutlets.” Here are my reasons why I didn’t do that step: A) I was doubling the recipe so I already had four chicken breasts and B) I’m not that bright. So I quick throw the chicken into my oven to finish them off in there.
DID I FAIL TO MENTION I WAS DOUBLING THIS RECIPE?!
Um, yeah. So let’s DOUBLE the ingredients I chopped above shall we? And then move on. But I can’t move on because I have mixed all my chopped veggies together not realizing that they all go in the pan at separate times!
At this point my emotions are teetering between outright hatred and downright defeat. I resist the urge to throw myself on the ground and do a rousing performance of Scarlet O’Hara. After all… tomorrow is another day. So, I pull my increasingly frazzled self together as I sort all the mixed veggies back into segregated piles and start throwing them in the pan in the correct order to make the sauce.
In between all of this…. my mom is calling my phone because we were supposed to Skype together, the UPS man is knocking at my door, and the kids all need me to do something.
I get the sauce going, download Skype to my phone, call my mother, can’t figure out why I can see her but she can’t see me, and pass the phone off to my daughter to talk to her. I turn my attention back to the sauce, only to make one stir of the spoon and see the bottom of it is BURNED and tomato sauce is splattered on every surface in a one mile radius from the stove.
Sweet Jesus, take me now!
Surely that final trumpet is blowing and I just don’t hear it? No? Ugh.
I decide to press on. After all, the Bible says we’re rewarded if we persevere under suffering. And surely I was suffering!
I stir the sauce, careful not to scrape the bottom of the pan and “loose” the burnt sacrifice into it. I get the pasta boiled, drain it, plate it all up, serve it and what SHOULD have taken me 20-30 minutes to prepare, took me an hour. And… well… let me just show you what my kids thought of it. Here’s their leftovers:
None of them liked it.
SO. FOR THE RECORD… if I ever say I’m going to cook something other than a Lazy Mom Recipe again, please remind me of the following list of reasons why I hate cooking!
1. Three pans, a colander, chopping board, a few knives and stirring utensils. Not to mention the plates, forks, and my dignity… all dirty and had to be cleaned up.
2. Tomato sauce splatterings all over my kitchen… and my dark, dark heart.
3. I tend to burn things that most humans don’t have problems burning. Like my confidence. It’s just wispy smoke now, people.
4. The words dice, mince, quarter and seed. Just show me those words, mkay?
5. Remind me that NOBODY LIKES WHAT I MAKE. Then hold me while I cry a little.
If that list doesn’t deter me, then most definitely remind me that I write a blog entitled “I’m a LAZY Mom” and that I need to live up to my online reputation. Surely, that should do it.
Affectionately Tomato Splattered Yours,
The Lazy Mom