Kitchen Chronicles: My Everest

Upon my return to America I decided it was basically detrimental to my sanity to fill my new life – full of structure and routine – with a couple of things to conquer. Nothing better to fill up time then with a little challenge.

So eventually, I finally buckled down and had a hard hitting conversation with myself. I said, “Self, you really should get your life together and figure something out in the kitchen because right now you’re standing on the whole chicken with a big butt fiasco and well, it’s a little embarrassing.”

And myself agreed. So here I am, three years later, ready to document my failures and successes. Let’s do this.

My first conquest upon returning to America was the gym: because well, 2 years of rice and beans had not done me good. So, there’s that.

P.S. I had this great idea to record the journey of conquering the gym with photos and inspirational messages throughout my ups and downs of muscle gaining and fat burning. Ya, that didn’t happen. I quickly realized that I’m totally not secure enough and pretty much thought I may make it through like three weeks before I just called it a day. However, 16-ish weeks later I’m on a roll and thoroughly enjoy finding some “woo-sa” time throughout the week. More on this later. It’s good stuff.photo4

So anywho, currently I feel like what better way to compliment my new healthy lifestyle then by conquering the hardest, and most intimidating/overwhelming challenge of my life.

The kitchen.

Sigh… my Everest.

I can’t quite pinpoint why, but it’s so terrifying to me. I can stand toe to toe with a 6’ 5” Haitian guard on market day, dodging loads of rice and chickens on wheel barrows, and argue in another language about why he won’t let my friends with work visas cross the river; but give me more spices than salt and pepper and I will buckle I tell you. Fear of failure doesn’t even begin to describe.

Ever since I was a little girl I was always the one to volunteer to peel the potatoes when my sisters were learning to gourmet the simplest of dinners. It gives me anxiety when people say things like “just put whatever marinade you might think would pair nicely with that raw, disgusting, chicken breast.” (or something like that.) And I’m all like, “first of all, gross, and second of all, what is a marinade, and third of all how the heck am I supposed to just ‘might think’ what might pair nicely?”

However, what I lack in passion or desire I make up for in determination. Or just desperation. Interchangeable. BUT I NEED HELP, PEOPLE!!!

I just don’t get it. And I’m a visual learner so most recipes don’t help much because all the terms are a little general, and across the board simply unfair if I do say so myself. How do you marinate? What is a “poach”? If it says “a pinch…” how do you know if your pinch is the same pinch as the chef? I already had to learn the hard way the difference in a “bulb” and “clove”… ya, it wasn’t pretty. Read here.

My current situation basically consists along the lines of Tyson Ready chicken in a bag, eggs (basic American staple), and cottage cheese. I know, I know. Just give me grace in this moment.

I need suggestions – tips, beginner meals, etc… okay, “meals” may be used loosely here because that’s another scary thing is multi-task cooking between different dishes all at once. I just think I’m gonna ruin it all. That is why I initially went for a crock pot. But, it’s been a few years. I’m ready to conquer. Plus, starting small may boost my ego and give me a little confidence in the whole process. Advice/tips/tricks below, please!!

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6 thoughts on “Kitchen Chronicles: My Everest

  1. I read the cooking stories and have to admit I laughed out loud. If you remember the rocket scientists we had cooking for us at outback, I know a) that you are a very smart lady,
    b) that you are a brave soul who takes on challenges.
    The key is baby steps, find a protein you like ie- chicken, pork, beef, fish whatever. Learn to cook rice, not the microwave crap, or potatoes or whatever. I’m not going to lie cooking for one isn’t very fun, why don’t you invite your girlfriends over for a dinner party where they can teach you how to make their favorite dishes, have everyone bring Tupper ware and take a few new meals home that they learned to cook.
    When in doubt Google everything. I know some super easy recipes if you need help.

    1. Sam! A) so great to hear from you! and b) thank you for taking time to comment – I LOVE that idea of having some girls come over and cook a bunch of stuff! Glad you enjoyed my failures in the kitchen! 🙂

  2. You are too funny and I can totally relate to the challenge with cooking etc. One blog that I follow and LOVE is http://www.skinnytaste.com. She is a foodie blogger and her recipes are both healthy and delicious! Plus, she provides step by step pictures. That is a must for me when I am cooking. LOL.

  3. Try the “Settlement Cookbook”, I have given it to all my children. It is a great starting cookbook: it has meal planning, how to set a table, what to do with leftovers, easy to difficult recipes, and how to do basic kitchen things. It has been around forever and was written for people new to America on how to cook American. You can get it on line new or used, but get a more modern printing because they keep updating it.

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