Monday, September 6, 2010

the god of fire

I hate to cook.  I may have said this before.  My family knows it's true.  There was a time when I might have turned the corner into a real cook, but I missed the turn somewhere along the way and ended up where I am.  I am talking the day-to-day what-are-we-gonna-eat type cooking.  Steve knows it makes me mad to ask me at 8AM what I want for dinner that day.  I don't KNOW.  If I could plan that far ahead I would just plan the whole week's menu out. 

When I was a kid mom never let us help in the kitchen.  Mom had certain ideas about how things should fall.  She cooked, we set the table.  She fed us, we did the dishes.  She washed the clothes, we folded the flat stuff.  We weren't allowed to touch the clothes...I think she thought if we washed them we'd ruin them.  (There was that time we washed Dooj's wool baby blanket mom had knitted for her baby doll and it ended up being a pot holder.)  Same thing for the kitchen. We weren't allowed to cook.  I can remember making a bowl of cereal, or toast or a sandwich and that was it.  Nothing that required heat or the stove (that was before microwaves).  We did get to do the dishes, which usually ended up being something like a quiet fight so Mom wouldn't hear us and smack us.  Or we'd take the damp towel, whoever was drying, twist it into a sling and try to smack the other one and raise blood blisters on each other.  Or try to make each other laugh when we stopped to take a drink of water during dishes, causing one of us to snork water through the nose.  The first one to snork lost.  Usually we snorked into the dishwater, or on the clean dishes and had to rewash.  That was the kind of stuff we were allowed to do, or got away with when Mom wasn't looking.

When I turned 13 all bets were off.  Mom was divorced, with a social life and that meant she was out a lot.  I don't mean every minute, but often enough that I discovered...THE STOVE.  And since I had never cooked in my life, I decided I was going to learn.  And my sisters became the guinea pigs.  I didn't know the first thing about cooking...I mean not even where to start, but I finally figured that if you started with a big pan and started throwing stuff in and kept adding spices and stuff eventually you would have something edible.

And we did...most of the time.  I'd usually start with hamburger, cook that then add spices, macaroni, or rice or whatever I could find and keep throwing and stirring until it was where I thought it should be.  (This was before I won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award...which was a test, not a cooking contest, and because I can pretty well guess my way through any test...I won....because I didn't want to get up and go to the library the day they gave the test.)

We finally came up with a name for the food I cooked.  Concoction.  That's right, and if you ask Vix or Dooj the Stooj what a concoction is, they'll tell you it was our dinner some nights, after they stop retching.

Fade to years later after I was married.  My mother in law finally showed me around the kitchen and how to cook food Steve would eat, and I settled in all right, but I still didn't like cooking.  And then when the kids got a little bigger I discovered what I do love to cook...

Desserts...pastries...pies, cakes, cookies you name it and I will give it a try.  Oh and I do love to cook some of the old family recipes.  But none of those equal what a meal should be about, and that is at least a few of the food groups that don't involve sugar.

Enter the God of Fire.  My salvation.  He went in just a few years of marriage from being a consumer of food cooked by a wife who hated to cook, to a cook who can stand on his own with anyone.  It was a matter of survival.  If he didn't cook we would all starve.  I was more than glad to give up the kitchen tongs to him.  I have to say that now on the rare occasion I do venture into the kitchen while he is cooking, I usually get thrown out.  But I don't mind because I know that when the God of Fire is in there, it is all good.  He cooks enough food for ten people when there are only two of us, and it means I have to do all the dishes (it was a trade off after all).  But I don't mind.

Because I worship the God of Fire.

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