Welcome to Mommy Confessions, where I confess my mommy sins for all to read in the hopes that it will make other mommies feel less guilty and/or lame about their failings in the area of mommyhood.
My Confession for Today:
I suck as a cook.
Okay, I have always sucked. That is no big news or secret. Especially amongst the members of our household who are reliant on me for nourishment.
I am not, nor have I ever been one of those women who can whip up a gourmet meal from the handful of items around the kitchen. And I HATE watching those shows on TV where they do that and make it seem so easy. They make me feel inadequate, even though I know that behind the scenes they have 20 people doing the prep work. I’m not instinctive that way. Or ever prepared enough.
I have wanted to try recipes, but I never seem to have the right ingredients or spices hanging around in my fridge or cupboard. And it REALLLY bugs me to have go out and buy an expensive bottle of spice only to use one teaspoon on a recipe I will probably never make again because it sucks because I am unable to focus for long enough to keep track of how many cups or ounces I have put in. Yeah, that’s right. I can’t even follow a recipe. I get really, really distracted when I cook. Probably because my heart is not in it. Or I’m missing the gene. Yeah, that’s it.
Pretty lame, huh? Well, it gets worse than that. And this is where the real confession comes in.
This last weekend Randy the Perfekt Husband accompanied me on a trip to Trader Joe’s. He rarely does this as I do most of the grocery shopping. But he does love him some Trader Joe’s. He feels about this place the way he does about Costco - like a kid in a candy store- because they have so many fun and interesting items. And when he goes to either place we always end up buying a lot more stuff than we plan on.
Anyway, as we were going down the aisles at TJ’s he spots these overpriced stuffed chicken breasts. They were stuffed with some kind of fancy cheese and cranberries and ingredients I’m certain I don’t have anywhere in my house. You know, the kind of thing I could do at home for a lot cheaper if I had any clue or inclination – which I don’t.
Well, here they were, this overpriced pack of 2 fancy stuffed chicken breasts, and Randy said he thought those looked good. So I thought, what the heck. I’ll get them. It’s like making a gourmet meal without me making a gourmet meal. And all I had to do was bake them for 40 minutes or 165 degrees. I couldn’t screw that up, right?
So last night I go to make these lovely overpriced gourmet chicken breasts that someone else has done all the hard work on. I heat the oven, remove them from the packaging and put them in a shallow pan covered with aluminum foil per the instructions. I set the timer for 20 minutes. BEEP! I remove the foil and set the timer for another 20 minutes.
I’m feeling pretty proud of myself at this point because while this was going on I managed to whip up some whole wheat couscous (microwave instructions 3.5 minutes) and edamame (stove top 5 minutes). I’m thinking, my family’s going to be doing some gooooood eatin’ tonight.
BEEP! Chicken’s done. At this point I stick the thermometer we got for a wedding present and have never used (why not, as long as I was being uber domestic, right?) into one of the breasts. I watch the temp climb but it never gets past 140. What the what the? How can this be? I have followed the instructions to the letter. And I know for a fact that my oven runs hot so it can’t be a temperature issue.
Perplexed, I stuck a fork in one and started to turn it over. And that’s when I saw it .
A SHRIVELED, PARTIALLY MELTED PIECE OF PACKING PLASTIC!
You know what I’m talking about. Those little liners they put between meat and the styrofoam packaging. I’ve encountered them before, in packages of turkey or beef. Usually however, they are large and VISIBLE! Not squares smaller than the chicken breast under which they sit! Completely hidden from view! And yep, upon further investigation, there was one under each breast!
AAAAAGGGHHHH! I mean, how was I supposed to know they were there, sticking to the bottom of my overpriced piece of stuffed chicken?!
I know, I know. If I was a better, more experienced or even caring cook, I would have known. I would have at least known to look.
I felt like a total idiot. A complete and utter mommy moron in the kitchen. And the worst part was confessing it to my family who looked at me with word-filled eyes but who said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! (Definitely the best way to go given my emotional state).
Naturally I couldn’t feed the chicken to my family. Not after all the articles I have read about toxins that are released from plastics into food when they’re heated. And then there was Randy’s proclamation “I’m not eating that!” which also greatly influenced my decision.
In the end, after a period of mourning during which I spent a little time with the breasts imagining the meal that could have been, I dumped them uncermoniously into the trash.
Yep, I threw out those breasts and threw some sausages on the grill (organic, no preservatives, natch!) and my poor family was deprived yet again of anything resembling a special meal.
And though it’s not in my nature, I’m trying to look at the bright side. Had I not decided to use a thermometer for the first time in my life, I might have assumed those breasts were done. I would have then scooped them onto plates and served them up, only discovering AFTER A MOUTHFUL, that there was an unwanted ingredient in them.
Then I would have felt lamer. Nah. I couldn’t have felt lamer. Just maybe more guilty. Yeah, that’s it. Guilty. From now on, I’m sticking to what I know. Boiling pasta noodles and heating sauce from a jar. You know, for my family’s sake. SIGH.
HOW ABOUT YOU? ANY EMBARRASSING MOMMY MOMENTS IN THE KITCHEN?