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Cooking with Kelly

You know how you usually think a couple of hours after an interaction, “oh, I should have said…“ It’s so frustrating. But every once in a while your brain is firing on both cylinders, and you think of a perfect comeback at the perfect time. This happened to me.


I was working in the kitchen, and Paul was in the living room when he shouted out, “Have I ever done anything really stupid?“ I answered immediately with a question of my own. “Do you want that alphabetically or chronologically?“


Well, what goes around comes around.


On Facebook, someone I think the world of posted a picture of the old, classic, red and white checked Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. It is so iconic. I remember Paul gave me my copy on one of our first Christmases together. I was so thrilled. I knew nothing about cooking, but I was so anxious to learn. If I received this today, I would instantly ask for the receipt, not because I don’t like the cookbook, but because I’m tired of cooking. I’m kind of over the whole thing. But back then, it was exciting.


Paul and I lived in a little apartment in Delaware, pretty close to Philadelphia. Our kitchen was probably the size of a walk-in closet and that may be a little generous, but one day I decided to get creative. Out came the cookbook, and page 288 had the recipe for Key Lime pie, Paul’s favorite.


I read the directions. I felt confident. I worked so hard on it and was so proud of myself when I finished. The final product looked perfect, complete with meringue, although it did still look a little soupy in the middle. A “little soupy” doesn’t begin to describe it. Let’s just say, Paul asked for a straw instead of a fork.


I read back over the ingredients. I had done everything exactly as they directed. Well, I did use evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. Could that possibly be a problem?


Then there was the time I got my first cast-iron frypan. My mom gave me her recipe for cornbread, and I was happy to bring a taste of home so far north. The bread looked perfect when it came out of the oven. I cut it into triangular wedges and slathered it with butter. I closed my eyes as I took the first bite. My eyes flew open. What? It tasted like I had licked a piece of iron. Specifically cast-iron. Seasoning the pan? I knew I forgot something. Do you have any idea how long it takes to get metallic flavor off your tongue? A very, very long time.


So as I was thinking about these cooking fiasco‘s from the early days, I asked Paul if he could think of any others. Without taking his eyes off of the football game, he pointed to the chair sitting awkwardly in the middle of the floor. It hides a burn in the carpet. I put some beans on the stove and promptly forgot about them until they ran out of water and started burning. I grabbed the pan and was trying to get it outside before it set off the smoke detector, but the back door was locked. I set the pan on the carpet in my panic and burned a perfect circle in the middle of the floor.


And that made me think about the time…







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