The skill of cooking

The skill of cooking

It happened again last night. The idea that I do not have cooking skills was reinforced yet again. Here’s the story.

I texted the husband and asked if he wanted chicken stir fry for dinner. He responded yes, then added he could make his tasty and healthy version of chicken fried rice. He just needed stir fry sauce, chicken and shredded carrots. He told me to go ahead and cook the rice beforehand.

I had already printed a recipe for healthy fried rice and it called for peas, so I grabbed a can of peas too. Almost every time I have eaten fried rice it has had peas in it, and the recipe called for them, so it made sense. I also rationalized that if fresh carrots were used and there is no such thing as fresh peas in the produce section (at least I don’t think there is), I grabbed the canned peas. Please don’t judge me too harshly here. I grew up in a house where the only vegetable on the plate was a potato.

Back to cooking the rice. I am a 90 second cook in the microwave kind of gal. The husband likes to cook rice from the box, not even in a boil in the bag. It always sticks to the pot making me swear when I clean it, and it always boils over and creates a mess on the stove. Thinking this was what he meant by cooking rice beforehand, I made sure we had 2 bags that could be microwaved and headed off to work.

We both got home around the same time, and I offered to cook. The husband paused and said he was not sure I could do a complex dish in the wok and suggested I watch so I could attempt later on. As he heated the wok, he asked me to get the cooked rice out of the fridge. As I shared that I was just going to heat up some microwavable rice, I thought his head was going to explode off of his shoulders. The whole point of fried rice is that it is cooked beforehand and has had time to cool down. Noted. So I sat in the kitchen taking copious notes, putting at the top with a star next to it “cook rice ahead of time and leave in fridge.”

This is one of many examples of my cooking fails. I think I am like the teen boy with non-preferred academic tasks. I do not like to cook, so I am not interested in learning. My ideal dinner is anything heat and serve from Trader Joe’s. Don’t get me wrong, I have my set dishes I can make. And they all have step by step directions that I follow religiously.

Now, I am no chef, but want to know something I am really good at? It’s a fun one….budgeting. I can make a budget where we save almost everything to one where we spend almost everything and still get our bills paid on time.

So my take aways? We all have our strengths. We all have areas where we can improve. A good husband can make a damn good healthy fried rice, while the other balances the checkbook (online, of course).

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