Just Ask, I’ll Learn

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”

Make me a pie!  It’s that simple, I’ll do anything for a simple apple pie.  But that’s not what I want to do for guests or even for some pot luck event at work.  Tell me what makes you giddy, brings back a memory of your childhood or some place you have visited, and I promise I will do my best to cook it for you.  It may not taste the same, but please know I’m going to put every ounce of ability I have in preparing it for you.

The first time I ever cooked for someone I was 15 years old.  It was lasagna and it was horrible.  I kept telling my mother that I could handle this on my own.  I wanted to be able to show off to someone what I had done just for them.  It was my first lesson in trying something multilayered that required me to follow the steps to some degree.  Well maybe if I had followed them to any degree it would have been better.

I layered the sauce, then some noodles.  More sauce, a little cheese, some meat [back when I still ate that kind of thing], and followed it with more noodles.  You’re thinking, that sounds about right, but I forgot to cook the noodles.  Wasn’t part of the recipe I was looking at.  they assumed you were smart enough to know that.  Crunchy Lasagna coming right up!

It was just the two of us sitting in the kitchen waiting for the timer to go off.  There was some excitement because I had been promising all week long to make this for her.  We were playing cards as the food finally was pulled from the oven.

As I cut into it, I could tell something wasn’t quite right.  The noodles were fighting the knife.  Maybe it needs some more time in the oven?  15 minutes goes by, pretty much the same result.  But by now the cheese on the top is starting to go from browned to blackened.  Cajun Lasagna?  10 more minutes won’t hurt…

Well, she chocked down the first bite and politely pushed the fork around the edges of the plate.  “Lary, did you follow the recipe?”  But of course!  “I think something didn’t turn out right.  Tell me what you did.”

My scheme was slowly unraveling.  Maybe I should have just resourced some frozen thing into a home provided dish?  No tell her what you did!

Shaking her head, knowing that the noodles needed to be cooked first, I still remember what she said “Do you eat any other type of pasta raw?”  Simple question, but the laughing that came after it was damn near deafening.  It was the first of many meals she and I ate together at that table.  I was really lucky to have that.

Come to my house at any time.  Tell me what you like, and I will do my very best to make it.  For me sitting in the kitchen and talking with people is the best stress-relieving, warmest time of the day.  I love watching someone cut something differently than I would, maybe reverse the process a bit when making some brownies.

I’m 43 and in my adult life have never had someone else cook for me [we can leave my mother out of this conversation, my ex’s mother as well, they don’t count in this scenario.  But I do love that they tried to cook for my veggie loving self!!]  It’s not that I don’t encourage it, I sometimes beg for it.  But I’ve not been lucky enough to have that.

So if you find yourself in my neck of the woods, give me a heads up and I would love to cook for you!


One thought on “Just Ask, I’ll Learn

  1. oh oh oh, jumps up and down ME! I adore it when people cook for me. I pray that someday I’ll learn to cook, but right now it’s a horrible punishment for me to have to cook anything.


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