I’m not a good cook. I can’t mix things up with a pinch of this or a dash of that and create something yummy and delicious. I need a recipe and measuring cups and perhaps even a copy of Cooking For Dummies (I have one) to make it from raw ingredients to cooked dinner.
Even then, it sometimes tastes bad.
Take tonight, for example. Inspired by watching Julie & Julia last week, I decided to try to cook a simple casserole. Believe me - I am under no illusion that I can cook French cuisine. You won’t find me anywhere near a Julia Child recipe. It’s not that I can’t boil an egg (I can’t, but I guess I could learn), it’s just that I never understood the need to boil an egg. Why, oh why, spend so much time making food when there are already so many cooked options out there to buy?
Cooking takes too much time.
But then there was movie inspiration paired with a hope to break free from the monotony of take-out dinners. And I took action. Recipe in hand, I walked the grocery store aisles and found the ingredients (more or less). I chopped carrots and sliced sweet red peppers (which, I discovered, are different from bell peppers). I diced green onions after my mom showed me which part to use – the white, not green (confusing). I thawed some frozen broccoli chunks and cut pieces of store-bought roasted chicken breast (I had to buy it already roasted. I have no idea how to roast a chicken – don’t judge - baby steps for baby cook). After all the prep, I had to cook the veggies and then dump everything together, mix it up and bake it. All in all, that “simple” casserole took about two hours from grocery to dish. Two hours!! Who has the time!?
And speaking of time…
I quickly realized after eating the casserole (the part of the project I was looking forward to the most, of course) that it had way too much thyme. Even though I followed the recipe to the teaspoon, even though it seemed to me (know-nothing cook) like such a small amount of thyme, the flavor of it was overwhelming. I still taste thyme now, about three hours after the meal.
What can I say? I tried.
It was nice to take a night off from take-out.
So...maybe next thyme.