Motto of the day (all rallying cries courtesy Julia Child, and picked as a call to amusement for each day): “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Motto: “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”
Motto: “Freshness is essential. That makes all the difference.”
Any day now, an editor from Appetite, the Random House lifestyle imprint, will come calling, demanding you sign a contract and divulge your secrets to culinary success with a life-altering cookbook.
Many of your fans will say the book transformed their lives: they developed confidence as their skin cleared up and their hair grew glossy.
Motto: “With enough butter, anything is good.”
Motto: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Kathy invites you over for dinner. Instead, ask her to come to your place, tell her you've been blogging about your kitchen mishaps while trying to follow a simple and vital guideline: Learn to Be Amused. Because she’s a fabulous soul, (and a talented writer) you’re certain her easy-going presence will make this a fun adventure, full of laughter.
Motto: “Life itself is the proper binge.”
The next day she tells you that fear is your problem. You go quiet thinking and chewing over this possibility. It’s probably true, your friend is one sharp cookie. Give yourself a pep talk. Look, you have nothing to fear but flambé. If all else fails, speak softly, and carry a big spatula.
Motto: “Every woman should have a blowtorch.”
Make the salad first. Use a hammer to crush the walnuts. Your father calls, asks if you've eaten. Explain that you are making a salad with the greens he gave you, then a main course and a dessert. Next, assemble the parts for the casserole. You cry the allium-afflicted cry of the damned as you grate shallots. Wiping your eyes with the back of your hand, mascara and eye-liner smear away. Many people burn themselves while cooking; you are no different, only it’s strange that you burn your earlobe. Yes. Mid-way through your culinary adventure you saw your hair in the mirror and shouted “No!” at your reflection. This is what comes of running around in the rain. You plug in the rollers, and ten minutes later set your hair in curlers before completing the chickpea dish. OUCH-ow-ow-ow.
Kathy texts she will come a little later than the suggested 6pm time. You wash bowls and measuring tools as you go along, piling them high. Trying to retrieve a measurement cup leads you to invent a new game of Kitchen Jenga. You got this. Kathy shows up with dessert. Tell her you are going to roast some pears for dessert. She loves pears!
Eat. Drink. Talk. Be merry. Kathy calls the dinner sublime; you can’t stop smiling.
Two mottos, because the more the merrier:
“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking.”
“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
You have a cooking phobia, own five aprons, and these fabulous salad spoons. Strange? No. You heart accessories.
You added red onion, avocado, a boiled egg, Granny Smith apple, plum tomatoes, walnuts, and goat cheese. Olive oil + red vinegar dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Salads don't scare you.
PRAYER TO THE PATRON SAINTS OF COOKING
Who made art in the kitchen,
Thy culinary kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on the burner as it is in the oven.
Give us this night our nightly casserole,
and forgive us our tapenades,
as we forgive those who use green peppers;
lead me not into Take-out,
deliver me from evil dinners,