Debra Does Cooking by Debra H. Goldstein

Debra Does Cooking by Debra H. Goldstein

Remember when I decided to try my hand at pottery? (Stop laughing L.M.) Well, I’ve decided to impress Joel with my culinary talents. There is some danger in this decision because I’ve spent thirty years training him to expect a certain level from my homemaking skills.

For example, I was working on a new recipe a few weeks ago when a button popped off his pants. Disgusted at having to change his pants, he said something about needing to take the slacks to the tailor. I was focused on my dish and without thinking volunteered, “Would you like me to sew it back on?”

He stared at me and asked, “Do you know how to do that?”

“On second thought,” I replied, “take it to the tailor.” I then went back to figuring out how to rescue the recipe I had accidently put 2 tablespoons rather than ¼ teaspoon of pepper into when Joel distracted me during my crucial measuring moment. At dinner, there was no further mention of his pants and we agreed my dish looked good, but it definitely had a bit of heat.

My new interest in the kitchen has resulted in me taking stock of my kitchen equipment. Although I could boast some still in their box utensils and two unopened spices from the “Can She Recognize This” kitchen shower my friends had for me, I never received the pots, pans, and gadgets new brides receive today. The high points of that shower were when I recognized a garlic press and when I pulled out some beautiful paper plates and matching napkins and someone quipped, “Oh, look! She got her good china.” The low point of the shower was opening a mixer with dough hooks rather than the food processor I really wanted.

I’ve made up for being deprived during the last three weeks. I now own a new wok (I did have one once but I used it for something other than cooking and it was never the same), an on-the stove smoker (the salmon came out good, but the house reeked of burnt ash for two days), and my first crockpot (I made Joel come home for my first one pot dinner at four because I miscalculated the 7-8 hours the stuff was bubbling). Over the years, I’ve always enjoyed purchasing cookbooks (some of my favorites include Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Cookbook; Come For Cocktails, Stay for Supper; and especially You Should Write a Cookbook for its spinach pie recipe that features thawed frozen spinach soufflés), so it was a no brainer to buy five new ones to match my new kitchen items. I’m sure I’ll use four of them often, but the one I accidentally downloaded won’t get much use as I read somewhere it wasn’t wise to put an ipad near gas generated flames.

For years, I joked that I only cooked when we had snowstorms. Joel hasn’t said he wishes I would return to that practice, but he has started calling me every afternoon to ask “Would you like to go out for dinner, tonight?”

Maybe I should take that quilting class that was on my post-retirement bucket list.

0 thoughts on “Debra Does Cooking by Debra H. Goldstein”

  1. Funny column, Debra. You sound like a good candidate for recipes calling for five ingredients or less.

    You can’t become a best-selling author if you spend all your time cooking. Good reason not to cook.

    1. Thanks … glad to hear the slow cooker is something I might like to use on a regular basis. Do you cut the meat up before you put it in? BTW, between your quilts, kids’ activities, and writings, I see why you ‘ve taken up the slow cooker!

  2. I had to laugh at your pepper. 2 tablespoons! I also feel I should inform you that you can go OVER the slow cooker time with no problem. Some even have a Warm setting. But if yours doesn’t (mine doesn’t), just keep slow cooking until you’re ready to eat. An extra hour or two won’t make much difference. Good luck, and keep the take out menus handy.

    1. Sadly, at two tablespoons, Joel wasn’t laughing. Thanks for the tip on the slow cooker. I’ve been a little scared to use it ever since … I didn’t think he’d want to come home for lunch if I messed up the timing again.

  3. Debra, one of my favorite cookbooks is called Five Ingredients Or Less. I think it was the 1st one (it’s old) but if you google 5 ingredients cookbooks, you’ll find lots.

  4. your humorous attitude is quite filling!!!! and, I love spicy food so I think you probably put just the right amount of pepper in the pot:)

  5. Hi Debra, What an entertaining post! I can certainly empathize–I’m the flag-bearing non-foodie in my group. I’ll look into Kaye’s suggestion–“Five Ingredients or Less” sounds appealing.

  6. Loved this! Especially the “Oh, look, she got her good china.” I have a friend whose mom served on paper plates so often that, when distressed she ran out, my friend (age 10) said, “That’s OK, mom, I’ll use the china.” And I understand your distress at not getting a food processor. I actually AM a good cook and in the late 1970’s was desperate for a Cuisinart, and sure that big package under the tree was my heart’s desire. Turned out to be a wastebasket. Relegated to the basement and has never seen sunlight. Great post, Debra!

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