This didn’t come out of a box!

My cooking skills are limited to things that have clear instructions on the labels or are of the open and eat variety.

The idea of a potluck fills me with panic. What can I make that’s edible? Will it look appetizing enough for perfect strangers to eat? Will we want to take the uneaten portion home?

The problem is that my husband does the grocery shopping and buys things like tilapia and steak. What do I do with those? There isn’t anything on the label about what pan to cook it in, for how long, or at what temperature.

This year, I am hoping to change all that. I bought a cook book called Anyone Can Cook and I’m really hoping they do mean anyone. There are lots of pictures, showing how things should look while in progress. There’s a section that explains what terms like baste and roast and rest mean. And the recipes are labeled as to how difficult they are — 1, safe to attempt, 3, ask someone else.

So far, things are going well. I’ve made a couple new dishes that were even edible, and I worked the magic that is gravy. (The kids were not impressed and may have even shrank away in horror at the brown stuff touching their potatoes.)

The next task is to convince the kids to eat something besides macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, frozen pizza, or peanut butter and jelly.



  1. My kids did the reverse of yours. When they were small, they ate EVERYTHING! Now they are teens and pre-teens, they eat pizza , chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and more pizza. I’m hoping they return to their old eating habits as they grow.

    Good luck on your new venture. I definitely fall into the mediocre range on cooking.


    1. Occasionally, they will eat things like broccoli, beans, and peas and wonder who these kids are?


  2. Where are the photos? I’m not a bad cook and can do things from scratch. But I’m not real good with gravy. I’m too impatient and have lumps. My kids just have to get over it. Kids appetites constantly change and evolve. Changing daily even as teens. If you want them to eat it, ask Grandma to feed it. My kids always ate whatever she gave even if I tried to feed it to them a million times.
    W.S. Gager on Writing


  3. The Grandma thing definitely works. I can make the same dish as Grandma and they won’t touch it because I made it. Go figure.


    1. You are both exactly right. I forgot about The Grandma Effect.


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