I tried to cook…a romantic home-cooked dinner for my boyfriend (now husband) once a long, long time ago. We had been dating a few months, but had been maintaining a long-distance relationship. He flew into New York City from Michigan to spend his birthday weekend with me. At the time, I was living at home with my parents in a three-bedroom apartment – definitely not the most romantic setting. So, my two friends from college who lived about a mile south, offered to let me use their apartment to cook him dinner.
Perfect plan. Except for one problem.
I didn’t know how to cook.
My friend gave me what she called, “the world’s easiest recipe” and told me to make that.
“How do you turn on the oven?” I asked her.
She thought I was kidding.
After a quick tutorial around her kitchen, she went over the recipe with me one more time and left me to prepare.
The recipe had two steps: Pour Green Goddess salad dressing over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees.
I can’t recall if I made rice to go with it, but focusing on not burning the chicken was enough of a challenge for me.
For dessert, I made a giant chocolate chip cookie from pre-bought cookie dough. I bought cake icing and wrote “Happy Birthday’ on it.
I was proud by my effort and excited to surprise my boyfriend with this “meal.”
I picked him up from the airport and brought him straight to my friends’ apartment.
This was only his second time in New York and he was psyched to be spending his birthday in the Big Apple.
He figured I made dinner reservations at some fancy restaurant we couldn’t afford.
When he realized I had made the attempt to cook for him, he was touched and hid his utter disappointment at the time, since we were in that new relationship phase.
The chicken was undercooked and barely edible.
So, we went straight to the giant cookie, which was too hard (i.e., burned) for me to stick a candle into.
The cookie was more burned than this (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Years later, my husband admitted to me that that was the worst meal he has eaten.
I’ve come a long way since then, though.
I burn dinner only once in a while now, although I regularly char the bottoms of the slice and bake cookies.
Have you guessed by now that cooking is so not my thing?
Unfortunately, with three ravenous boys to feed, I can’t avoid the task the way I’d like to. As long as I keep the Green Goddess salad dressing away from the chicken, I’d say everyone is safe from food poisoning.
And at least McDonalds is only a mile away.
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