I am not exactly known for my culinary prowess. I give myself some credit. I'm not the worst cook in the world. I'm fairly certain that I could boil water if given proper instructions, but I will admit that the extent of my culinary genius tends to be along the lines of EZ Mac-n-Cheese with cut up hot dogs. For the most part, if there are more than five ingredients or spices of any kind, I will probably screw it up. I know this about myself. I'll own it. In fact, I'll even throw out a few examples of my culinary mishaps on the World Wide Web for all to see! :-)
My first clue that I should probably not be let loose in a kitchen came one evening when I had the oh-so-brilliant idea to make myself some S'mores. I had all of the ingredients, and they were calling my name!
This is what I wanted...
What I ended up with was something akin to a charred heap of burning rubble. Apparently graham crackers catch on fire in the microwave. Who knew?!?
After my microwave went down in a blaze of glory along with my S'mores, I was at a complete loss as to how I was going to eat. I ended up doing what anyone would do in that situation. I called my Mommy. And darned if she didn't laugh at me when I asked her how on earth a person was supposed to cook hotdogs without a microwave! Who knew there were so many different ways to cook a hotdog?!?
After I mastered the cooking of the hotdog, I must have mistakenly determined that I was a whiz in the kitchen because I just knew that I could tackle entire meals by myself. I even decided that I would face my fears about raw meat head-on and cook chicken and use ground hamburger! I sat down one Saturday afternoon and spent the next four hours creating a menu for the week. It was a thing of beauty! I have a slightly disturbing love of lists, so I was immediately digging this whole "cooking" thing even though I had yet to actually cook.
One trip to the grocery store later, having purchased items that were completely foreign to me like "EVOO" and bay leaves, I decided to hit the ground running and cook my first real "meal." Lemon pepper chicken, steamed asparagus, and wild rice with waldorf salad for dessert... That first real "meal" turned out to be my last. Apparently there is a timing issue that needs to be addressed when cooking several dishes for one meal. I ended up with rubber chicken, soggy rice, crunchy asparagus, and an apple for dessert. Twelve years later, I have yet to muster the courage to attempt another full-fledged "meal." Casseroles all the way for this single foster mama!
Some people might wonder why I choose to only foster infants. One might assume it is because infants don't have nearly the amount of emotional problems that older children in foster care possess. However, for me, one of the major deciding factors was the whole "you have to feed them" thing, and the thought of having to prepare actual meals with a variety of food groups scared the bejeezers out of me. Give me an infant on bottles and baby food or toddlers who love Gerber meals and fruit any day! That, I can manage. I just really hope that when I finally am able to adopt, my kids enjoy a good ole casserole. 'Cause that's what they're going to get. :-)