I was thrilled when my friend Deb (who, you will remember, taught me how to make “the fixins” for a Christmas meal) offered to write a guest post for Operation: Recipe Swap. But wait, it’s about having me as a cooking student! The kitchen table has been turned…
So, you have been reading Lori’s blogs about her adventures in cooking. I would like to speak for those of us who have had the experience of actually having this lovely woman in our homes. OK, so I can only give you my experience, but maybe some of the other teachers can relate.
Our kitchen date worked out to be on Christmas Eve. The plan was to show Lori the whole “Turkey Experience” = turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Our church was putting on a Christmas day dinner so the timing was good and we were set. But the church dinner plan changed and it ended up that I would not be cooking turkey after all. Cooking for me is most fun when I have to improvise, so I improvised the menu a little and settled on stuffing (better than turkey anyway), roast beef gravy, and a little cranberry sauce, if we had time.
So the big moment had arrived! Lori arrives on time(ish) and bearing gifts, I have really been excited about this for weeks, and I can’t wait to show Lori what I know.
She also comes with a recording device! EW! I was not overly excited about being recorded. Mostly because I don’t like the sound of my voice and I certainly stick my foot in my mouth often enough that recording me for any length of time will surely catch me making a few strange comments. Thankfully the recorder was dead, and I must confess I did not even try to help by looking for new batteries.
I had decided to not prepare too much for Lori’s arrival, I was very tempted to scrub every nook and cranny of my kitchen, and get all dressed up for the occasion. You know, put my best fork forward. I chose not to, and just be me – but when I saw the pictures, I thought maybe that wasn’t the best tactic! I somehow forgot what a shutterbug Lori is, and as she happily snapped away, I tried not to think of the goop on the cupboard door, and the fact that I was in my “slob around the house” clothes. Perhaps a little too much of “just being me.”
Loreli’s enthusiasm is truly contagious. She was warm, kind, and had a lot of questions! I mean A LOT of questions. I am 100% sure I have never ever thought about cooking so much in my entire life! She asked me what I like to cook and why? Who do I cook for? What do I love about cooking? What do I hate? Who taught me to cook? How do I plan what I cook? What is hardest about cooking? Honestly, has anyone ever given cooking this much thought? I answered all of her questions as best as I could, although I think I just got that deer in headlights look after awhile. Again, I was thankful for the broken recording device.
In the midst of all of this we managed to get all of the planned cooking done, but I missed one of the most important things in my planning, we had no way to test all that we created! All of it, with the exception of the beef gravy, was for the church the next day, and it wasn’t like I could give her a bowl of gravy to eat. Fortunately Loreli and her family were at the church dinner the next day and I was able to give her some of the stuffing to try.
My goal for this whole thing was just show Loreli a few things that I had learned in the kitchen over the years, and have a fun afternoon with my lovely friend. What I got was a renewed enthusiasm, for what can so often be a rather mundane chore, and a fun afternoon with my lovely friend.