Math has always been a struggle for me. Actually, that statement might be false, I think I was fine with math until fifth grade, when my cool workbook with the perforated sheets was replaced by a hardcover textbook. Then I think I just got lazy, wasn't willing to work to understand math, and as a result, as a teenager I was up the creek without a paddle. I've recovered nicely, I think, due to the SAT and chemistry, and I'm now swimming through all those botched math courses with a working understanding. Nevertheless, math has been a horrific blotch on my academic experience. But I was comforted by telling myself that at least it was the only blotch.
However, I failed to factor in my inability to cook.
Some things we can get by without. No one really needs to know how to factor polynomials, and analyzing and interpreting literature is only so useful. But to survive life, we kind of need to know how to prepare food. When I was ten, my favorite books were My Side of the Mountain and the Redwall series. The former featured a kid making his own food out of random woodsy fare -- like acorn flour pancakes -- and the latter featured obscenely delicious sounding feasts, multiple times in every single book. And I was all, "Cool!" I like food, a lot. I'm surrounded by a lot of people who like to cook food, so it works out well for me.
But sometimes I see how much fun they're having and want to try my hand at it! Molasses cookies - fail. Pancakes - fail. Brownies from a box - fail. French toast - fail. Helping Mom in the kitchen on holidays and when we have company - EPIC fail. Part of me wants to attribute these fails to my perceiverness and the resulting inattentiveness and inability to follow directions, but even when I'm ridiculously careful, what I touch comes out ruined for no apparent reason.
However, Christian has dubbed my grilled cheese "the best" and my chocolate chip cookies are better than decent. I have also mastered the art of egg frying and I have uncanny ability to boil pasta to that perfect point of just beyond al dente. And I rock sandwiches. But man cannot live on sandwiches and fried eggs alone! With college beginning to loom on the horizon, I'm beginning to realize if I want to survive on something other than Ramen and take out from Pizza Pie-er (which is actually a viable option, now that I think of it!) I'm going to have to kick my cooking curse.
Last night, in a stroke of genius, Sarah and I in our boredom grabbed my camcorder and this awesome book I just checked out of the library and decided to play cooking show. Cos we're super cool. We made this epic carrot soup that actually tastes super good. And we attempted to make a cake. It was going really well, we did everything right, we pull the pans out of the oven and they're perfectly done! But when we flip them onto the cooling rack, the middle of one cake layer falls out. We stuck the middle-less cake back in the oven, but it wouldn't cook. My genius solution was to just cut the middle out. It worked, but in the process we discovered how gross the cake tasted. The irony, of course, is that the title of the cake recipe we used was "idiot proof one-bowl vanilla cake." The cake was indeed a lie.
Being hopelessly awful at something you'd love to be good at is a sobering and depressing reality. And the story of my life.