Why I Don't Cook

Here is a perfect example of why I habitually avoid any and all activities associated with that area of the home known as "the kitchen."

Blair and I decided some time ago we would make red beans and rice. We purchased the ingredients and then promptly ignored them for the next three weeks. But he called tonight and suggested that perhaps this was THE night where we finally made the dish.

Why not? I'm always up for adventure. He tells me he'll be home in an hour and we hang up. I pull out the red beans with the recipe on the back and race to the phone.

 "Hello?" says Blair.

"These directions are confusing," I say. "I'm supposed to add 3-4 cups of hot water to the dry beans, boil 2 minutes, then set aside for one hour. BUT, the recipe itself says I am to sort and wash the beans. Then soak the beans in 4 cups water in a large saucepan while I sauté onion, pepper and garlic in a separate pan then bring everything to a boil. So do I soak the beans for an hour first or do I just leave them in the 4 cups of water for the 8 minutes it takes to sauté?

There is silence on the other end of the phone.

"I'll work with it," I say and hang up.

I decide not to soak the beans for an hour, mainly because I'm hungry NOW. I sauté and dump everything in and boil away. But the beans do not soften, not even after 30 minutes when Blair arrives home. He walks to the kitchen and stands beside me, staring down at the boiling, tumbling mass of wrinkled red beans flecked with specks of green pepper.  He looks at me and I look at him.

"Feel like an Arby's night," I say.

"I've got the keys," he says. "Let's go."

The problem, in my opinion, is directions aren't clear. All food preparation instructions should be written in language a 4-year old can comprehend and even then there should be a special 1-800-for-Dena help line available.

But excuse me please. There are some curly fries out there with my name on them.