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#1 Personal Culinary Rule: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

January 19, 2011

Can I cook? Heck yes! I’m the best darn cook around…well, at least in my own mind. OK, there was the cake with pudding in the mix incident, where I didn’t realize that you shouldn’t make a packet of pudding and add it to your cake batter before baking…for 6 hours. Very moist! Not something to present to family or friends, but I ate it…along with my pride. And of course there was the pecan pie incident where it ended up face down on the floor. It didn’t get eaten, but I did invent a product that can remove tiles from your kitchen floor.

In my defense, I’m not a bad cook. However, I think my cooking incidents are all due to the fact that deep down I want to please others, and I have this secret fantasy that I will someday make a fabulous dish that will be loved by my whole family (including my wife, the Google recipe queen) and be recommended for a Martha Stewart cookbook. I usually get into trouble when I start to add ingredients that were never meant for certain recipes. Once I thought that if Skyline could add cinnamon to their chili (which I really love) why not add it to my wife’s homemade spaghetti sauce? Needless to say, something hit the fan that day and it wasn’t the spaghetti sauce.

My wife has this uncanny ability of being able to taste EVERYTHING that is put into our meals even if you just put in a pinch. She can even taste it if all I do is wave the bottle over top of the food. Unfortunately, being a slow learner and always looking for a new challenge, I still try to sneak new things into the food just to see if she’ll notice. If she doesn’t notice and she likes the food, I’ll yell out, “HA!…I added something new to the recipe and you liked it!” OK, I know it’s childish, but I’m still convinced my secret cooking fantasy will come true.

Over the past 17 plus years, my wife has tried to teach me the value of actually following a recipe and leaving the creativity to those who can waste money on food creation and who don’t have eight mouths to feed. So if I’m feeling creative, I cook something small for myself and add all the spices and ingredients I want. But when I’m cooking for the family, my wife expects me to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). I do have creations that my family enjoys, like my extremely cheesy omelets (aka Gromlets, or Greg’s Omelets), which should be eaten with prunes or raisins for reasons which will go unsaid, and my chocolate pecan pie.

For the most part, my wife and I have agreed that she is a much better cook, and my kids seem to be healthier when she’s at the culinary helm. Now when I’m asked to cook, I make sure I follow the recipe, and if need be, I simply spice up my own plate. So as I stir and follow Martha Stewart to the tee, I daydream that I’m winning first place in a food contest and going on her show to give—OK, who am I kidding? Let’s just get the food on the table! I’m hungry! Joshua, go get me the hot sauce and don’t let your mother see.

~Greg

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