December 17, 2009
June Cleaver beat the crap out of me with her rolling pin.
In my dream, Martha Stewart, June Cleaver, Bree Van De Kamp, and Marion Cunningham (who they were all affectionately calling “Mrs. C”) were baking a pie together in my kitchen and arguing about the best way to pit cherries. They hadn’t really noticed me lounging around by the sink until I pointed out what a waste of time it would be to pit your own cherries when there were perfectly decent ones that you could get in a can when June Cleaver turned with a maniacal gleam in her eye and started beating me on the face and shoulders with her flour-dusted rolling pin.
Just imagine what she would have done to me if I had suggested frozen pie crust.
Which brings us to my latest self-improvement project. I fear that you will all cease to believe me, that I’ve become like the girl who cries post-divorce-finding-myself project, but this one is for real lest I become a spinsterish, New York City batty cat-woman without the cats that I’ve been fearing that I’m morphing into all year.
Unlike that stint with transcendental meditation (it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t concentrate! Could you meditate in a room with a cockroach on the wall?) or the time I mused about life as a zumba instructor or considered becoming a femivore and moving to a farm in Upstate New York so I could raise my own chickens, I’m really going to do this for longer than the typical three minutes I’ve dedicated to past life-improvement projects:
Rachel Goldman is going to learn how to cook.
This is the point where I publicly admit that I don’t really have a lot of skills in the kitchen. By which I mean “any.” I can make ramen noodles like a pro, but I’ve never really followed a recipe (which is what happens when you don’t own any cook books). I’m more of a jarred sauce kind of girl. I consider toasting the English muffin on par with making my own bread.
Before the divorce, we ate out almost every night or brought in take-out. If they offered a degree in Carryout Curry, I would have a PhD. Unfortunately, even if I am now only ordering for one, I quickly learned after we separated that while Hunan Chow is affordable on a lawyer-and-graphic designer’s joint salarys, it’s prohibitively expensive for a living-off-the-money-I-got-from-my-half-of-the-condo-while-I-find-myself budget.
So, I am going to learn how to fry an egg without breaking the yolk. And do more than boil noodles. I might even . . . gasp . . . make my own Pad Thai. And this, my friends, is how I’m finally going to find myself during my Year of Me. I can’t believe I frittered away weeks of my life sabbatical on ideas such as becoming a pet sitter (yes, it turns out that you have to like dogs in order to walk dogs). You live and you learn.
Okay, enough whining, it’s time to get cooking. I have armed myself with cookbooks from the library, a healthy stock of wine, and my best friend, Arianna to be my co-taster. Please stick around; I need you guys.