Let’s Talk with Debra H Goldstein

Surviving the Kitchen in Any Month
by Debra H. Goldstein

Last week, Cheryl talked about comfort food. The concept amused me because I don’t think she would necessarily consider dark chocolate, pizza, and ice cream to fit that category on an ongoing basis. In our house, we’re not looking at comfort food – it’s more like survival.

Normally, if I cook more than two nights in a row, Joel wants to go out for dinner. The truth is we’ve been married thirty-six years and because of my attitude toward the kitchen added to my cooking skills, we’ve averaged eating out 18-21 meals a week.

Sarah Blair, the protagonist for my Sarah Blair series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many and the upcoming Three Treats Too Many) is me in disguise. The kitchen not only frightens me, but I find the things in it distasteful.

When I was getting married, my friends gave me a “Can She Identify What’s in the Box” kitchen shower. They didn’t stump me – I recognized the nutcracker and the garlic press; I just didn’t know how to use them. When I opened some beautiful floral paper plates and napkins, someone cracked, “Oh look, she got her good china.”

Once the kids were grown, Joel fell into a habit of getting up in the morning and taking our clothing to the cleaners before going to work. After a while, I noticed he was leaving the house far earlier than would be necessary. I checked him on “Find a Phone.” He was going to the cleaners, but then it was on to McDonald’s for breakfast and reading the newspaper. Shhh… don’t tell him I know. That’s five meals I don’t have to worry about.

April showers may bring May flowers, but they’ll never spark me to be in the kitchen. Do you like to cook? To win an e-book of One Taste Too Many, leave a comment as to whether you enjoy cooking, what your favorite kitchen appliance or tool is, and what your easiest dish to make is.

Also, our April 2020 Booklover’s Bench contest is underway from April 1-18. Click over to enter now for a chance to win one of the six books in the vault. Winner will be announced April 19 on the contest page. (Print copies to US addresses only.) CLICK HERE

Comments

  1. The winner of the One Taste Too Many e-book is Grace Koshida. For more chances to win things, sign up for my newsletter — it has giveaways each time limited only to subscribers. Sign up via my website, https://www.debrahgoldstein.com

  2. You already know that I cook since I published A Bad Hair Day Cookbook. My mother was a good cook and my role model in this regard. I enjoy cooking classes, reading food magazines, and trying new recipes. What I am not is a baker. I can make cakes but I’m not that much into cookies or fancy pastries.

  3. I can cook but mostly out of necessity — it’s not necessarily something I enjoy, though I do like nicely plating food and putting out a fancy table. My husband has decided to take up cooking and he’s pretty good. I don’t really have the time after work to fix meals so I’m glad for him to do it.

  4. I love to cook, and now that the five of us are home, I’m spending a bit more time in the kitchen. Soups are my favorites, but I’m afraid I’m the only one who could eat them on a daily basis. My favorite kitchen appliance is probably my immersion blender. My easiest recipe? I’m thinking Pineapple Casserole, probably because I just made it for Easter.

    4 slices white bread, cut into cubes (each slice about 16 cubes)
    1 stick butter
    3/4 c. sugar
    2 eggs
    1 20-oz. can pineapple tidbits, undrained

    Melt butter in 8 x 8″ baking dish. Lightly beat eggs with sugar (use a fork). Place bread cubes in dish, then add egg/sugar mixture. Pour pineapple chunks and juice over all. Mix with a large spoon. Place in 375 degree oven and bake for an hour or until golden. Sweet, easy, and delicious!

  5. Nancy Miller-Borg says

    Cooking for two always leaves leftovers. After many years of cooking for one and eating anything left, I find it hard when Don refers to leftovers as “used food “. I will give him credit though, he will eat whatever I cook – maybe just once.

    • Leftovers wasn’t often on our menu because I try to purchase what we’ll use….this month, anything left is being reused. Don is a good sport and a good guy.

  6. No one ever taught me to cook. I had to learn by trial and error once I no longer lived in a dorm room. There were quite a few errors! But when you’re on a tight budget, you learn how to do things because you have to. No one is going to do them for you, and most of us can’t afford to eat out more than maybe once a week, if that. I don’t enjoy day-to-day cooking, but I do enjoy baking occasionally. I just do it in moderation because I don’t enjoy the calories that go along with baking. 😉

    • I always think there are other things I could be doing than day to day cooking…but I try. Sounds like you like the precision of baking (without the calories)

  7. Pam Hopkins says

    I enjoy cooking/baking but as a young bride, I treated hubby like a Greek God, a burnt offering at every meal! I have learned to be a fairly decent cook and I can follow a recipe; however, I need to be in the mood to cook.and that’s not often anymore. My favorite kitchen tool is my large, cast iron skillet. I cook most everything in that skillet. My easiest recipe is beiners and weans. Open a can of baked beans, add cut up hot dogs, heat and eat. Love your writings . . .

  8. I used to love to cook and bake because I loved sharing food with friends and family. Now that we are retired and there is just the two of us, I don’t cook as much. During this stay-at-home period I am back to baking and cooking large quantities of stew and soup so I can share with friends who are a bit lonely. We drop our care packages off on their porches. A different kind of ring the bell and run situation. We are not completely altruistic. If we don’t give half of the cheesecake away we will certainly eat the whole cake ourselves.

  9. At this point in my life, my husband is my favorite tool in the kitchen. Now that Lou is all but retired, he does more of the dinner cooking, probably because I’m worn out from years of doing it for my family. I do enjoy cooking and baking if it’s for family or guests. Love pouring through recipes for parties. When I do cook, my favorite tool is my chopper. Makes dicing onions, garlic, and such quick and easy. All this talk of food is making me hungry, so I have to go…

  10. maggietoussaint says

    My favorite kitchen appliance is the dishwasher. Like you, I’m not the best cook in the family. I cook because somebody has to and the alternative isn’t good. Love your series, btw.

  11. I like to cook and am finding it a comfort in this time of quarantine. But I am laughing at a contrast–you created a protagonist who echoes you in the kitchen. I for some unknown reason created one who also can’t cook in my Kelly O’Connell series. That’s an anathema to me, and I have yet to figure out why Kelly’s new husband has to teach her to cook. I know it’s my fault.

  12. cherylhollon says

    I’ve been cooking since I was about ten years old. The oldest of a family of six, my mother started working part-time at the local department store two evenings a week. She would leave me instructions on how to get dinner on the table. I’m not a particular fan of the everyday meals, but I love to cook for special events and holidays.

  13. Barbara Monajem says

    I love cooking, especially with fresh vegetables. I particularly enjoy making soups. I like baking, too, but I don’t do it much anymore, because I’ll gain too much weight from eating the quick breads and cookies and cakes and so on. Big sigh… But needing comfort food, I have been eating way too many oatcakes lately.

    • Funny you mention soups. I happen to enjoy them, too. In Three Treats Too Many, the next Sarah Blair book that presently is only available for pre-order, there are several soup recipes and references.

  14. Grace Koshida says

    I do love to cook. I have been stay-at-home/self-isolation for over a month, and I have ordered only 1 take–out dinner during this time. Fortunately my pantry is full and I do get grocery deliveries on a regular basis for fresh produce. And I love to bake even more, so I made my own sourdough starter and have made several loaves of sourdough bread and pancakes, But now I am out of flour, so my baking spree is on hold (sigh).

    • I hear you…. although I rarely keep my freezer and pantry well-stocked, I had a feeling and did stock up. I’ve been cooking now every day since we went into stay at home mode. I fear we’ll run out of toilet paper before we run out of food.