I am not a good cook.
No false humility here. I’m just not.
It’s probably because I cook only for myself so I don’t make a great effort. I’m also sloppy at measuring and that extends into building things of wood and material.
When I sewed clothing, my seams would vary from the standard 5/8 inch down to a quarter inch and up past an inch. I was a speed demon on the foot pedal and ruined many a piece of clothing because of it.
As for wood, my sister Therese does all the measuring and cutting because I can be off by as much as 2 inches, as I just proved to myself last week when I was cutting a piece of wood for a shelf I was “improving”.
But back to baking and cooking.
I blame my lack of talent on books. Yes, it all comes back to reading. I would pop whatever I was making into the oven and then trot off to read. I would pull myself from the book when I smelled the burned cookies, charbroiled pork chops or boiled-to-black-encrusted potatoes. I actually grew to like burned boiled potatoes, but then I like just about anything potato.
I was thinking of all this while watching “The Great British Baking Show.” Their showstopper challenge was to bake an “American” Pie and the bakers all came up with things I’d mostly never heard of except for Key Lime Pie. There wasn’t an apple pie in the bunch.
I guess that’s because the British think of eel pie and shepherd’s pie and other meaty things when they think pie.
Am I tempted to make my own American pie? My only experience of that would be a store-bought crust filled with chocolate pudding and topped with whipped cream. That was the favorite American pie at my house.
I later grew up to eat blueberry pie (canned filling) coconut cream pie (mom did make the meringue), and French Silk Pie from Baker’s Square.
I guess none of those really count as pie. It’s more like sticking a spoon in a jar of sugar.
Nowadays, I do most of my cooking and baking vicariously through the Food Network and “The Great British Baking Show” — fewer calories and less mess to clean up.