I admit…I’m NOT a good cook. At all. Basically, if given the opportunity, I could burn corn. And do you have any idea how hard it is to burn corn? On the stove? In hot water? It’s not easy…but I’m pretty sure I’ve done it. And this is all very amusing because my parents owned 2 restaurants when I was a child.
Now you would think that, as I grew through the years and spent many hours IN a restaurant, I would learn a few tricks of the trade. My Dad cooked in the morning, my Mom would cook whenever. We had hired help who cooked. My brother eventually cooked. My brother-in-law was a cook. As a matter of fact…I think a couple of my brother’s-in-law were cooks. And there was a small window in the summer of 1987 where I could have also been a cook.
1987 was the year I graduated from high school. It was the summertime before college. I didn’t have a job so my Dad put me to work at the restaurant. I started slowly, peeling potatoes and washing dishes. A week or so in, I was still peeling potatoes and washing dishes. And then my parents threw me a bone and allowed me to bus tables. And I might have taken an order or two that week. But then it was back to peeling potatoes and washing dishes. So there I was…peeling and washing. Washing and peeling. Until finally I had enough. So I took a job working at a gas station. Which is funny because I don’t know a damn thing about cars either! But my point of THIS story is that after 18 years of being around a restaurant, the ONLY knowledge I took home from those years was how to peel potatoes and wash dishes.
Cut to today. I have absolutely not one bit of interest in cooking. Never have, never will. And tonight I have the kids and myself to feed. My wife has a meeting and won’t be home until late. So what’s a man like myself to do? Peeking into the cabinets, there are small bags of stuff that I can put in water and cook. There are small boxes of things that I can pour into that thingie in the drawer and then heat it up and it will taste edible. Or I can just break out a knife, spread out some peanut butter and call it a night.
Oooooor…I can pile the kids into the car and make a quick trip down to the local Bob Evans. Oh how my parents hate the Bob Evans! But I have to be honest…I love those breakfast bowl things and their salads are pretty darn good. So Bob Evans it will be tonight and I don’t feel a bit bad about it. I figure I will just blame my parents for my inability to cook, considering they never once allowed me to get near that stove. Who is to say what I might have gone on to do? I could have been the next Guy Fieri! Slaving away in a hot kitchen, bacon grease on my skin, flipping steaks and hamburgers, mashing potatoes.