Wednesday, September 11, 2013



Everyone needs to know how to cook. It is a basic survival skill, and everyone eats. The important thing is not to be discouraged by failure. If you cook, you have failures, it’s simple fact. I’ve had splendid failures in my time at the stove. I’ve made greens so bitter, my husband swore ‘a Jew wouldn’t eat these standing with his hat on at Passover.’ It might be slander implying Jews with their hats on will eat almost anything green as a bitter weed. It took many pots of greens before I learned how to cook them.

After you practice on the basics, mastering some of the cooking skills essential to life, you will want to do something fancy like doubling the recipe. It sounds so simple, doubling. Take everything and just times 2.

During one of my early efforts at doubling, I made a pot of chicken and dumplings. Recipe said it served six. Since it didn’t seem like very much, I doubled it, math calculations and all. Imagine my surprise when my husband was over at the stove scrapping the bottom of the pot during supper.

“How can you still be hungry?” I asked him. “I doubled the recipe, it served six before I doubled it. The pot of dumplings should have served twelve in theory.”

My husband just looked at me and said, “twelve midgets on a diet.”

My husband is learning to bake cookies. His approach is to turn on an opera, Marriage of Figaro for example, loud so you can get every note and syllable. Then gather ingredients and bake.

So here is the lesson for you. Don’t be discouraged by failure. Try again, don’t give up. Find out if you are feeding hungry people or twelve midgets on a diet. Everyone needs to know how to cook.



  1. Man, you have found your calling. You've got the blogging thing down. And your writing is really very good!

  2. I'm amazed at how many people don't know how to cook. Good blog.

  3. LOL. Loved the this entertaining post Mary and thanks for responding to my request on FB. I learned very early how to cook, around 9 years at least, out of necessity. I was living with my grand parents then in rural transkei in some out of the way village and they'd be out ploughing all day. I remember my grand tsk-ing my gramps when he started to complain about too much salt and he's have to gulp it down without a work. I miss my gran _ that was a wonderful lady.