Cooking Up A Comedy of Errors

Last night I, Lisa Barker, did not burn, cut or maim myself when I cooked dinner.

Don't laugh. This is a big feat. If there were chain mail I could wear while cooking dinner my husband would buy it for me. But he would have it asbestos-lined because, he reminds me, metal is a great conductor of heat and without him to look out for me, I might be writing a future column from the burn unit of a hospital somewhere.

So the next day I ventured into the kitchen, perhaps with a bit too much confidence, and burned my finger and stabbed it twice before I got dinner to the table.

My body is a battlefield of scars and nicks from the culinary wars. The end result is usually a great meal, but not without sacrifice.

Take cheese graters for example. I never know which knuckle I'm going to sacrifice that day. Hot oil. That's a burn waiting to happen whether it's a splash, a spill or worse, a deep fried fingertip. So I try to limit the amount of deep fried food we eat-for my own longevity. I don't think our insurance covers accidentally french-frying yourself.

I can't even cook toast without injuring myself. How, you might ask? It's very simple. My hand is drawn to the hottest spot on the toaster. Yeah, that's right-the part where the bread is supposed to go.

The most injuries happen just before I serve. It never fails. While kids are clamoring and tripping over themselves to either help or get first dibs on the food, Mom is earning a new scar. I'm in a hurry and the kids are congregating and the same thing happens every night.

"Mom, what's for dinner?"

"Food!" everyone else replies.

I don't have to say anything anymore because the rest of the family chimes in to give the same answers to the same questions asked every night while I drop a hot potato pancake on my foot.

"What kind of food?"

"Edible food!" they chorus, while I cut my hand on the sharp edge of the lid of the applesauce can.

"What did you do now, Woman?" My husband is tallying the bruises, blisters and cuts for the evening.

"Nothing," I always say.

"Do you need any help?"

"No, I can kill myself just fine on my own."

Later the kids are inspecting the sausages carefully and wondering out loud if any looks like a finger. "Tastes like chicken, right?"

You know, after an evening of this I need something I can do to relax. My husband suggested I get a hobby. I like to do home improvements.

So I bought power tools….

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage