Because Keith and I were married at such a young age, I would have to admit my cooking skills were no match for that of his mother. Mind you, she was trained by the little Old Italian ladies in San Margherita (West Side) how to make authentic pasta from scratch and amazing meatballs and gravy (aka red sauce).
Yeah, I didn’t have a chance.
I remember one night, early in our marriage; I was so excited about cooking a meal for Keith. I spent hours planning it but soon realized my execution was completely off. You see, when he arrived home from work at 1:00am I had the KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese already prepared but had forgot to put the frozen tater tots in the oven. So I hurriedly threw them in and we sat down to eat. Since we didn’t normally eat in our kitchen, it wasn’t for at least another 2 hours that I was able to pull the now “Charcoal Briquettes” from the oven and air out the house for the remainder of the early morning. I had a plan, but failed at the execution!
I think back on those days and am grateful that Keith allowed me to be an individual; he never compared me to that of his mother. Other relationships aren’t necessarily the same. One example that most people can relate to is with their children. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase… “Well Johnny’s parents allow him to….” Really? Like that would change my mind? As a parent, I don’t make decisions based on the majority; I base them on my beliefs.
Although there were many times in my life (speaking with cooking of course) where I have failed in my execution, yet I have continued to get back up, brush myself off, and then try again.
Why do I keep trying? My family depends on it.
When put in this context (cooking), it makes it plain, however if we look at it in any another potential struggle in life, I would venture to say… families depend on that one too.
So what holds us back?
Why do we think it’s ok to give up or quit trying?
The Apostle Paul took this attitude when he wrote the church at Philippi, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,” (Philippians 3:13 NIV) – The Message version says it like this, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
If we fail at execution, let’s learn from it and try again. Eventually, we’ll get it right! I have to admit that over the last 22 years of marriage I have evolved into a “better” cook. Some knowledge has come by learning from previous mistakes and some by actually applying a recipe (go figure). If you can find a mentor, glean from their knowledge (take their soup recipes, change them just slightly and call them your own…LOL)– it will probably elevate you to another level as well.
I have experimented and had success, and I’ve also heard those encouraging words from Keith, “Good try honey, but try again!” And that I will.