From Tracie: The Queen Chef Extraordinaire

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Queen Chef Extraordinaire

I grew up in a Taco Bell family. We didn't own a Taco Bell. No, we just stopped by to pick up dinner most nights. Sometimes we cheated on The Bell, and visited other places, but I remember a lot of 59 cent pintos and cheese.

A few months after Thomas and I were married, I stopped working at the bookstore and made my new gig as wife a full time thing.

Boxes unpacked? Check!

Bathroom cleaned? Check!

Carpet vacuumed? Bed made? Check and Check!

I reigned as queen of our little house, except in one room. The kitchen.

Sure, I unpacked all those neat gadgets we received as wedding presents - waffle iron, blender, bread maker, food processor, toaster, crock pot, and coffee maker - but, except for the coffee maker, I had yet to use any of them. They were more shiny decorations than cooking instruments.

The kitchen had to be conquered. If I was going to step up to that stove, I figured I should start with something I knew. I thought back to the few times a year my mom cooked. It was either a pot roast, pork chops, artichokes, or chicken with Dale's Seasoning. I remembered helping her with the pork chops once, so I decided that would be a good place to start. Pork Chops with Cream of Mushroom Soup.

I called my mom, and got the recipe.

Ingredients bought and assembled, I was ready to cook. My plan was to have dinner on the table when Thomas got home from work. I followed mom's recipe exactly, thinking to myself that this was easier than I expected it to be. When the pork chops were finished, they looked just like the ones my mom made.

I was Tracie, Queen of the Kitchen, Chef Extraordinaire.

I was so proud of myself. Until an hour after dinner, when I started to feel...something. Something, not so good.

Something that was definitely not queen-like.

It was the first time I cooked after getting married...and I gave myself food poisoning.

This is why I don't eat pork chops, and why Thomas does all of the cooking.

The Red Dress Club prompt:
The first time I ___-ed after ___-ing.

Have you ever accidentally poisoned yourself or your loved ones?
(please tell me I'm not alone in this!)

Since I those early days of marriage, and in the time since I first wrote this post, I have become a bit more proficient in the kitchen. I think it is good to look back at this on those days I'm tired of making dinner. A good reminder of how grateful I should be that I can cook dinner for my family without making us all sick.


  1. Ack! Pork chops are actually really tricky. Finding the balance between food poisoning and hockey pucks is difficult.

    If it makes you feel any better, I managed to MELT my meat thermometer yesterday by leaving it on a hot flat-top stove-top.

  2. Tracie, thank you for your recent prayers. Blessings.

  3. Oh NO! Have you ever tried to cook anything else after that?

  4. Umm wow. No I have never given myself or anyone else food poisoning. I did have a little snafu with soup beans one time.. a 4 lb bag in a 4 quart pot yeah doesn't work just so ya know..

  5. God! This must have been some experience. I am just glad that you are alright Tracie, with a good story.

  6. Oh no! Do you know what part of the recipe that made you sick? And you were so proud, too. :)

  7. You poor thing! Still, I loved this story and it made me laugh!

  8. This SO could have been a scene in my life.... if I ever actually braved the kitchen :)

    Great story!

  9. Tracie,

    Don't be too hard on yourself! I am not great in the kitchen either...we try not to do fast food, but we do lots of very basic/simple things, i.e. grilled fish, pasta, salads, etc...I am no Martha Stewart to be sure!

    Love the way you told this, such a great story! xo

  10. Ok, that is funny! I love that it is all so sweet and optimistic, but then...oh boy. Not so good. And you end right when it happens. Fun response to TRDC prompt!

  11. Tee hee!! This is too funny, and...not so funny. So sorry you got sick. And that your first cooking experiences kinda backfired. Or did the? I would love to have my husband cooking for us more often!! I had no idea how to cook when we first got married either. And we STILL have some of those kitchen gadgets in boxes. In the garage.

  12. Yes. I understand.

    We have in our marriage a little something called "The Boiled Meat Incident".

    I have yet to live it down.

    And I've been married 13 years.

  13. I thought surely you made pintos and cheese! :)

    I don't cook much anymore. I used to enjoy it, even baked my own bread and made my own yogurt, but somewhere along the line I lost my cooking mojo!

  14. Oh love it lady! Your pride, your menu, your Queen title, the fact that your hubby does most of the cooking!

    My husband is a much, much better cook than I am. he, at least, knew what a garlic press was when we got one! XO

  15. Oh no! It's that pork, it got ya. Oh well, you can't be a master at everything. And honestly, a queen never does her own cooking.

  16. That sucks but it's funny. I wasn't expecting that ending. Fun post. Hopefully, you'll conquer the kitchen once again without the food poisoning. :)

  17. Ack! I would never eat pork again (not that i've ever eaten it, but that would turn me off for good!) OR cook again. At least you married a guy who cooks, so good for you!!

  18. Ha! I've never done that but I've had a few mishaps in the kitchen. Wish they'd been bad enough to convince The TO to do the cooking. No such luck though.

  19. Oh no! I'm not great in the kitchen either and I totally doubt my skills. But my husband doesn't cook and if he does, his idea of dinner is mac and cheese with fish sticks!

  20. Oh, man...there's a fine balance between food poisoning and fine cuisine. I have missed it on numerous occasions! There's props to be given for trying though...kudos to you for giving those chops a go :)

    Stopping by from TRDC. Great (and funny) post!

  21. OMG!
    I was torn between crying and laughing when I read this post. You seemed so earnest trying so hard to do such a good job! Then to get sick oh how terrible I feel so bad that it turned out that way. I couldn't help but giggle; I thought it was going to be a romantic dinner!

  22. That is the best first time cooking story ever! And, weirdly, it left me craving pork chops.

  23. Oh man! Food poisoning! That is the world's best excuse to get out of cooking. I'm going to give some to my husband tonight!

  24. You must have gotten hold of something bad to begin with. My guess would be the soup. Food poisoning doesn't usually kick in for 24 hours. (I'm required by owning a restaurant to keep up on this stuff)
    However, it's an excellent way to get someone else to do the cooking.

  25. Yup, that's me too. Wife, mother, and lover of food that my husband cooks. I hate all things culinary!

  26. Nice!

    The kitchen isn't my domain either.

  27. Ahhh sooo sad...But don't give up, there are lots of meals you could "own" and feel good about it...that is if you wanted to, ha!

  28. That is such a great story and you tell it so well. It reminds me a lot of myself, which is why I, too, am thankful for a husband who does all of the cooking in our house! Well, the vast majority, anyway. ;) The Chef, as we refer to him on the blog, tells me I can cook well, but just a few things, which is true. I don't venture out much beyond my comfort zone, which is pretty small... lol.

    And getting creative like he does? Forget it. If there's not a simple recipe I feel confident with... I just hand it to over to him... gladly.

    And if I were to do the cooking, I'd much more likely be a vegetarian. Although I do love to eat meat, I do NOT like handling raw meat. It disgusts me!

    Hope you have a wonderful SITS day!

  29. Oh man! I quit working two years ago and thought I'd spend more time in the kitchen but the fact is, I don't like it and my husband is a much better cook! Good thing ;)

  30. Haha! I laughed when I read that you didn't actually own a Taco Bell, just drove through a lot. LOL!

    We all have to find our way in the kitchen, don't we? I love to bak and I'm pretty good at it, but dinner? notsomuch.

  31. I try so hard to be a good cook, but I have so little patience and lack attention to detail that I pretty much suck at most things I make! I gave myself food poisoning with cornish hens one time. It was AWFUL!!!!!

  32. Oh, Tracie - I love this! I always have the intention to be a fabulous cook for my family... and sometimes I am... but... shaking head... anyway! I am better in other areas. Let's just say that!

    I had a bout of food poisoning recently. It was so not fun!

    Glad to see you on this Recycle Your Post link up. This is my first time here, and I'm here because of... SITS forums, naturally!