Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skills I don't have

So, I'm not a choreographer. I'm not a dancer either. I can do some dance moves, though none with anything close to skill or proficiency. I know some of the lingo, but mostly I describe things with made-up adjectives when talking to my dancer friends. "You know the part where your back goes all archy and she does that kick with her leg all bendy and then you both sort of squiggle around until you're in matching hoopdydoodles?"

Anyway, despite these deficiencies, I still hear songs that I want people to dance to. Not just usta-usta on the dance floor, but real choreographed "pieces." I get visions of a particular shakey shoulder movement or an arching back, a kick, a roll, you know, something that my brains say "this sound should make a dancer's body do this." But one movement does not a full piece make. And I don't know enough moves to put together a whole piece. So I just sit in my car, listening to the songs that make me smile envisioning my dancer friends doing little bits here and there. Any real choreographers out there: I've got the first 15 seconds of Muse's Supermassive Black Hole down pat. Sort of. And some vague concepts for the chorus. In case you're interested.

I like to cook. No, not really. I like to eat. I like to make stuff. If I had a permanent sous chef, I think I'd like cooking a lot more. Oh, and a dishwasher. I mean, we have a dishwasher (the machine), but I'd like a person to do the loading & unloading of said machine. Right, so, I make stuff. I follow recipes pretty well. I do have my mother's tendency to substitute what I've got laying around for what the recipe calls for sometimes. I cooked my first turkey this year, and it went pretty well, if not perfectly. I learned some stuff--like not to let a turkey sit in 3" of it's own delicious juices, because it will fall apart, spraying the kitchen in stuffing in a very unappetizing looking mess when you try to transfer it to a platter. The cooking thing is one that I feel really behind the ball on. So many of my friends are amazing cooks--inventive and skilled cooks. They can tell if meat is done without thermometers or cutting it open. I do not have this skill. I barely understand the difference between baking soda and powder.

My lack of kitchen proficiency certainly hasn't stopped me from trying new and exciting recipes. In fact, I have a recipe that's been sitting on my fridge (with a magnet) for... oh, I don't know... a year or so? It's a recipe that an old boyfriend made for me on Valentine's Day and it is, to date, the best thing I remember about him--he cooked this fabulous meal. The rest of the night was a disaster, but this dinner was AWESOME. So, I thought I would make it. My family is coming over for belated Christmas-time celebrations tomorrow. My office is closed. Seems like the perfect time to cook a completely untested recipe for the best cook I know, right? I mean, what's the worst that could happen? I fail, the dish sucks, I'm embarrassed, my family all laughs (with me, not at me--they're cool like that), and we get take-out. This is an outcome I'm mostly comfortable with. Of course, I'd love for things to go really well and not NEED take-out, but I have a safety net in place. Lite Wok totally delivers, and they have sushi, so 33% of my guests will be super excited about that. The rest of us can have other delicious food that is cooked--in a wok, presumably.

Oh, this recipe! I don't know what it's called. It's beef with mushrooms in a burgandy wine sauce. So I Googled it, to see what I was getting myself into (since my refridgerator is far from me, and I'm impatient). Google now has me TERRIFIED because it keeps throwing french recipes at me that involve stuff I've never heard of, like beef demi glace, which led me down a wikipedia rabbit hole of doom...

Tomorrow could be very exciting. If we wind up with take-out, I'll let you know. Otherwise there will be lots of bragging and pictures of food taken with my cell phone as proof that I didn't screw it all up!

Oh, but on to skills I DO have!

When it comes to crafting, I can do crafts that involve cutting and glue. Like a kindergartner. No sewing, no knitting, crochet, measuring, or feng shui. Just good old fashioned cut and paste. Decoupage? Right up my alley! Glitter? My favorite! This has allowed me to make years & years of Christmas ornaments with little to no skill.

Which I proclaim to be a skill!

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