I may or may not have recently celebrated another birthday. You’d have to check my driver’s license to know for sure but hypothetically speaking, let’s just say that I am now a year older than I used to be. As Truvy said in Steel Magnolias “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin’ across your face.” In honor of that, I’d like to tell past me a few things.
1. You really should have paid more attention to what was going on in the kitchen when you were growing up. By the time it occurs to you to ask MamMom for her recipes, she’s stopped cooking. Getting her to put her recipes down on paper will be an exercise in frustration. But stick with it because her chicken noodle soup tutorial is priceless.
2. Pork chops, roasts, and steaks are not supposed to be dry, lifeless, and void of flavor. The sooner you unlearn this lesson, the better.
3. The reason most foods were cooked to the point of being leathery is because that’s how there were asked to be fixed. It was not, repeat was not, operator error.
4. You will never again have to eat liver and onions. Get over it and move on girl.
5. Believe it or not, one day you will decide that beets aren’t awful.
6. Ditto for radishes.
7. No matter how hard you try, your BLT’s will never taste as good as MamMom’s. Hers were made with love and you can’t get that out of a bottle, jar, or thick cut bacon.
8. You will make up with barbecue sauce. It will take a long time but it will happen.
9. You will not make up with tacos. And you’re ok with that.
10. Rhubarb. What the heck took you so long to try it?
11. If you only do one thing during the trip to Scotland, order the lentils at The Witchery. Please and thank you.
12. Give fresh peas a chance, even if it means getting up at an ungodly hour on a Saturday to get to the Farmers Market. You will not be disappointed.
13. You need to face down this fear of yeast. Until you do, it will get the best of you each and every time.
14. You might want to rethink going with the side by side refrigerator.
15. How many dishtowels does one person REALLY need?
16. Enjoy strawberries, blueberries, nuts, and corn while you can. Because you won’t always be able to. And you will be sad.
17. Don’t waste your money on the Sunbeam mixer. It may look pretty but it won’t work nearly as hard as the Kitchen Aid.
18. The stainless steel will never look as good as the day it was installed. A microfiber cloth and old fashioned elbow grease will become your best cleaning tools.
19. Learn to let go of needing to feel in control all the time.
20. Share what you know. The more you give away, the more you’ll get back.
21. You are your worst critic so try and be a little kinder to yourself and less critical of a perceived ‘fail’.
22. Remember to get the knives sharpened twice a year.
23. Go easy on the sweets. Those 40 pounds are already stalking you.
24. Make your own frozen meals and leave the Lean Cuisine at the grocery store.
25. Trader Joe’s is pretty awesome. Forget your first impression of the place on that date.
26. That’s right, some guy you meet online will want to take you to Trader Joe’s on a date. And for reasons I can not explain, you will go.
27. Trust your instincts.
28. Brine, brine, brine.
29. Please acquaint yourself with one Andy Nelson BBQ of Hunt Valley as soon as possible.
30. Instead of buying the Cuisinart ice cream maker, the Kitchen Aid attachment might be a better choice from a storage perspective.
31. Your future husband will have a weird fascination with putting “sauce” on everything. Get used to the idea now.
32. Neither Paula nor Ina are infallible. Sometimes you just won’t like their recipes. It’s ok.
33. The Minamalist. Look him up when this World Wide Web thing comes your way.
34. You’ll never really enjoy picking steamed crabs.
35. Or eating sushi.
36. Despite what they say, Country Time does not taste just like that good old fashioned lemonade.
37. Not that you will eat fast food much but beware the supersize phenomenon.
38. Taste for seasoning as you go along.
So there we have it. 38 things I wish I had known earlier. What do you know now that you wish you knew sooner?