Archived Story

How about a messy cooking show?

Published 11:38am Monday, March 26, 2012

Column: Something About Nothing

I should have a cooking show. It would be different from all the perfect cooking shows that are on television. No one would take it seriously, and it would probably turn into a comedy.

You see, I am a messy cook when I decide to grace my kitchen and try a new concoction. This show would also feature burned food, messy floors and oops moments, a lot of oops moments.

I am not a neat, neat person. My house is a little messy. I did not grow up in an “everything in its place” household. So I am comfortable if there are a few dishes on the counter or a coat is thrown over a chair. I don’t have a problem if a magazine adorns the floor or a table. My house isn’t a disaster but it is kind of messy from time to time. I spent a lot of years trying for perfection only to be frustrated and not content. I have the same philosophy in the kitchen.

Recently, I was making a new salad to take to Bible study. It contained shredded coleslaw, shredded carrots and chopped green onions, raisins, cranberries, grapes and strawberries topped with a mixture of mayo, sour cream and strawberry vinaigrette. It was a simple recipe.

I got my little Cuisinart chopper out and put the carrots in the bowl and shredded them. I then dumped them into a bigger bowl and continued on with the onions, adding them to the carrots.

It was a little messy and a few shreds dropped to the counter. I then added the shredded coleslaw to the mix. Some of the coleslaw decided to mix with the counter and floor.

I happily proceeded on to add the raisins and the cranberries flipping the boxes and the bags happily. Some of that decided to visit the floor and the counter, too. Then it came time to mix the sour cream and the mayo and the vinaigrette. I popped them into my Cuisinart and pumped it on high. Did I mention the latch is broken so I have to hold it down before it will blend? It was a little bowl with a lot of mixture. It was so cute dripping onto the counter.

I then added that to the rest of the mixture along with the rest of the ingredients. Then I had to mix it. I have a hearty mixing arm and the bowl overflowed. I was having so much fun. Dirty utensils started building up on the counter, too. I was happily creating a new concoction and the mess didn’t bother me.

I thought I should take a picture and post it on my blog, but I didn’t. I didn’t want readers to be horrified. It was the perfect colorful mess, and I had such fun creating it.

That is why I think I should have a cooking show. I don’t really like to cook, but when I do I have a lot of fun especially creating a mess. It is part of being creative.

When is the last time you have seen a messy cook show where everything is not perfect? I could relate to a show like that. The perfect cooking show where everything turns out perfect makes me nervous because I could never create a dish without a mistake or a mess.

No, I am not a Martha Stewart or a Julia Child. I break the yolks when I fry eggs. I burn my vegetables. I substitute weird ingredients when I don’t have something on hand. I don’t worry about measuring correctly. My daughters-in-law keep giving me timers, and my husband keeps setting them for me, but I still like the eagle-eye baking method.

When we had Sam, he loved it when I creatively cooked. He would clean up my floor for me. Since I don’t have Sam to eat my floor concoction, I do have to clean up after myself when the creativity is all over with. I can live with that because of the relaxation the not being perfect gives me.

The strange thing about it is that no matter how strange my creations look and how much of a mess I make making them, people seem to still eat my creations. The exception probably is the burned vegetables. I don’t know what that says about me as a cook. It could be more about what it says about the eater and their choice of trust in the food maker. Is their trust misplaced? I will never tell you.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at