So instead of merely dissing all of the cooks I know, I feel I should humble myself a bit and reveal some horrible kitchen mistakes I have made. I offer these to you in humility, so that you will know I was once where you are now. And that I am not perfect. Well, I wasn't perfect then, but now I am pretty darn close. At least in the kitchen.
1. Peanut butter rice pudding. It sounded good. I had all of the ingredients. I was having company and needed a dessert that I didn't have to go out and spend a lot of money on, because I was newlywed and poor. I had never made it before I served it to my guests. It was a disaster. Utterly. I served it up and took a bite. Horrible!!!! My guests didn't even feign politeness, they took a bite and didn't eat any more, either.
2. Brie tart. Another dinner guest debacle. I found some recipe in Bon Appetit and it sounded good. Too bad it wasn't good. It was bland. It was supposed to be an appetizer, but apparently my guest thought it was a dessert I was serving before dinner and said it needed more sugar. Maybe it did, since it didn't have any, it was a friggin' appetizer.
3. Garlic bread. I burn it with regularity. Drives my hubby insane.
I have countless (well, maybe not countless. Maybe a few.) other failures in the kitchen. The point is you have to be willing to fail in the kitchen. You have to take risks. Find a recipe you've never tried (maybe you don't want to try something new for guests. But that has never stopped me. I almost always make something new when I have guests). You will never serve interesting food if you are unwilling to make a mistake or two. Just like you can't succeed at anything in life if you are unwilling to first fail. We all learn from our mistakes. Even me. Ultimately, my much maligned friend Laura CAN become a good cook because she tries to improve and she is not afraid to serve something which didn't quite turn out the way she expected. And she has me to tell her when she screws up.