I may be a magician at making fajitas, but that doesn’t mean that I can complete the task without injuring myself. You don’t have to be awesomely smooth at something to be awesome at it. The smooth part, that’s just a bonus.
I hurt myself almost every time I cook anything. I have butter hands. I drop things a lot. A few weeks ago when I was making fajitas (I guess I make those a lot?) for Sarah1′s pseudo-family reunion, I dropped her biggest butcher knife four times in a row. Each time, I was able to launch myself out of harms way, but each time it was a little too close for comfort. I like my toes, and I’d like to keep all of them. I should practice holding stuff. And I know that we’ve talked about how I tend to burn myself more frequently than I would like to admit. Sometimes the burns aren’t even the kind that you get from touching hot things. Sometimes the burns are the kind that make you want to rip your nose off of your body because you just chopped up a lot of jalapenos and then shoved your jalapeno-oil laden fingers all up in your nostrils like an idiot. Hell, one time I burned myself by rocketing a stream of 180 degree water from a high pressure hose into a steep-sided bowl at the exact angle necessary to redirect the scalding-hot stream of water into my eyeball. That particular burn left me wearing a pirate mask for a few days and worrying about going blind. It was a riot. Needless to say, at any given moment, I have at least one or two fresh flesh wounds that I gave myself in the kitchen. I have failed in my attempts to change my ways, so now, I’m just dealing with it.
Given my track record, I’m sure you’ll be surprised when I tell you that I did not injure myself while I was making dinner for Zack’s party this weekend. I somehow survived the entire large-scale operation which included chopping things (danger!) and grilling things (danger!) and handling peppers (danger!). I never even dropped a knife. I was a well-oiled machine. I was Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay. I was Gordon Ramsey on a good night, when he’s being uncannily nice. Iron chefs, eat your hearts out. With SPOONS. Because I CAN COOK THINGS, AND I CAN DO IT WITHOUT CAUSING MYSELF SEVERE PAIN.
But these things aren’t the kind of things that you notice while you’re immersed in the task at hand. I didn’t stop after every grill rotation and celebrate the fact that I hadn’t absent-mindedly injured myself. I just moved along. Kept cooking. Kept chopping. Kept handling peppers and not touching my face right afterward.
These things are, instead, the kinds of things that you notice retrospectively. Like, for instance, when you’re digging through the bags of random kitchen appliances and random dried goods that you brought home from your husband’s party and you forcefully jam your thumb into the razor-sharp serrated blade of your like-new food processor whilst looking for a bottle of wine. That might be the moment when you take pause to consider how you had actually survived cooking an entire meal without any major health hazards, and how great that was while it lasted. But that moment of reflection can’t last too long, because you need go find your (not-at-all-surprised) husband so he can dig the bandaging supplies out of the first-aid cabinet while you continue to apply direct and firm pressure to the massive gash in your thumb. (Just like you did last time you made dinner.)