Hello. My name is Emery Clark and I’m… a really bad cook.
Food is not my forté. I’ve slowly come to grips with this reality about myself, but it hasn’t been easy. After years of feeling sub-par due to my lack of culinary skills, after years of crying over burnt **insert the name of absolutely ANY food you can possibly think of here**, I’ve finally come to accept this personal truth. Hey listen… I’m a smart, capable gal! I can think quickly on my feet and build LEGO sets that have 112 pages of instructions! I can let ideas and words and melodies simmer on low for days until they melt together into something palatable! I can decorate a table somethin’ fierce! But, if you ask me to apply controlled heat to some thin strips of meat that came from a pig, you might as well ask me to just turn on all the smoke alarms in my house and cry. Because that’s what cooking bacon looks like in my head.
I don’t enjoy cooking. I feel trapped in a kitchen… like I’m missing out on things. This is terribly un-domestic of me. I understand, but there it is. It feels a bit like the ‘chicken or the egg’ argument at this point. Do I dislike cooking because I’ve never become good at it? Or have I never become good at it because I SO VERY MUCH DISLIKE IT? Either way, where exactly is dinner?
I blame The Jetsons. Do you remember their kitchen? It consisted of a box that miraculously spit out whatever food you wanted when you pressed a button. I remember praying that it would be so during my lifetime. Perhaps it still will be, God be praised. I’ve heard they are printing out bone and organ transplants now on 3D printers. Surely tacos can’t be far behind?
Despite my inherent lack of cooking skills, I truly do look forward to Thanksgiving every single year. At this point, my family generally just asks me to bring the rolls, preferably the already cooked and packaged kind from the store because, well, they know me. They’ve tasted and seen. Sometimes I like to be really adventurous and grab the canned cranberry sauce as well. I’ve even been known to make the green bean casserole on occasion! (Open can one, dump. Open can two, dump. Stir. Open can three, dump. Make warm. Ta-da!) The reason I love Thanksgiving really has nothing to do with all the food, obviously. It’s the wonderful coming together of it that I love the most. Joyce brings pies. Papa & Chris do the turkey. Everyone brings drinks to share and side dishes to pass around. Emery brings the pre-prepared, non-burnt bag of rolls. Grandma brings the world famous stuffing. We ALL bring something unique, we sit down around a table, and we share. I think this is just one of the most beautiful pictures of life as a whole that I can think of, one that we could really use to focus on this year especially.
So, bring what you’ve got, gather up close and pass it around. Throw your head back and laugh. Eat too much pie! The scattered pieces make a whole. The different flavors make the meal worth eating. The coming together is what fills us up, and we are reminded once again of all that we have to be thankful for.