Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

Woman vs. Kitchen: A New Venture


One time, I set a kitchen­­­ towel on fire while making pasta.

Yes, pasta. The easiest food in culinary history (besides Pop-tarts).

Boil water.
Add pasta.
Pour out water.

Somewhere in there I managed to drag a totally unnecessary kitchen towel over a burner and LEAVE IT THERE LONG ENOUGH for it to catch on fire. ­­­­ To my everlasting shame, there were three witnesses.

“Hate” is not a strong enough word to describe the way I feel about cooking.

Loathe, detest, abhor – all are too tame to describe the feeling I get inside when it’s 4:00pm and I need a dinner plan.  Or when it’s 4:00pm and I HAVE a dinner plan which means I have to spend precious, valuable moments of my life dicing things.

Here is a short list of things I’d rather do than cook:­­

  • Vacuum, dust, mop, fold laundry
  • Scrub toilets
  • Change diapers
  • Go to the dentist (for a root canal)
  • Go to the doctor (to get weighed, or to get shots.  Or to get weighed AND get shots.)
  • Balance my checkbook
  • Watch Thomas the Train for the FIVE MILLIONTH TIME
  • Run

I have a friend who watches Julie & Julia every single month and swoons when Julie says,

“I love that after a day when nothing is sure… you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.” [Julie & Julia]

My friend ACTUALLY gets teary-eyed.  (It is a wonder our friendship has lasted this long.)

Let me be clear: mixing egg yolks is NOT A COMFORT.  Chinese take-out is a comfort.

I know I can’t be the only one.  I can’t be the only person who decides what’s for dinner based on how many dishes it will require me to wash.

I cannot be the only one who searches through online recipe databases and thinks:

“Brown the meat…”  Nope, not that one!
“Mince 4 cloves fresh garlic…” Not happening!
“1 Tablespoon coconut oil…”  HA HA HA!  Next!

My cooking aversion boils down to a very basic business principle:  There is simply not a high enough return on investment.  If I’m going to plan a meal, buy the ingredients, thaw meat, dice and sautée veggies – if I’m going to mix, drain, and simmer things – if I’m going to pre-heat and tinfoil and bake things – if I’m going to wash cutting boards, knives, pots, pans, mixing bowls, plates and silverware then FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, it had better be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.  It should be rapturous, because otherwise, I’d like my two hours and my clean kitchen back please.

But because I have not won any lotteries lately (which would afford me the privilege of hiring a personal chef) I have to cook.  As such, I’ve developed a loaded arsenal of recipes and coping mechanisms that work for me – that work for my family.  Over the next several months, I’ll be sharing my secret arsenal on a sweet blogging community called Fancy Little Things, for those of you who, like me, are just trying not to throw temper tantrums in the kitchen.

Here is what you can expect to find there.

  • Humor.  At least if you consider the mental image of a grown woman waving a flaming kitchen towel over her head and shouting “Fire!  Fire!  Fire!” funny.
  • Health.  I don’t care for processed foods, AND I’ve got 3 kids’ worth of baby weight to kick, so any recipe that we rely on regularly will have at least a moderate amount of nutritional value.
  • Simplicity.  You will recognize the names of every single ingredient and know where to find them in a grocery store.  You will not have to let anything refrigerate overnight or marinate – at all.  You will not have to make your own sauces out of ¼ tsp. of 12 different spices.  Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.
  • Deliciousness.  Because I want cooking to be WORTH IT, I don’t do bland.  And the meals in my rotation have received the picky-child-stamp of approval.
  • Dish Count.  At the end of every post, I’ll tell you exactly how many dishes you’ll have to wash.  This is deal-maker/deal-breaker information, I know.

And I promise that if I set anything else on fire, I’ll get my husband to snap a picture with his right hand as he wields the fire extinguisher with his left.  He’s got skills.

My segment on Fancy Little Things will be called Woman vs. Kitchen, and my first post/recipe goes up on December 15th.

I hope you’ll read, participate, and share along with me for the next couple of months.  We’ll be like a team.  No, A BATTALION!  A battalion of people surviving the kitchen and swapping hilarious pictures of flaming towels (and chickens and casseroles and crock-pots) along the way.

 (In the meantime, Fancy Little Things has a huge variety of blog features in addition to community groups and a small business/blogging directory.  There is style, photography, gluten-free cooking, DIYs, a marriage segment, and a faith segment, among others.  Basically all the delightful domesticity you don’t find here.  If that sounds like your cup of tea, you should go check it out!)

  • April

    Will you be letting us know here when you make a post there?

    • Kate Conner

      Yes! I will include a link here on the weeks that I post a Woman vs. Kitchen recipe/experience/triumph/disaster! I will also Facebook and Tweet links to every post on the day it goes up, so following me on Facebook and Twitter are the fastest ways to get the links. :)

  • katieabowman

    I hate cooking. I always ask Adam “but I am good at other things right?” I guess he knew what he was getting into when he married me :)

    • Kate Conner

      Exactly. I have the kitchen magnet that says “I kiss better than I cook.” Thank God. Otherwise Dan would be in SERIOUS trouble.

  • Louise

    Do I, per chance, know the name of the Julie & Julia weeper??

    • Kate Conner

      Ha ha ha, YES!

  • Lauren Bickerstaff

    Love that I know exactly who tears up at Julie & Julia. I, too, am a cooking sap. It’s how my Mother taught me to nurture and love, and how I was loved quite tangibly by all (collective) three of my parents. Actually trying to write about the influence of that and music right now. But, girl. It’s a royal pain in the butt sometimes. :) And the DISHES. Oof.

    • Kate Conner

      I can’t wait to read that, whenever it comes to fruition. :) Maybe when all these little helping hands get old enough to wash dishes I’ll give it another go. :)

  • Danielle

    Oh Kate! I love it. I’m so looking forward to this series over at FLT. As much for the laughs you provide as for the recipes!

    • Kate Conner

      I’m excited too!

  • Jennifer Hanke

    if it’s any consolation, I set myself on fire making spaghetti. I hate gas stoves…

    • Kate Conner

      I’m sure I would poison my family with carbon monoxide if I ever had to use a gas stove. Or blow us up.

  • Angela Mills

    I love cooking, but I’m always looking for new, simple recipes for those busy weeks when cooking is less than enjoyable. Looking forward to your “Woman vs. Kitchen” posts. I’m mostly hoping they’re easy enough for my non-cooking husband to try! My new job requires me to work later than usual, so I’m trying to find some good beginner recipes for him!

    • Kate Conner

      Ha ha ha! This will be perfect then, if I can do it, he can do it! I’ve got beginner recipes DOWN! :)

  • Billie

    Hi Kate,
    I love to cook but I also loved this post. As I was laughing at your stories here, I was amazed by God’s creativity. He created you who strongly dislikes cooking and also created ladies who do cooking as a ministry. Then there are people who can’t stand writing and being on the internet and you have a blog that is clearly a ministry to others. It’s just awesome how God gave us gifts and how we use them. And after I thought these things, I read your blog again and laughed some more. :-)

    Happy Wednesday!

  • Cindy_Warren

    Kate, if I recall correctly, the Alfredo was delicious…and the pre-dinner fire show was delightful as well :-)

  • Kristen Nelson

    This is hilarious and i can sooo… relate! I set my pot holders on fire while basting a turkey on Thanksgiving (while I was still wearing them!) :)

    • Kate Conner

      Kristen – that makes me so happy!

  • EchoCafe

    I. am. dying LOL You crack me up, and totally I’ve set a towel on fire once. I’m blessed to be in good company :) Cannot even contain my excitement over your dishcount at the end of each post; BRILLIANT!!

  • Aimee Steckowski

    i adore you. seriously. adore. i am grateful. excited. uber-stoked. cannot WAIT for 12/15.

  • Candace Barshaw

    Super excited for your series on FLT! I love to cook, but I so appreciate the fast, the easy, and family approved! Can’t wait to see your first post!

  • MQ

    Nope, you’re not the only one.