I am really thrilled to be writing this sponsored post for Collective Bias and its client NickMom. Watching the funny videos and posts on NickMom.com has inspired me to let all of my readers in on a little secret. Yes it’s time to tell everyone the truth about my cooking skills. I just hope you will still come back and read my recipes after this.
If you have read my blog before you know I love getting creative in the kitchen and coming up with interesting and original recipes. What you don’t know is that all of that is to make up for a childhood devoid of warm and fuzzy family memories in the kitchen. People who cook usually have fond memories of the family cooking together. Me … not so much. I come from a long line of women who can’t cook, but most importantly who never wanted to learn.
By the time I entered my teens it dawned on me that other mothers cooked and to my surprise and sheer terror I realized not only that most of my friends could cook but that guys actually liked girls that cooked. So I gave cooking a try starting with simple stuff like you know popcorn and boxed brownies but my kitchen would have none of that. So the brownies burned, the popcorn burned and soon the word got out that Paula would burn the melted butter when she made popcorn (in my defense burning butter is pretty easy!!). I decided maybe my mom and grandmother where right and the kitchen was just not a place for the women in our family. After a few more tries including making a green cake that got my whole family sick and burning my boyfriend’s kitchen when I was 25 I pretty much gave up and embraced a life of eating out!
Fast forward to my thirties. I move to the US with my husband (not the guy who’s kitchen I burned but a guy who until now had no idea of my dark past in the kitchen). Suddenly I had no choice but to cook! After the initial shock I came to an amazing realization. I actually LOVE to cook! I have no idea if this was all a way to rebel againt my parents or not but now that I think of it it’s funny that my brother is a chef: that’s two out of three siblings who make a living cooking … anyway I digress. So when my first Thanksgiving in the US came along I was ready to make it epic. By that time I could even follow a recipe and this was my chance to prove it. No one knew my past here, I am Latina and people assumed I was born knowing how to cook and knowing how to dance salsa (that I still can’t do!). But I had to make it special, no regular turkey in my home, it had to have a Latino touch. Yes this whole bit about everything having a Latino touch is to make up for the fact that in Guatemala I was teased for being too americanized, have absolutely no hips, can’t dance and had to add my husband’s last name to my name so I would sound Latina in paper (otherwise I would have totally just kept my last name, and yes my husband is aware of this).
I researched and studied and watched youtube videos and when the big day came I was ready. I was hosting Thanksgiving! My mole turkey was in the oven and my starfruit cranberry sauce was almost ready. Heck even my eggnog arroz con leche and cranberry parfaits where looking good. It didn’t matter that my kids would eat none of it, I had something to prove here. The time finally came. I was alone in the kitchen and got the bird out of the oven, I paused and removed the foil to uncover …. a black turkey. I felt like I got hit with a ton of bricks and as my thoughts spiraled downward at a very fast pace I couldn’t help but think of how I was a total failure and my kids did not deserve me. I snapped out of it and tried to remain positive. Maybe it wasn’t that burned … so I served it and everyone was supportive. We carved it in the kitchen and before anyone sat down I tasted it and it was dry as cardboard and basically inedible. I thought no one was looking but my cousin saw my face and as he started laughing and snorting a piece of gum came flying out of his mouth and landed on the turkey. At this point everyone noticed and we where all laughing so hard a couple of people had to rush to the bathroom to avert an accident. Luckily there was enough food and we just didn’t have turkey that Thanksgiving. Needless to say Thanksgivings are not hosted at my place anymore. I have an image to maintain, I create recipes for a living!
Last year we just decided to eat out on Thanksgiving and yes I am not afraid to say it, it was the perfect Thanksgiving. I didn’t spend all day cooking and stressed, there was nothing to clean up and my little guy was able to order chicken nuggets and he was happy! This year we might go out again or maybe we’ll just make the now world famous turkey pizza for Thanksgiving. If you haven’t checked it out you must, so run along now and see this amazing turkey pizza for yourselves. And for those of you who think that we’re missing out on all that wonderful Thanksgiving food you’re wrong. I have been cooking Thanksgiving food for months so I can share the recipes with all my readers and we have gotten to enjoy the food without the stress!
Disclosure: Although I can not cook a turkey (yet) the rest of my recipes are really awesome! I’m thankful to Collective Bias and NickMom for paying me to write this post so I could use that as an excuse to let you in on my little secret. Do you have a dark secret? 😉