Learning To Cook

7 May

If you’re anything like me, you have Italian mother who finds it disgraceful that you can’t cook. Perhaps she even tries to teach you, but you get lost while chasing her around the kitchen as she creates edible masterpieces without recipes and, amidst the confusion, you can’t help but think of the days when she was the one chasing you around the kitchen, but with a wooden spoon (you naughty, naughty thing, you). Maybe your older, popular, more successful, better looking brother is also a good cook and they both look down on you as you microwave hot dogs and put them on questionable buns.

My new roommate Jaime is also pretty clueless in this area, but we wanted to cook for our dudes. Like, we didn’t even know how to season and cook a good steak or properly boil potatoes to make mashed potatoes from scratch. Sure, we could have looked at recipes, but I’ve often found that this doesn’t work for me and that my timing is all off.

This, my friends, is where Adryon of Adryon’s Kitchen came to our rescue. She told us what to get and then came over and instructed us on how to make kitchen magic.



Look, Jaime’s happy to be making some magical caramelized onions


Adryon will go to your house and teach you to use your own kitchen and bring some tools if necessary. You do the work so you actually learn something while she supervises and teaches you all the little tricks that recipes leave out. She is witty and really down to earth about it, too, making the experience less overwhelming. I think my favorite thing to learn was the salad dressing I made from scratch.

The potatoes were fun, too, but next time I’ll try not to be so jazzed about eating them that I sprain my wrist while mashing and stirring in a maniacal frenzy.

Whatever. They were worth it.

It was a busy couple of hours (with a break or two to watch cute proposal videos and cry while wearing aprons and drinking vodka…a sign that I am growing into a fine woman, indeed). I gained some confidence in the kitchen and it felt good to make an entire meal. Everything was delicious.

I would like for her to come back and show me more and she mentioned that we could do anything from one-on-one lessons to cooking for a dinner party. I kind of want to keep her.

She will do this with you, too, regardless of what cooking level you’re on, so Baltimore and surrounding area people should check out her blog adryonskitchen.com and give her a shout at adryonskitchen@gmail.com. It will make your disappointed mother proud and your boyfriend, girlfriend or dinner party happy (especially if you’d normally be serving hot dogs, otherwise). Out of town folks should still check out her recipes!

Also, side note, I’m still waiting for the update on when my episode of Katie Couric will air, so hold your horses.



59 Responses to “Learning To Cook”

  1. Carrie Rubin May 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    You will be a master of your kitchen in no time. I didn’t start cooking until I had my kids (REAL cooking anyway; not making tacos and spaghetti with store-bought sauce). I had to teach myself, and it was trial and error, but now I love to cook, and my family loves to eat what I make which is always a good sign!


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      AND they love to eat it? This makes me feel good as tacos and spaghetti are kind of the specialities of mine right now…so things are looking up!


      • Carrie Rubin May 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

        You’ve got plenty of time before the pressure is on you to produce more than the basics. On the other hand, you don’t have to do it at all if you don’t like. Nowhere on those XX chromosomes does it say we have to cook…


  2. Jen and Tonic May 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I LOVE cooking! There are few things that are both frustrating and relaxing the way cooking is. You’ll have to share some of your on-your-own creations in the future.


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      I will! I hope to love cooking very, very soon.


  3. Kevin Gillespie May 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I’ve just tried visiting the Bloglink in question

    There is no such page?????


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      Weird, it works just fine for me.


  4. Kevin Gillespie May 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Correction – There IS such a Page.

    It just WON’T let me ‘Follow’ the Blog. 😦


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      Oh, I’ll have to tell her! Thanks.


    • Adryon Montgomery Bapisteller May 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Kevin –

      Thanks for wanting to follow me – that’s awesome. I do have an option to have the posts emailed directly to you at the top left along with other ways to track posts.

      Looks like La La has a fancy WP follow widget guy on her blog (which makes more sense!) I’ll take a look at my back end (wait, what) and see what I can add to make it more user friendly!


      • La La May 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

        Adryon said “back end”…teeee heeee. See? She’s funny.


      • Kevin Gillespie May 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        Hi Adryon.

        No problem. Anything Food – related has my INSTANT Attention. :).

        Ah, Thank You, MUCH Appreciated. :).

        If ONLY I wasn’t the Technophobe that I see myself as. 😦


  5. Bill McMorrow May 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I’ve been known to use hot dog rolls of very questionable lineage. But
    they make antibiotics out of mold, so they’re like prescription hot dogs. Or Doctor Dogs, if you will. Oh, you won’t? That’s okay, I don’t blame you.


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Bill, who am I kidding? I will. I’m not even ashamed.


  6. Madame Weebles May 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    As someone else with an Italian mother, I’m surprised you managed to not learn to cook all this time. How did you do that? In any case, I have faith in you—your genetics alone mean that you’ll be a great cook. The trick is not to take it too seriously. And when all else fails, just serve up whatever slop you’ve cooked wearing an apron and nothing else. Your man won’t care what the food tastes like. It’s a tip that has held me in good stead.


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      As you can imagine, the passive agressive comments regarding my cooking abilities, among other things, are endless. I think it’s because I over-think EVERYTHING and have a hard time picturing what I’m supposed to be doing. Sounds dumb, I know.

      You know what? I have every intention of doing that apron thing regardless because it sounds sexy…just not for the dinner party. Okay, maybe for the dinner party. We’ll see.


      • Madame Weebles May 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        I understand this. It’s crippling, the comments. Ignore the thoughts and just imagine throwing boiling oil at her. It helps, trust me.


        • La La May 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

          This will make things so much easier!


  7. pivoine68 May 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    La…I don’t mean to burst your bubble or anything but really, becoming a great cook is not all that it’s cracked up to be. For now, you have no holiday cooking obligations. Probably no one even expects you to invite them over for hot dogs. You already RULE in so many other, more gratifying ways…don’t do this to yourself! It’s HELL! 🙂



    • La La May 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Oh my god, you’re a fucking genius….


  8. The Bumble Files May 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    So happy to hear your dinner was a big success! That sounds like fun and a what a great idea to have someone to help out with cooking and sharing secrets and tips. I usually give it my best shot, and it’s trial and error cooking. Sometimes I hit it, and sometimes it’s a flop. Usually because I have such picky little eaters, I play it on the safe side. I’ll be checking out her recipes.


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      Yay, thanks for checking it out. I can’t even imagine cooking for a family!!


  9. twindaddy May 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Were there any outtakes, a la Mrs. Doubtfire? Did you catch your boobs on fire over the stove? Nothing funny happened?


    • Jaime'san May 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      Well, let’s see here, twindaddy. I botched my curtsey when I was serving our dudes the appetizer. Almost face planted in what they were about to eat up on. Luckily, I’m equipped with mad cat-like reflexes and loads of ninjaness.


      • twindaddy May 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

        I guess that’ll do.


        • La La May 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

          If I had caught my boobs on fire, this would have been more of a warning post, I’d say. I can gracefully say nothing embarrassing happened…to me at least. Roomie has me beat.


  10. Kevin Gillespie May 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    To Adyron. – I have just described to a ‘Reader’, but have only been able to do that for now. :(.

    Would regularly visiting your Blog Page, be the way to ‘keep up’ with new Posts please?. 🙂


  11. Kevin Gillespie May 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    To La La – Apologies for ‘cross – posting’. 😦


  12. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher May 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I love to cook – and what an awesome idea! I had one of those Moms and Grandmothers –

    I never thought of going to someone’s house to teach them to make mashed pots! FOR MONEY! FOR MONEY!


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      Exactly, she wants to make it her career. It’s such a great idea!


  13. Katie May 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    I have no idea how to cook. I can bake some decent desserts. My rule with cooking is to season with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and hope for the best.

    It works out okay. My botfriend’s the top chef in the relationship anyway.


    • La La May 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      That’s how I made things! Spice it up, they’ll never know! 😉


  14. becca3416 May 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Let me come cook y’all some southern comfort food with lots of butter and cornbread! And by southern comfort food, I do mean drinking our dinner.


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      I actually busted out laughing when reading this. Becca, I really want to come drink my dinner with you.


  15. Viciously Sweet May 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    I’m trying to learn how to cook too. All I can basically make is a salad and noodles.
    Maybe I should put on my apron and try to make something tonight instead of eating cottage cheese and strawberries!


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Actually…cottage cheese and strawberries sounds REALLY good.


  16. Monk Monkey May 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Please post the recipe for magical onions. I want eat theat nyow.


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      It’s easy! Just put onions in a pan on medium heat with oil, butter and fairy dust.


  17. Lori D May 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Hey Lauren, sounds great to have a step by step instructor. In my short story anthology there is a story dedicated to how I learned to cook. I start out by saying that when I got married, I called my mom to find out how to know when water was boiling! And, of course, you know I’m Italian, and nothing but Italian. Personally, I believe that if you have a sensitive pallet to taste, then you can learn how to cook. IOW, since I love to stuff my pie hole, I was able to learn how to cook for it too. 🙂 Keep up the good work with Adryan. You’re cookin’ now, baby.


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      You know what? That story restores my faith in everything because I KNOW that you can cook. Your recipes tempt me regularly, but fear tends to get in my way.


  18. David Stewart May 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    That’s a great idea, going to people’s houses to show them how to cook. I can only cook for myself, but luckily I have very low standards, so it’s okay.


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Well, David, before I had a boyfriend I lived that way as well and as it turned out, boys don’t like to just eat a bag of popcorn for dinner, which happens to be a regular meal of mine. 😉


      • David Stewart May 9, 2013 at 3:49 am #

        Nothing wrong with popcorn. It’s got essential salts and oils, right? 🙂


  19. The Waiting May 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    You’re going to be making duck a l’orange in no time. Then they’ll have you back on Katie Couric to demonstrate your skillz.


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Girl, I’m gonna be a regular on that show, just you wait!


  20. ridicuryder May 8, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    Oh, La La,

    Charm City baby…..Charm City.



  21. purplemary54 May 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I learned how to cook by learning how to make one thing that didn’t come in a box with directions. It took a couple of years, but eventually I began branching out and trying new recipes. One tip I heard from my aunt: always try a recipe the way it’s written once; then feel free to improvise with it.


    • La La May 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      This is a sensible approach that sounds like it’s right up my alley!


  22. Not Quite Alice May 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Yay! I love cooking. It makes me happy, can take me to that wonderful land of no problems, being in control, and being a scientist!


  23. calahan May 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    From my Italian grandmother, I learned how to make sauces, cannoli, all sorts of things. From my Italian mother, I learned to throw Ragu onto an English muffin, add a chunk of Velveeta, then toss it in the microwave. Cooking abilities aren’t hereditary, by any means.


    • La La May 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      It sounds like your mother and I have similar interests.


      • calahan May 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

        Hopefully, you have a better choice in men.


  24. Andrew May 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    I love wearing aprons and drinking vodka!


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