Do you TOLERATE the kitchen because that’s where the microwave lives? I come from a beautiful, black, Southern family that doesn’t just cook: many of them THROW DOWN in the kitchen. (Uncle George’s famous pot of Turnip Greens swimming in greasy Pot Liquor) My New Orleans Aunts and Uncles and 1st Cousins and their infinite variations on the family Gumbo recipe. Me? I don’t even know what’s in gumbo. I was grown-ass before I learned what “Pot Liquor” is. I assumed based on my upbringing, it was actually Liquor. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I’ve proven myself to most-likely to BURN DOWN the kitchen rather than TROW DOWN. It’s no surprise, then, that my services are seldom requested in the Microwave Room anymore. My Sisters, before you cook or burn again with ADHD, consider this: I once felt guilty & shame when my elders sternly warned me that if I didn’t learn to cook I’d starve and never get a Man. Well, guess what Great Aunt Ella? I haven’t starved and furthermore, I Don’t have a Man. So THERE! (Wait, one of those is Not a win.) Anyway, my ministry in this post is that some of us with ADHD brains are sincerely and frustratingly kitchen-challenged. With our notoriously short-term memory and easily distracted attention spans, we might forget about that pot on the stove, that skillet in the oven, or that mug full of cold coffee still sitting on the Keurig from this morning. I do all of the above almost every time I dare to turn on the stovetop. Does anyone else here burn water? Just me?
On Thanksgiving Day, I was eager to treat myself to a microwavable Amy’s Mac and Cheese bowl. After all, COVID was forcing me (along with all other sensible humans) to spend Thanksgiving alone. I deserved that Mac and Cheese, and Amy’s is FIRE! I timed my treat between Family Zoom reunions and around 3pm or so, I shoved Amy into the microwave. At approximately 9: 30 pm or so, I was exhausted and ready for bed, but my cup of tea had grown cold. So, I went to the Microwave Room to warm it up. You know where this is going: I opened the microwave door…and there was a white BABY DOLL HEAD in my microwave! Coincidentally, named, Amy!! Just joking. Testing to see if you’re actually reading this. If so, please don’t report me for poor taste. My Amy’s Mac & Cheese bowl was still there, six hours later, forgotten about, looking traumatized because she was surrounded by the crime scene-like splatter of long-ago over-heated baby doll heads, I mean, red sauces. I’m so sorry, Amy. To avoid adding insult to injury by double-zapping her, I ate Amy’s Mac & Cheese, cold. Then I ran around the block twice to work it off. Kidding, I went to bed wondering if Amy was going to thumb the scale in the morning.
Meal preparation-the shopping and chopping and organizing and pre-heating gives me ANXIETY. Just THINKING about it is overwhelming. Makes me give thanks for the crockpot, the microwave, the George Foreman grill, and an Air Fryer that I don’t have the budget for yet. I’m putting that into the Universe. Money. Air Fryer. You listening, Universe? AKA, God? See how distracted I got just now. Back to food prep anxiety: Ironically, the anxiety is lessened if I’m cooking for someone I like very much, other than myself…but it’s no less taxing on my limited executive functions. Cooking requires waiting. I hate waiting for anything. Meal preparation requires PLANNING AHEAD, which is a notorious ADHD challenge. And then there’s the impulsivity. SUDDENLY out of NOWHERE, I actually WANT to cook but I haven’t thought beyond that moment. So now, on a whim, I’m throwing together whatever I have in the cupboards & fridge to see what happens.
And that’s what THIS video is all about! I thought I was scrambling eggs. But through some crazy alchemy, eggs cooked with a vegan-beef crumple substitute turned into a version of Sloppy Joe’s. Is it possible I discovered NOTHING NEW because perhaps, that’s how you actually make Sloppy Joe’s? I don’t know, nor will I look it up. I prefer to think I’ve invented something or else the hours I spent on creating this post will have been for naught. LOL
What I am saying though, even if I did discover the ACTUAL recipe for Sloppy Joe’s by accident, that’s still confidence-building. We gain confidence in our ability to take care of ourselves with the small, everyday victories over our known challenges. We are POWERFUL Black Women, Brown Women, and WOC BECAUSE of, not IN SPITE of our ADHD. I have learned to appreciate the strengths of the ingenuity and industriousness of my significant coping skills forged from ADHD challenges. So I’m posting this to encourage you to take whatever you’ve got lying around, be it random spices and foodstuff or some unused spiritual gifts given to you that, on the surface may appear to be disparate, but if you sort things out, you might realize that the ugly, unrecognizable thing in the skillet could be the most uniquely, accidentally amazing & delicious dish no one’s ever heard of, YET.