Do you TOLERATE the kitchen because that’s where the microwave lives? My family is a beautiful, black Southern family. They don’t just cook, they also throw down in the kitchen. (Uncle George’s famous pot full of Turnip Greens in greasy Pot Liquor.) My New Orleans aunts and uncles, and my 1st Cousins with all their variations on the family Gumbo recipe. Me? I don’t know what gumbo is. Before I knew what Pot Liquor was, I was a grown-up. Based on my upbringing, I thought it was Liquor. I was mistaken. I have proven that I prefer to BURN DOWN than TROW DOWN the kitchen. My services are rarely requested anymore in the Microwave Room. Before you burn or cook again with ADHD, my Sisters, I remember feeling guilty and shameful when my elders warned me that I would starve if I didn’t learn how to cook. Guess what, Great Aunt Ella! I haven’t been starving and I don’t have a man. SO, IT IS! (Wait! One of these is not a win. My point is that ADHD brains can be frustratingly and sincerely kitchen-challenged. We might forget to put the kettle on, the skillet in the oven or the mug of coffee we have on our Keurigs this morning due to our short-term memory and easily distracted attention spans. I do all the above almost every time that I turn on the stovetop. Is there anyone else who likes to drink water? Only me?
I wanted to treat myself to a Microwavable Amy’s Mac and Cheese Bowl on Thanksgiving Day. COVID had forced me, along with all sensible people, to spend Thanksgiving alone. Amy’s Mac and Cheese was FIRE, and I deserve it! I timed Amy’s treat between Family Zoom reunions, and at around 3:00pm I put her in the microwave. My cup of tea was cold and I was ready to go to bed at 9: 30. I decided to heat my cup of tea in the Microwave Room. This is where it gets interesting: I opened my microwave door to find a white baby doll head in my microwave. Coincidentally, named, Amy!! Joking. To test if you are actually reading this. If you are, don’t report me. Six hours later, Amy’s Mac & cheese bowl was still there. She looked traumatized by being surrounded by red sauces, a crime scene-like splatter from long-ago, over-heated doll heads. Amy, I am so sorry. To prevent adding insult to injury, I double-zapped Amy’s Mac & Cheese. To work it off, I ran twice around the block. Kidding, I went to sleep wondering if Amy would weigh herself in the morning.
Preparing meals is a stressful task. I find it overwhelming to do the shopping, chopping, organizing and preheating. It is overwhelming just to think about it. It makes me thankful for the crockpot and microwave, George Foreman grill, the George Foreman grill, the George Foreman grill, as well as an Air Fryer, which I don’t yet have the funds for. That money is going to the Universe. Money. Air Fryer. You listening, Universe? AKA, God? You can see how distracted I was just now. To return to my food prep anxiety: Ironically, I feel less anxious if I cook for someone I love, but it is still taxing on my limited executive functions. Waiting is a part of cooking. Waiting for anything is something I loathe. Preparing meals requires planning ahead, which is a well-known ADHD problem. Then there is the impulsivity. I suddenly realized that I really WANT to cook, but haven’t had the time or mental capacity to think beyond this moment. Now, on a whim I am assembling whatever I have in my fridge and cupboards to see what happens.
This is what this video is about! I thought I was just scrambling eggs. I was thinking that eggs made with vegan-beef crumples substitute for beef turned out to be a recipe for Sloppy Joe’s. It’s possible that I found nothing new because maybe, that’s the way you make Sloppy Joes. It’s not something I know of, and I won’t look it up. Or else, I will think that I invented it. LOL
But, I’m saying that even though I discovered the actual recipe for Sloppy Joes by chance, it’s still confidence-building. With small victories every day over known obstacles, we gain confidence in ourselves and our ability to take care. Our ADHD is a factor in our being POWERFUL Black Women and Brown Women. My ADHD experiences have taught me to appreciate the strength of my ingenuity, industriousness, and creativity. This is why I am encouraging you to use whatever you have, whether it be random foodstuffs or spiritual gifts that you were given. You might be surprised at how the unrecognizable, unsightly thing in your skillet can be the most delicious, unique, and accidentally amazing dish that you’ve ever seen.