Sometimes, I feel like the world’s only kitchen incompetent. Turn on the TV: Anthony Bourdain. Pick up a magazine: Recipes. Listen to NPR: Hours of precious airtime spent on that vile-sounding cranberry relish.
But I can’t be alone. I’m Irish-American, one of generations raised on fish sticks and Spaghetti-O’s. While our Irish-born friends have learned to prepare their fresh seafood and delectable Irish beef, their distant cousins in the States languish on takeout and frozen chicken pot pie.
Still, we must try. Otherwise, we’re the untouchables in a foodie caste system. My sister recently shared this photo from a pasta-making class we once dared to attend (yes, I’m using my hand to separate an egg). It inspired “Irish in the Cucina,” an essay for Central PA magazine. I offer it here, in honor of our intrepid ancestors who gave us so many talents – except cooking — and the courage to persevere in the face of exploding pizza crusts.