Martha Frickin’ Stewart

The first inkling I had that I suck at home ec, as we called it, where home ec is anything associated with the old notion of being a woman (cooking, sewing, etc.), was in high school when I sewed a pair of pajamas for Home Ec class and the pajamas would not conceivably fit anyone but a little person with three legs and one arm.

I think I got a C on that project.

My second inkling came in college when I was home for Christmas and decided to make or bake something in my mom’s kitchen, and got so befuddled by the recipe that I actually asked my sister Tina Fey, and I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, “Which part of the egg is the yolk?”

My third inkling came when I tried to de-yolk the egg.

My fourth inkling came when I needed help making grilled cheese.

My fifth inkling came when I tried to make delicate sugar snowflake ornaments that I saw Martha Frickin’ Stewart make on her show in under five minutes, with her hands tied behind her back, and possibly while ice skating. How hard can it be, I thought, as visions of presenting co-workers with boxes of handmade sugar snowflakes danced in my head while my brain pointed and laughed at those images all, “Really?! Do you not remember the egg yolk incident?!”  In the end, the kitchen looked like Tom and Jerry ran amok with a bag of powdered sugar. I was covered with hardened sugar globs and there were tears in my eyes.  The result was about 60 broken snowflakes, 30 I threw across the room in anger, and five complete snowflakes that looked like a blind person went crazy with an icing squeezer.

My sixth inkling was the fact that I call that bag-like triangle thing that squeezes out icing, an icing squeezer.

My seventh inkling came when I was newly married and proudly presented my husband with a meal of spaghetti with sauce from a jar, alongside a scoop of Stove Top stuffing. I couldn’t figure out why he spent the whole meal looking like he was trying very hard not to burst out laughing.  But I was pretty damn proud because STUFFING! That’s like halfway to Thanksgiving dinner.

My eighth inkling came when I was and continue to be regularly asked to bring salad and rolls to all family gatherings.  That’s only half a step up from being in charge of cups and ice.

Fast forward to recent times, and you would find my four-thousandth inkling came when I decided to try to build the Rex Christmas card as seen over at Creation Rex’s site.  You are simply supposed to print out the card, cut along the edges, fold and then assemble.  I watched the video and despite 3,999 other evidences to the contrary, said, “I could totally do that. How hard can it be?”

It was supposed to take 15 minutes. It took me an hour.

The entire time I was building it, my son watched with wonder, saying things like, “Are you sure that’s right?  That doesn’t look right.  Why are you tearing that up? Do you want me to get Daddy?  What is that supposed to be?  Why do you need tape?  His arm fell off.  His head fell off.  His body fell off. Why do I have to go to my room? What does that word mean? I’ll go ask Dad.”

You can go to Rex’s site to see what the little dinosaur is SUPPOSED to look like, but here is mine.

Please note that I did something wrong because all the letter tabs are on the outside. I also had to tape his hat on because I forgot to cut lines for it, and he is not holding his little Terrible Towel because his arms couldn’t withstand the weight of it.

Immediately after this picture was taken, a dust mite sneezed and blew my little Rex to pieces.

Martha Frickin’ Stewart I am not.

Also, while I was writing this post, I was watching hunky Mexican chef Oropeza make some fancy braided bread wreath crown thingies and you know, I could totally make that because how hard could it be?


    December 22, 2009 1:44 pm

    Well, for one thing, cooking has nothing with making the t-rex card.

    Cooking is chemistry and organization related and the t-rex card is related to spatial ability.

    For the cooking, go to the movie julie and julia and you will see that everyone starts out failing.

    For the spatial ability, well, it is something you are born with?!?!?


  2. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    December 22, 2009 1:53 pm

    Don’t fret, I’m home economically challenged as well. In grade school when the 7th and 8th graders went to OVT (occupation and vocational training for Catholic school kids) for a half day each Tuesday, my best friend and I were partners in the cooking part and we did awful. We were paired with the two most inept boys, so our group always failed in the cooking. We actually stole another group’s cookie sheets one time and passed their cinnamon rolls off as our own. Sewing was no better. But I totally kicked butt in metal and woodshop. I made lamp for my cousin that she still has after 30 years. I cut the wood, sanded it, glued it and wired it up. My dad was so proud.

  3. LaReina
    December 22, 2009 1:54 pm

    George is such a big help.

  4. red pen mama
    December 22, 2009 2:04 pm

    I can cook. Even my husband would agree with that (most of the time.) (I think.)

    Baking? No go.

    Crafting? It’s been seriously mixed results-wise. I learned how to knit about six years ago, and I think I would have to relearn if I decide to ever do it again.

    But, really, try these: No really. If you have the hole punch, it’s really easy. Everything is available at Michael’s. Your son can do it.

    er, that came out wrong.


  5. Anna
    December 22, 2009 2:04 pm

    OMG, and not dissing your spatial abilities in any way, shape or form, but I almost wet my pants laughing when poor Rex scrolled into view.

  6. Jill
    December 22, 2009 2:12 pm

    I laughed out load at the grilled cheese part. I am 24 years old and cannot make a grilled cheese to save my life. I always end up burning it and when my mom gets home from work and sees the pan she is less than pleased. It’s so bad that she will put the grilled cheese together for me and leave it in the pan so all I have to do is heat and flip and somehow the thing still gets burned! She says I need Grilled Cheese 101. Do you think CCAC offers that?

    Also I set out last night to make pretzels to bring into work today as a Holiday snack. I have made them before (they are super easy all you have to do is put the pretzels in the oven with a hershey kiss on top for about 5 mins then take them out and press down the softened hershey kiss with an M&M) but last night everything went wrong. The hershey kisses weren’t getting soft then I think in my attempts to “melt” them I burned them. After about an hour (should have taken 20 mins) I threw the cookie sheet on the counter and went to bed. haha. My mom saw my frustration and when I woke up this morning she had made a new batch (perfectly) for me to bring into work!

    Love you Mom! LOL

  7. Magnus Patris
    December 22, 2009 2:15 pm

    No, wait. That gecko you made doesn’t look all that bad. Wait, what? It’s supposed to be a dinosaur?! You suck!

  8. Dotty
    December 22, 2009 2:16 pm

    I do remember those Marta Frickin Stewart sugar snowflakes! I, too, tried to make those and it was a horrible nightmare. She made it look so easy on TV. Brought back a chuckle.
    As for those pretzel things, try Rollo candy then put another pretzel or a nut on top — really great!

  9. Sooska
    December 22, 2009 2:23 pm

    PUH-leez! I have an aunt, 2 cousins and a sister-in-law who were home ec teachers. Home ec was not my subject, so I did my brother’s shop drawings. He, on the other hand, was the only boy allowed to use the high school’s Touch-and-Sew machine (he could embroider on it and embroidered his number on a football helmet on a chef’s apron he made!) and he wasn’t effed with cause he was the county’s star football player. no shit. (his wife is the home ec teacher.)

    I hope your husband doesn’t need you in the kitchen the night I come in to eat at Las Velas.

    Rex is AWESOME. (I pity your kids. They will sacred to death you will want to be a homeroom parent and the teacher will ask you to cut out the alphabet from construction paper.)

  10. Michele
    December 22, 2009 2:27 pm

    I am really glad that you won’t be responsible for putting the Ikea furniture together for the game room! LMAO! I am always in charge of putting things together for all of my family members… furniture, grills, etc.

  11. Pa-pop
    December 22, 2009 2:30 pm

    Great post. I can personally relate to your culinary foibles and I now worship the water my wife walks on – she channels Martha Stewart frequently.

    I’m really stuck on spaghetti with a side of stuffing. Just wondering – what wine did you serve with that?

  12. Dino Wrangler
    December 22, 2009 2:33 pm

    Looks like you get a taste of what it’s like to wrangle a dinosaur day in and day out. People come up to me all the time and ask how can I get that job. It can’t be that hard right?!? Wrong.

    Failing to wrangle a paper Rex has less consequences than the real thing. Just saying.

  13. z
    December 22, 2009 2:44 pm


    We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I can cook and back, but I’d kill to be able to write like you. Soooooo, pat yourself on the back an be proud of the dino and your other abilities.

  14. z
    December 22, 2009 2:45 pm

    That was supposed to be bake.

  15. Proud Skippy Slut
    December 22, 2009 3:03 pm

    LMAO !!!!

    Step AWAY from the open flames!!! :-)

    Ginny, for the love of God- do NOT try steak Diane, or cherries Jubilee at home, no matter how easy it looks on the Food Network!!

  16. Joey
    December 22, 2009 3:08 pm

    Use your icing squeezer to cover up the letters. Use it to make an icing terrible towel to scare Ravens fans to stay home. Dare them to stomp on it.

  17. mfj
    December 22, 2009 3:13 pm

    I love how you just keep plowing through the thousands and thousands of inklings without letting them force you to stop trying. It’s a lot like my athletic career. Juuust getting started…

  18. Jen
    December 22, 2009 3:20 pm

    has anyone actually tried this yet?? 15 min my @ss! Figuring i had nothing better to do at work :) i thought, hey that looks easy, i could totally do that! Took me 20 min just to cut out the damn head! Ginny, at least you got it partially together…i gave up. You are MY Martha Stewart.

  19. 7000th Nerd Girl
    December 22, 2009 3:23 pm

    I usually see papercraft with dudely subjects – robots, most often. So I don’t usually think of it as a girly home ec type thing. Is that better? Maybe?

    Personally, I feel bad about being good at cooking and crafty crap. I don’t want to seem like some kind of fembot stereotype. Writing, now, there’s a skill that people don’t jump to conclusions about. ;)

  20. Mandy
    December 22, 2009 3:24 pm

    I have to wonder what you were thinking with spaghetti & stuffing. I really didn’t think your Rex looked bad. I thought he looked pretty nice. That is … until I went to the Creation Rex website and saw what he should really look like. ;)

    (I tease – only b/c I’m not crafty either).

  21. red pen mama
    December 22, 2009 4:09 pm

    @Jill, I will teach you to make grilled cheese. Here’s a secret: It requires close attention. And I’m not being a smart ass — I’ve burned grilled cheese before. Always happens when I get distracted by something else (like my daughters fighting in the next room.)

    Just have your mom teach me to make those pretzel thingies. ‘Kay?

    @Pa-Pop, I’m going to guess rose (pronounced ros-eh, as I can’t figure out how to get the little accent above the e).


  22. Sooska
    December 22, 2009 5:07 pm

    BTW Ginny- I just remembered as story I was told by a girl I worked with in college. She was a bank teller and was invited to the boss’ house for dinner. The “dinner” his wife served was mashed potatoes onto which was poured the contents of a can of condensed chicken noodle soup as the “gravy.” That was all and the boss and kids lapped it up. Yumm-O

  23. Politicalpartypooper
    December 22, 2009 6:09 pm

    You must be the person all those warning instructions are for at the front of every power – tool owner’s manual. Nice to finally meet you.

  24. Pensgirl
    December 22, 2009 6:11 pm

    I got lucky. My mom can cook pretty much anything, she made all of our Halloween costumes, she can draw, paint, do needlework, and she used to make Christmas dough ornaments. It only hit me a couple years ago that she’s like Martha Stewart, only 1) she did all that while holding down a job, 2) she didn’t act like her shit didn’t stink for being able to do all that stuff, and 3) she didn’t make gazillions of dollars from it (too bad for me!).

    But my whole family isn’t so blessed. I have an aunt who evidently used to serve spaghetti with ketchup. So the very fact that you used jar spaghetti sauce is a major step up from that!

    And one time, I went to a cousin’s house to be served some crazy cold potato salad mixed with corn flakes. It was like she just looked in the cupboards and thought “well this is all I have, so I’ll just make do.” I couldn’t even try to eat it (I don’t like potato salad to begin with).

    I myself can cook but don’t like to, and I definitely am no more than mediocre at sewing, painting, drawing, etc. I’m more “handy.” I could have put together that dinosaur thingy, but that’s just assembly of a predetermined set of items. I’m terrible at taking a bunch of raw materials and making something out of them.

  25. StephanieM
    December 22, 2009 6:22 pm

    Perfect post for me today Ginny!

    My coworkers know to never ask me to bring something to a work function that requires cooking. Somehow I am in charge of making potato salad for tomorrow’s lunch.

    So far, I have over cooked potatos TWICE and managed to slice my finger open enough to leave a trail of blood… Maybe this time they will learn their lesson. I’m thinking they aren’t going to want mushy bloody potato salad more than once.

  26. Clair
    December 22, 2009 6:42 pm

    while i can cook decently (for which my hubby and kids are eternally grateful, allegedly) and can bake ok, I am sooooooooo not crafty and I know if I tried to make that card, it would look even worse! I think that yours was a darn good effort! Shame too, cuz that card would be perfect for my mom, since we have a long-running joke that she is a t-rex (short arms lol). Oh well…maybe I can print her and have HER put it together HAHA!

    Besides, how many folks will put the card together and have it look exactly like it is supposed to anyway?????

  27. bluzdude
    December 22, 2009 7:16 pm

    I tried sewing up a hole in the knee of my pants… I sewed the front of the pants to the back and couldn’t get my leg in. So much for sewing…

  28. Sara
    December 22, 2009 7:23 pm

    I truly laugh out loud so often when reading your blog. You have an amazing talent … with words, not with home ec stuff. :)

  29. Ginny's Dad
    December 22, 2009 7:27 pm

    Good thing you are married to a man who can cook. My mom was a great cook and your mom is a great cook. What the heck happened to you?

  30. Ohio sister
    December 22, 2009 8:21 pm

    Hey Gin- no one is worse a cook than me! And how come mom didn’t share her cooking wisdom with us????

  31. Still A, Fan
    December 22, 2009 8:55 pm

    is the head really an upside down short school bus?

  32. Jen
    December 22, 2009 9:08 pm

    I can do the cooking thing- as long as I have a recipe at least as a starting point, I’m good. Not so much with the baking. And I’m not really crafty- I’m too impatient. heh

    The vision of the sugar snowflakes all over the kitchen is cracking me up. ha

  33. JenOH
    December 22, 2009 9:45 pm

    Very funny!!! … especially since I don’t cook, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have the patience to put together that dinosaur thing.

    A couple of years ago I had to ask a guy friend of mine how to make scrambled eggs. I don’t attempt to make them since that’s above my skill level.

  34. KGC
    December 22, 2009 9:50 pm

    LMAO. Damn, this was funny. This would make sooo much more sense if your hair color was blonde, like my daughter.. then you could be labeled DITZ, my daughter’s middle name. You don’t know how many times the smoke alarm has been activated due to the toaster or the grilled cheese sandwich or the times we’ve “washed water” because she didn’t put the clothes in.. gotta love ’em.. they’re ours. LOL.

  35. USCMike
    December 23, 2009 12:07 am

    Hey Ginny, the Lord gives us all different talents and thank God you use yours to amuse us!!

    On the other hand, look at what he gave Martha Stewart and she got an all-expense paid trip to the slammer, so don’t fret over paper dinosaurs or trying to bake!

    Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad to you and your family!!

  36. Karyn
    December 23, 2009 7:39 am

    I’m a scrapbooker. I can give you lessons on how to be more crafty….

  37. bucdaddy
    December 23, 2009 9:15 am

    In kindergarten, Mrs. Daddy flunked scissors. 45 years later I still have to wrap all the packages, but otherwise she turned out OK.

  38. Betoon
    December 23, 2009 9:21 am

    So you can’t bake – you make people laugh and with our expanding waist lines – that is a good thing. I can’t sew – it gives me hives to thread things and my lack of craftiness began in 4th grade where my valentine’s card box was held up to my classmates as an example of what not to do. Think shoe box with lots of crinkling aluminum foil covering it.

    And as to icing squeezer – for the longest time I referred to the turn signals on my car as “dinker donkers.”

    Marthat Stewart gives me hives too.

  39. Lauren
    December 23, 2009 9:39 am

    For my 7th grade home ec project, I needed to sew a bunny magnet. When I brought it home, my mom asked “So, um, you sewed me a circle?” That was the extent of my craftiness. Sorry Mom : )

    Baking just takes practice. Try starting with easy stuff, like bars. I live at altitude, and despite my generally awesome baking talent, I still haven’t figured out cakes. I tried to make my husband one of those cakes where you have to beat the egg whites (and that’s how you remember–yolks, yellow, other stuff in there, white) and then fold them in. I thought I did a good job, but when I went to turn the cake out of the pan, half came out and half didn’t. I presented my husband with pistachio cake crumbs for his birthday, the first birthday of his we were together. Still can’t figure out how to adjust all the ingredients : )

  40. JennyMoon
    December 23, 2009 1:14 pm

    OMG dinker donkers…love it!!

  41. Jules
    December 23, 2009 2:24 pm

    you are hilarious. the end.

  42. wckdcll
    December 23, 2009 3:34 pm

    HOTMESS! That’s all I got….

  43. toni
    December 23, 2009 4:05 pm

    Your post and Jill’s remind me of my daughter. She’s 26. When I’m not around to do the cooking for her here’s Danielle’s easy fool proof recipe for grilled cheese:

    1.)Put 2 slices of bread in the toaster
    2.)Once toast has popped from toaster, spread with butter.
    3.)Put slices of American cheese on butter spread toast.
    4.)Throw it in the microwave

    Voila! Grilled cheese.

  44. rachael
    December 24, 2009 12:08 pm

    The conversation with your song regarding the dinosaur had me on the ground laughing!

  45. Matt
    December 24, 2009 2:30 pm

    I’m a basic guy. I love a woman who can cook — mothers, wives, daughters, girlfriends. But I really love a woman who proudly admits she can’t cook (e.g., my own wonderful wife). There’s no energy wasted on awkward reassurance at the holidays (“these cookies are great, no really, that broken crown was just a coincidence. You kids get back in here and tell your mother how great these cookies are!”) and we can all head straight to the bakery for some serious diet-busting.

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