One of my 'attempts' at cooking, where I spilled 2 boxes of pasta on the floor

“I read recipes the same way I read science fiction.  I get to the end and say to myself “well, that’s not going to happen”  ―Rita Rudner

Growing up, my mommy always told me, “Jennifer, you better find a guy that can cook.”

And she says it from the very bottom of her loving, Jewish, motherly heart, because without a man that can cook for me, I may just have to form a really, really, ridiculously, unhealthily close relationship with fast food.

Cooking just doesn’t run in our family. The tossing of  sauces and the dashes of spices doesn’t flow through my veins and growing up, the only reason I dabbled in the kitchen was to locate the take out menus and dial local establishments to place food orders.

But now,  I’m 2,000 miles away from home, surrounded by some of the world’s finest dining establishments, and my piggy bank, and dare I say it, my metabolism, just can’t keep up.

After Hurricane sandy tore apart this city last week, I invited a powerless, tired, sick of eating processed foods, friend over for a home cooked meal, which meant in layman’s term, that I-Jennifer Sara Glantz-was going to have to cook. So while the nervous sweat cuddled up inside my armpits, and my facial expressions shot off a giant question mark, I began throwing raw vegetables and strings of spaghetti in pots, in pans, on gigantic trays in a 450 degree pre-heated oven.

“What’s so hard about this?” I nonchalantly said to myself as I plopped my butt down on my velvet couch and let my concoctions do their thing, whatever it is that they do. 

All was cookin’, good lookin’, until all of a sudden, my fire alarm went off. Blaring in the apartment, blaring in the hallway, blaring throughout the 30 floors of my high rise building in New York Freaking City.

I threw my hands up in the air, guilty.

“Oh, My, God…what did i do? I did this! Somebody please make it stop!”

I turned off the oven, the microwave, the stove, threw ice cubes onto pans, and ran around like a lobster who suddenly, right then and there, figured out it’s fate and in the most simplistic, yet chaotic way, I panicked.

I’m running through the hallway in my ‘jammies, shaking the grease of my hands onto neighbors (that i’ve never, ever met) telling them i’m sorry, and that my name is Jen, and that i’d like to make this unstoppable, ear-piercing disturbance up to them with some burnt casserole, if they dare to ever come over, or outside their apartments, again.

And when it was all over, when the noise finally stopped, the neighbors finished lashing out dirty-bothered looks at me, and my elegant plan of a dinner turned out to be an ugly-mushy science experiment-like thing, I took a deep breathe and did what I know how to do best, I logged on to

I’ve gotten better at this whole cooking thing, or better yet, I’ve gained a little more confidence, which anyone who is attempting to tie on an apron and get spicy will realize, confidence is often the best and main ingredient you need when two-stepping around the kitchen (or trying anything brand new in life).

Growing up, my mommy also always told me to never be scared of trying new things. She’d look me in my chocolate chip brown eyes and with a teaspoon of audacity say, “Jennifer, what’s the worst that can happen?”

And i’d confidently say that I’ve already stomped on top of the “worst”,  been there, done that, burned down my kitchen and now I’m ready to cook!

This year, I’ll bring the string bean casserole and warm apple pie to Thanksgiving–or at least i’ll make a grand attempt to and if all else fails, my trusty friends at Publix will).


I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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