I am just going to go ahead and lay it all out there — cooking is the bane of my existence. I love food, and I do like the idea of cooking. I don’t however seem to be as good at it as I once was.

Or maybe I just remember myself as being better than I was? Either way, some days I can’t cook enough to keep a bird alive. Thank goodness other people are happy to exchange already prepared food for money.

The other day, I actually had to make three batches of rice because I fouled up the first two so badly they couldn’t be eaten. Normally, I wouldn’t brag about such a failure, but I just think with all of those television shows out there that show people making perfect dish after perfect dish every time, someone has to stand up and talk about the stuff that doesn’t work.

Well, here is one — just dumping a bunch of cilantro leaves (crushed up) in a pan of rice will not give you the same flavor of rice that one gets at a restaurant. And while adding other seasonings to it might help the dish, be careful with the garlic. There can, in fact, be too much garlic, even for me.

And if one is going to make a box rice mix, one should not try to sneak changing the bed sheets into the minutes in between stirring the rice. Just don’t do it!

Getting distracted, I must confess, is my biggest pratfall when it comes to cooking. At a younger point in my life, I had entire days to devote to making cookies or special dishes.

Now, I have a lot of stuff to get done every day and tend to catch myself trying to do things other than cook while I am cooking.

Or perhaps, I have, at some deeper level, just rejected the idea that I really like to cook. I have a few other talents and why should I try to master another? There are people who need to make their living cooking and what would they do if people like me could all cook for ourselves reliably?

Happy birthday Saturday to Lucille Hull, ZaBraelon Blackshear, Phyllis Akers, Robert Potts and Cathy Jackson, all of Sherman; Angie Gibby of Pottsboro; Jerry Boaz of Whitesboro; Mary Scruggs of Lewisville; David Stockslager of Terrell; Sue Kassinger of Frisco; and Joey Mullins of St. Ignace, Michigan.

Happy anniversery Saturday to Bart and Linda Mitchell of Sherman; 19 years.