Since I moved out on my own, one of my greatest goals has been to learn how to cook for myself. Despite working in a kitchen throughout college, cooking for one proved to have its own challenges that I am still learning to overcome.

While the fruits of my efforts have been a mixed bag of success and failures, I feel more confident in my skills than I did when I started cooking for myself about four years ago. Sometimes even rather simple recipes can get the better of me.

This weekend proved to be an example of that. Meatloaf has officially become my nemesis.

I must preface this by saying that my culinary skills are as widespread and varied as my tastes. Over the last four years, I have mainly learned to cook to my tastes rather than following any particular school of cooking. In short, I know how to make things like chicken teriyaki and other foreign dishes but can’t make an apple pie.

There is a good reason why I wouldn’t know how to make meatloaf; as a kid, it was one of those foods that I couldn’t stomach. Whenever we had it at home, I would always eat something else.

However, as I’ve grown up I know my tastes have changed, so I decided to give it a second try.

My issues with the recipe started with the presentation. As I don’t have a pan meant for meatloaf, I decided to try to form it by hand on a baking sheet. In the end, I had something that more resembled a giant meatball rather than anything I’d call a loaf.

Beyond the look, I noticed the large pool of grease that came with my culinary creation. I knew there would be some of it, I didn’t think it would literally pool around the dish.

Lastly, I was surprised how many dirty dishes that came from such a simple dish. Despite these problems, I haven’t given up, and I know that it is just a matter of practice.

Happy birthday Wednesday to Perry Howell of Bonham; Donna Wyrick, Cathy Rains, and Patrick Cravens, all of Sherman; David Bell of Midland; and Melvin Eugene of Plano.

Happy anniversary Wednesday to Bill and Earnestine Stofle of Whitesboro, 65 years.