Hurry Up with Dinner Already

I may have previously mentioned in this blog that I have never learned to cook. Like, without adult supervision, I wouldn't know the first thing about how to make a chicken. I think you're supposed to rub butter on it and then put it in the oven or cut it up and put it in a skillet with some olive oil. I've never made a meatloaf or a casserole or even an omelet. Well, maybe an omelet, but not a very good one. My mom is an excellent cook, but I skipped that part where I was supposed to be paying attention to how the meal got on the table. In college, I did what most kids did and ate a lot of spaghetti and Ramen  noodles and bowls of cereal for dinner. But then I never progressed beyond those basic skills of pouring water into a pot or hitting the timer on the microwave for popcorn. It's partially because I was single for a lot of my twenties and thirties--I had boyfriends and I lived with them and everything, but they always cooked while I waited at the table with the napkin around my neck like an extra from Oliver.  But that can't be my whole excuse, because I know plenty of single women who learned to cook for themselves or for their friends or whatever. It could be a lack of interest, or, more likely, a lack of patience. I have lived by the premise that it shouldn't take longer to make a meal than it does to eat it, i.e. I can't quite get with the program of cutting up vegetables and sauteing butter and cleaning lentils or mixing the potatoes with the milk or whatever else might be involved in constructing a four course dinner. And I don't really feel bad about it, except when I'm around other women who can cook and have to instruct me about the proper way to cut a tomato without slicing off my finger. Working from a recipe also involves math--half a cup of this two-thirds of a teaspoon of that; and I don't want to get it wrong, so I just don't do it. I was just going to amend that statement and say that I can bake, but that's not accurate either. I can slice up pre-made cookie dough and put it on a cookie sheet. I can set the timer and remove said cookies with a spatula. In other words, I have the baking and cooking skills of a five year old.

Luckily, I live with a man who likes to cook and does it well. Currently, he is in the kitchen making a recipe I tore out of one of my mom's old Living magazines,"Chicken Tangine with Almonds, Olives and Apricots." He's not inspiring a lot of confidence at the moment, because he just said, "Was I supposed to preheat the oven?"  Dinner should be ready in about an hour.  To my credit, I always clean up and wash the pots and pans and I never complain about it. 
The recipe.

He walks softly and carries a big knife. 

The chicken.