When I talk about cooking, I need to use air quotes. Because for me, cooking involves cutting vegetables and pressing microwave buttons. My attempts to cook have always been underwhelming and usually involve a tantrum, a cut finger or a singed cloth. Not fun. People are always encouraging me to cook, sending me recipes, telling me what basics I should stock my cupboard with, etc. It just never seems to happen. This week, I was telling Pam, who comes to YOU to sell fruit, that I really like chicken foot soup. She asked if I had cooked it here yet, and I told her I don’t cook. At all. She burst out laughing. (When I admit this here in Jamaica, people are either incredulous or amused.) Then she proceeded to write out a recipe for chicken foot soup and convinced me it was easy. So I decided to try it, mostly because it seemed like all you do is chop up vegetables, which I can do, and dump stuff in a pot, which I excel at. So I bought everything this morning: yam, potato, chocho, thyme, escallion, scotch bonnet pepper, chicken neck (sold out of chicken foot), pumpkin, carrot, salt, pimento seeds and water. (I skipped making the dumplings - too advanced for me- did not add noodles and substituted olive oil for butter.) I did not cry, I did not cut myself, I did not curse and I only made a minor mess. AND IT TASTES GOOD! This is a major achievement. I can make this again and maybe even serve it to people. I must admit, however, the chicken necks kind of freak me out but they add great flavour. So congratulations to me. I need a rest now from this project, and then what am I going to do? Go out for dinner at a vegan restaurant.