Kaia wrote this, and I was going to reply but it got silly long. So reblog reply!
From Kaia: I seem to have this thing where, when I'm writing YA, I make my female protagonists unable to cook, almost fatally so, as a reaction to the cook/caretaker Bella Swan stereotype that's sprung up over the years.
Like, you know, being female really doesn't matter, some people should just not be left to their own devices in a kitchen.
I learnt to cook really young, and I'm pretty good at getting everyone fed, if not astonishing them with gourmet magnificence. My problem is I really don't CARE about cooking, and I get distracted easily. Result, finding out the hard way that you can burn boiled eggs. Also hotdogs. At least one of my kids has cried in front of someone elses mother when they called to ask if they could stay for dinner and I said no.
On the other hand, my failures in the kitchen had all three of them capable of cooking a proper meal for the whole family by about age 10-12, for their own survival. And my oldest daughter called me up once a few months after she left home, to thank me for making her cook, since she was apparently the only student in her entire uni class who could and wasn't surviving on ramen, pizza and beer. She's actually such a good cook now, she was one of the "try it at home" test kitchen cooks for a foodie mag (she got a recipe and a bag of food from them once a month and had to cook the meal, and then make up a variation on it, and her recipe and review went in the mag, for a whole year.) Colour me impressed, my idea of "fancy" is remembering to salt the potato water.
Also: hot tip from an inveterate burner-of-things: if you burn a pot completely carbon black on the bottom, don't scrub it at all, drop a dishwasher tablet in there, fill it with water, and put to the boil, then turn off, and leave it until it's cold. Most of the black will lift right off. If you don't have a dishwasher tab: A quarter or half cup of vinegar, a tablespoon or two of baking soda, and a squirt of dishwash liquid, and same, boil, off, leave til cold (not quite as good as whatever magical stuff is in dishwash tablets, but it'll still help a lot)