In the Kitchen


They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (and then, I believe, up through the chest cavity). But Mike did not marry me for my cooking skills. When we got together, I could prepare three meals: Tuna Helper, ramen noodles, and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Even these I managed to screw up. Too much milk in the mac & cheese would leave it soupy; ramen noodles left on three minutes past their three-minute cook time; and Tuna Helper… well. It’s sad that that was even on my go-to list.

I was not good at producing substanance. If you’re not familiar, substanance is a common Turnerism. They came up with it by combining substance + sustenance. As in, “I’m really hungry; I need some substanance.”

Mike cooked more than I did in the beginning, probably because he couldn’t stomach much more of what I was putting on the table. But eventually I decided that I wanted to improve.

I bought the Better Homes New Cookbook. It’s a classic, the one with a background of a red and white checked tablecloth. It had basic recipes and was a great starting point.

A few friends knew what a disaster I was in the kitchen, so they bought me a bunch of kitchen gadgets. I remember staring at a garlic press with no idea how one might put such a tool to use.

I started experimenting with salads and learned to think beyond iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots. Through trial and error, I learned the art of making a hearty chowder.

There were so many disasters along the way. I remember trying to make a Sri Lankan noodle dish that a relative always brought to family gatherings. Mike and I each took a bite. It was immediately apparent that the food was inedible. Mike and I both like spicy foods, but I’d ruined the dish by not following a recipe and instead substituting my ignorance of good spice-to-noodle ratios. Mike, eyes tearing, said, “It’s really good,” and choked down a second bite.

My mother never liked cooking, nor was it her strong suit. Which one caused the other is a chicken-versus-egg question.

Incidentally, both my sister and I are now excellent cooks.

Trial & Error x Infinity = Proficiency

I learned to enjoy my time in the kitchen. It’s another creative outlet and, as with anything else, I improved over time.

My repertoire is much more diverse and no longer includes the packaged, processed foods. I can make a killer risotto, tri-tip marinade, lobster ceviche, and vegan enchiladas you’d swear weren’t vegan.

I think back to those early days and I’ll the times I said, “I can’t cook.”

What I meant to say was, “I can’t cook yet.”

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Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

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About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

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