Sunday, April 15, 2007

on cooking

I've made two REALLY bad meals in my eleven year career as a wife. Oh, no, I've made plenty of bad meals, but there have been two that were REALLY bad.

The first was when we were newlyweds. I had all the new fancy kitchen equipment, I had cookbooks that I studied, and I had the time an inclination to try new flavors. So, I thought, that any recipe that made it to a book that included chicken, paprika, canned tomatoes, cinnamon and dark chocolate had to be good. I mean, really, if those ridiculous flavors were put together and people actually cooked it and liked it, then it had to be amazing, right?

I'm not sure I'd ever been so wrong about anything. I had the blender going, the chicken cooking, stirring, chopping, can-opening. Then my new husband came downstairs and asked, "what's that smell?" And not in the "oh, wow, I can't wait to eat that yummy thing," but more of the "oh my gosh, what has died in our kitchen and how long ago was it?" way. I was crushed - I'd spent at least an hour working on this dinner that I'd shopped for and prepared for. But, at that moment, I had to admit that it really smelled awful. So bad that I'd already opened the window in the kitchen, but still was hopeful that it was going to get better. My sweet husband informed me that he would take me out to eat that night, and that he'd take care of disposing of the meal in the *outside* trash can. And that we should clean up before we go. And that we should leave the window open while we were gone.

We still laugh about that meal, and compare bad meals to my famous chicken mole. But I think we might have a runner-up. This one's a little closer in time to the last one, so I'm not quite ready to laugh about it. But I made a brisket. 'Cause we've lived in Texas now a long time, and I've still not made a brisket.

This was a brisket that was done in the oven, which apparently, was my first mistake. And, there were cans of tomatoes, which again, was another mistake. And I cooked it for a really long time and added potatoes and there was a lot of seasoning. But, my children balked when it was placed on their plates. My husband took a bite and then pushed his plate away, saying he was glad he wasn't all that hungry. The middle child ate all her meat, but she really wanted a cupcake for dessert, so she was willing to eat just about anything to get that cupcake.

Again, my sweet husband helped me remove the evidence from the kitchen and appreciated my effort, just not the results of my effort. I was thankful that we had a really yummy cake from his aunt to eat for dinner. I was thankful that I hadn't made the recipe as I'd intended days earlier for my in-laws, because my father-in-law wouldn't have been as gracious as my husband. In fact, we laughed, and said the he would have found an excuse to "go to the store" and then would have gone to Sonic and eaten a meal there.

Oh, yeah, and it was his birthday dinner, too. That man is a prize. He ate cake for his birthday dinner and didn't even complain. Okay, neither did I - that cake was really, really good. I'd like some for breakfast, too.

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