Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I'm No Betty Crocker

My daughter has cooked for me for the last two nights. I’ve also had the last two nights off from work and have been terrorizing the spare bedroom and turning it into a den/office/exercise/suntanning room.

So, I guess my daughter felt sorry for me or she knew that if she wanted anything to eat while I was applying plastic and duct tape to the windows, sorting through my son’s old dresser (don’t even ask what things I found in there), finally bringing the stuff and boxes back into the room from the living room where there wasn’t even a place to sit down for two days except for my computer chair and you know who got dibs on that, brought my fifteen-year-old tree in from the utility room and sat it proudly in the corner, sorting through piles of papers that I had scribbled some kind of writing stuff on, wiping off each individual picture that was in a box in the utility room so that I could hang them in their new home, and things like that, that she’d better fix it herself.

And she did. Two nights straight.

I had fried chicken, rice and string beans last night and tonight it was Meatloaf (cleverly disguised as Salisbury Steak) with onions and mashed potatoes and gravy.

I never was much on cooking anyhow. If it can’t be microwaved, it wasn’t going to get eaten.

I can remember when I was first married and I cooked Hamburger Helper for the first time.

As a newlywed, I was EXPECTED to know how to cook my new husband his meals. After all, he was taught that the woman’s place was in the home, cooking and cleaning, and the man’s place was to earn the bread. Now I know why that marriage didn’t last.

I was determined, however, to learn the craft. I started out simple. I went to the local Piggly Wiggly and bought a box of Hamburger Helper.

I was so proud of myself. I was going to cook my new husband his first meal as a newlywed. Joan and Larry’s, the local fast food joint, was getting so use to seeing my face that they already knew what I wanted and had it waiting for me before I stepped in the door.

I eyed the box of Hamburger Helper. I can do this, I said to myself, humming to the tune of “Mission Impossible”.

I browned the hamburger, just as the directions told me. After that was done, I added the rest of the ingredients. Perfect. And smelled good, too.

I set the mood by lighting candles and putting on a little Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I lit some incense and let it permeate throughout our trailer. I jumped in the shower and used my best Victoria Secrets’ lotion to smooth all over me. I was ready.

My husband came home and was in a great mood. The house was clean and so was I. To have both clean at one time was a miracle.

“What’s for dinner?” he smiled romantically at me.

“Hamburger Helper, my love. I made it just for you.”

“YOU made this?” he asked, lifting the lid off the iron skillet.

“Oh, yes, my love,” I cooed, “would you like some?”

“Of course,” he said, pulling my chair out for me. Well, actually, he was moving it so he could have more room to sit down.

I piled a steaming hot portion of Hamburger Helper on his plate, then mine.

My new husband took one mouthful…and gagged.

“What is wrong, my love?” I asked him, holding the dish out for him to spit in.

“What’s in that???” he asked.

“Just hamburger, noodles…I followed the directions…” I whimpered.

I went over and took the box out of the trash and read the directions again. I forgot one minute detail.

Drain the hamburger grease before adding the rest of the ingredients.

I didn’t read that part.

I put the remainder of our dinner on the floor for our dog, Baron, to eat. Now, our dog was part Labrador Retriever and part German Shepherd and ate everything.

He sniffed it, looked at me like I was trying to trick him into eating something he didn’t like and sulked away.

I’m happy to say that after thirty years, I have learned to cook. Much has been through trial and error and no one has died yet.

However, it’s always nicer when someone does the cooking for you. At least, you’ll give the microwave a rest.

3 comments:

  1. I can't WAIT 'til my son is old enough to cook for me.

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  2. If it weren't for the microwave ALL of my meals would come out of sacks and styrofoam. ;-)

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  3. I miss my daughter being home. She cooked, once in awhile. Luckily for me when the X split, I had the basics of cooking. No way I could have been around my mother and NOT picked up how to cook.
    It ain't gourmet, but it is palletable.

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