3-05-08 - Edited to correct typos that were bugging the crud out of me!!
For the first 22 years of my current marriage, I could catalog the number of meals I cooked on one page of a 12-month calendar. Early in our marriage, I learned that Hubby liked cooking and was pretty good at it, too. For him, it is a rather cathartic way to wind down. (Yes, he has brothers. No, you don’t want to meet them!) I could (can) also cook and actually have given hubby lots of lessons and pointers over the years. But for me it is definitely NOT a pleasurable experience.
It never ceases to amaze me that I can walk into a fully stocked pantry and stand there for an hour unable to figure out where to start. Mr. Proud Pan can walk into an almost empty pantry and find enough stuff to create a near gourmet-style meal! His creations are not only tasty, but also beautifully presented. With mine, you should consider yourself lucky if I take out plates and spoons to use while you dig your meal out of the pot on the stove. Presentation is just not that important unless it’s a special occasion…then I’ll actually go to the trouble of taking down the good plates and silver for you to use to dig your meal out of the pot on the stove! Just kidding! Even though I detest the job to the very core of my being, I do know how to set a table and cook a great meal. It’s really just the planning part that hangs me up… unless I’m realllllly hungry.
One day when the boys were 7 and 10, I came home starving from a long day at work during which I’d been too busy to get any lunch. Knowing that Hubby was going to be working late, I decided to go ahead and cook dinner so it’d be ready when he got home. I very quickly decided on my favorite comfort foods: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and hot rolls. By the time Hubby got home, I’d also, for some unknown reason, decided that we should eat old-style: at a pre-set table with knives, forks, napkins and matching plates and glasses. With the table set and the steaming hot food ready and waiting, we all sat down to eat.
As three of us started dishing food onto our plates, I noticed that 7-year-old Twig was just sitting there staring. He first looked at the food, then at his dad, then at me, back at the food back at me and then back at his dad. I was almost to the point of asking him what the heck he was doing when he finally spoke. That's when I realized that this was the first time in his young life that he had ever actually seen me cook a whole meal. No wonder that with great skepticism and in all seriousness he asked, “Dad, can we eat this???”