Tuesday, February 17, 2009

He Thinks I'm Cute... he hasn't seen me in an apron, yet

For a few months, when I was 15, my mom tried to make me cook dinner one night a week for the family. It worked for a few weeks, but then I wore her resolve down. I hated being forced to cook. I was willing to work in the garden, yard, field or do ANYTHING outside in exchange for doing kitchen "stuff."

It was a conscious decision to end the meal-a-week deal. The conversation ended with my mom bearing witness that "meals bind families," and me promising that I was a heat-of-the-moment learner. I pledged I too had a testimony of family meals and when I needed the skill, I’d develop it.

Well, fast-forward to the current inferno I’m in (cooking dinner for man I now call husband). I’d like to inform you all that Nursing (not those meal-a-week session) has prepped me for my current cooking situation. Joint Commissions (JCAHO) inspects all hospitals every 2 years. Everyone gets all nervous when they come to pay their little visit. They inspect every aspect of the hospital and the one nurses fear most is when a JCAHO representative asks (read: interrogates) a nurse about a certain policy, procedure or scenario. During my first JCAHO inspection, I figured out that I didn’t need to know the answer to most of their questions. All I needed to be able to say was, “I don’t know, but I do know how to find out. Let me find out for you.” Phew, off the hook with that simple response.

(my first meal)

That off-the-hook phrase works just as well when it comes to cooking. I don’t really need to know what waiding sugar and butter means. I don’t really need to know what barding poultry joints means. I don’t even need to know how to coddle an egg. All I need is Neighbor Jane's phone number and my good ol’ butler Jeeves.

I do not jest. Jane, Jeeves and I are keeping Raymond well fed. So well fed, that I had to stop by Target the other day to buy a scale. Our scale is high tech (on sale for $24) and even tells us what our body fat percentage is. On the first day of our purchase, I was ecstatic to see I only had 2% body fat… until I realized it thought my height was 6’2”. That night Ray had an even more shocking experience. He came out of the bathroom and asked, “Could you make me a salad for dinner?” Our scale (now dubbed Obesius) told Ray he was 28% body fat. The next morning Obesius had only worse news to report. Ray had gone up 1% in body fat. Neither one of us can figure out where he’s stashing that 28% on his 6’6” frame, but until we do he’s only letting me feed him two meals a day and requesting salads.

(aforementioned salad)

So I guess the point of all this is that you don’t need a meal-a-week deal to create fat and sassy husbands… just high tech scales.

(our new scale)

Note: At first my title was "The dinner table is where families are made." After a few giggles I erased it... with much sorrow.


Nicole said...

I don't like to be forced to cook either. I would prefer to learn as I go. This method works well for me and I am currently learning to sew as I go. I call my mom with cooking issues as well. Usually the call is from the grocery store needing to know what I need for a certain dish. What would we do without our moms?

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh Cali. This is funny. I loved these lines:

-The fact that Obesius thinks Ray has twenty-anything percent body fat

-"cooking for man I now call husband"

-"I don’t really need to know what waiding sugar and butter means. I don’t really need to know what barding poultry joints means. I don’t even need to know how to coddle an egg." (Who knew vocabulary had taken such a jump in cooking? I've never heard of barding or waiding.)

-"The dinner table is where families are made."

Do you remember what finally wore me down on your night-a-week cooking? It was that tuna casserole you made when you decided to be creative and add a cup of mustard.

What a fun surprise to wake up and read this.


p.s. That Neighbor Jane has pulled me out of a hole a time or two, too. Sometimes when your dad challenges me and says, "Where did you learn this?" I just say, "Neighbor Jane" and he never says another word.

Laurie Bingham said...

I hope your making Ray some of the fabulous salads from Zupas! They are so good.

Do you have any wedding pictures? i want to see 'em.

P.S. I love the apron your wearing, it's so cute.

abe said...

that tuna casserole that got you off the hook was probably the worst food i've ever had...and i tried some weird things in the Philippines. and i still have a hard time getting over that pizza you burned. i hate seeing pizza go to waste.

Darla said...

Oh Cali!!!!
I'm still laughing..... You crack me up.... I too was the one that had to cook once a week & I too hated it I just wasn't smart enough to put mustard in the Tuna cassserole(that was the meal I first learned to cook also)... But I will say at my ripe old age I'm thankful.. I can cook with the best of them, my mom was a good cook but my dad was the best. I remember like it was yesterday, him teaching me to make what he called Chicken Marango. You had to take whole tomatoes, lipton onion soup, and canned mushrooms and squish with your hands.. Oh my that was the absolute grossest feeling and till this day I giggle when I go to make it... :)

Levi said...

Cali, I took a stats class and I'm pretty sure you can't trust the scale. Especially for outliers (6'6" is usually an outlier). That's what I say to subdue my conscience.

Ande Payne said...

I really like your original title. It made me laugh...out loud. In the library. Thanks. Ha...I'm still giggling.

You guys are funny. Who knew that after tuna casserol (already gross) turned yellow with massive amounts of mustard (really you will never live that down) you could produce a husband with 28% body fat.

Also I liked that your Nalgene bottle was on your kitchen table. You are funny. I love you.

P.S. Your house looks cute! I want to see more!

Ande Payne said...

Ha another funny thing...I didn't read Mom or Abe's comment until after I had written mine...we all mentioned your tuna casserole. That should tell you how nasty it was...and you tried to convice us it was good.

HeatherM said...

If only I knew the cup of mustard trick could get me out of the once a week cooking gig.

I am glad I learned the skills, but I NEVER cook anything I used to cook in the once-a-week era: Hamburger Gravy over mashed potatoes, creamed tuna on toast, tuna casserole - I'm literally scrunching my nose as I type!!

I did have an era of my dad paying $1 per loaf of homemade bread, and he bought the ingredients. Why did I ever give that up?? It could be supplementing my vacation savings jar still today!