Invading My Wife’s Kitchen

Gratin Dauphinoise Casserole. I made it, but can't pronounce it. I do know it will make you fat, unless you eat rationed leftovers for about three days.
Gratin Dauphinoise Casserole. I made it, but can’t pronounce it. I do know it will make you fat, unless you eat rationed leftovers for about three days.

I’m a men’s libber. I reject the notion that a man’s place is outside the kitchen. And so I invaded that sacred room where my wife magically produces the thing called dinner.

I bought a 1,200 page college textbook, called on cooking, by sarah r. labensky and alan m. hause. I then sat down with bifocals on my face, to study the culinary arts.

They say in China that the journey of a thousand-page book begins with the first sentence. I read that first sentence. But then I gave up and took a nap. But later I picked it back up again, and trudged forward, slogging through page after yawning page. As of now, I’ve progressed to page 750. Which tells me I must be pretty serious about this. I guess for the first time in my life I am determined to learn how to cook.

My wife doesn’t mind all the theory I’m digesting. But breaking into her kitchen was a whole different affair. The battle began. She has everything in its place and doesn’t want it disturbed.

Which is ironic, because my wife is a slob.

The lady of this house is one of those disorganized people who leaves everything in piles, yet somehow manages to find what she needs and get things done. It amazes me. I’ve never figured out how slobs are able to accomplish this feat.

Myself, I’m anal-retentive when it comes to organization. I’m meticulous and methodical, and prefer everything to be neat and orderly. Otherwise I begin screaming. And sometimes I even pass out.

And so we are like oil and water, in the kitchen.

She finally agreed to let me cook something. I think she was hoping I’d see what cooking is really like, and never want to try it again. A gamble for her, and a roll of the dice I think she may lose.

It’s not that I like cooking. Hell that’s work, and it cuts into my nap time. But I love the results of my cooking. This college textbook has helped me produce gastronomic results that promise deliverance–sweet blessed deliverance–from my spouse’s traditional family dishes.

I’ve put theory to practice at least a dozen times now, and all with spectacular results. Even the missus reluctantly confesses her enjoyment of the gourmet feasts I’ve served.

Looks like I’m worming my way into a permanent spot in our kitchen.

I’d like to share my culinary methods with you, so that you too may enjoy the toothsome tastes that are being served upon our cluttered dining room table. And so, here’s a recipe to something I frequently cook. ENJOY!

CACOPHONY SOUP AND TOSSED SALAD

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz of Courage.
1/2 of a Brain.
1 1/2 gallons of Boiling Blood.
8 burnt Fingers.
2 scalded Thumbs.
4 letter Words (seasoning).
2 cups of Ears (or, 2 cupped ears).

DIRECTIONS:

  • Search for a saucepan. Pull all the saute pans, stockpots, racks, lids, and colanders out of the cupboards and scatter them over the floor. Somewhere in that metallic mess there has got to be a saucepan.
  • Find a mixing bowl. It will be behind the precariously stacked up bone-china teacups with the pretty designs on them, and to the right of your great-great-grandmother-in-law’s antique vases. Careful. You may feel angry, but don’t break anything trying to yank it out, or you’ll never hear the end of it.
  • Wait until the temptation to slit your wrists has passed. Then locate a chef’s knife. It’s below all the forks and under the pile of matchbooks, in the hidden compartment in the coffee table.
  • You’ll also need a measuring cup. Ah fuck it. You’ll never find it. Just guess.
  • Mix all the ingredients and put them over a flame. But first, get that roll of paper towels off the stove top. It’s a fire hazard, as you’ve politely stammered to your scowling wife a hundred thousand times.
  • Burn your fingers and thumbs numerous times, because you couldn’t find the hotpads.
  • While the vittles are simmering, try to rearrange the kitchen so that there will be some simulacrum of organization.
  • Serve the food. Listen to your wife smack her lips with pleasure, with each eager forkful. Feel vindicated.
  • The next day, cup your ears while enduring the bitching, cursing, and complaining when your wife tries to find stuff in the kitchen. Then spend hours helping her to put it back in the same disorder you found it in. Because then, and only then, will she know where anything is at.
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21 thoughts on “Invading My Wife’s Kitchen

  1. As far as the location of stuff in the kitchen, I am with your wife. I consider myself to be organizationally-challenged, except in the kitchen. In the kitchen things are organized according to how I use things.

    After 30 years of marriage, my husband recently put a plastic spatula into the container that holds all the metal ones (located to the left of the stove), instead of the one that holds all the plastic stuff (on the right).

    When I pulled it out and put it in the correct one, John asked why. I pointed to the plastics on the right and said: “Plastic.” and pointed to the other and said “Metal.”

    “OH!” my Harvard-educated husband said. “That’s why!”

    Oy.

    Liked by 2 people

            1. I hate to burst your Irish bubble, but it was French chefs, such as Marie-Antoine Careme, and Auguste Escoffier who turned potato preparation into an art form.

              I only know this because I’m reading a 1,200 page book.

              But you may content yourself in knowing that the Irish invented leprechauns, pots o’ gold, and Lucky Charms. I understand there are also quite a few unicorns in Hibernia.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Well you’re probably right. Potatoes dauphin are pretty phenomenal. We Irish were just glad to have them. Before they went bad.

                I traveled to Ireland many years ago. It was horrifying to see the stone walls that separated farm fields — often they were only a few feet wide. It was easy to see how so many people starved when they had to depend on only one crop.

                I’m sure they would have preferred Lucky Charms.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it, your messing up of the wife’s orderly disorder. With enough fabulous meals under your belt, maybe she will give up the kitchen entirely and you can organize it as you wish (as long as you cook dinner every night!) 🙂

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  3. I’d be happy to let my Hubby into the kitchen to cook anytime he wants. I’m kitchen cupboards and a crazy disaster of a mess. I like it when he organizes sometimes but, I feel bad for him because said organizing doesn’t last long.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our kitchen is an equal opportunity employer ~ share, share, that’s fair.

    BFF does LOTS of the prep work for meals as well as most of the clean-up. He knows how to fix salads, cooked veggies, potatoes, stuffing, pasta, pasta sauce, fresh fruit, and baked goods (cakes, cookies, brownies, etc.).

    I don’t bake . . . except for bread. I generally make the soups, stews, stir fries, curries, casseroles, and other “main dishes.”

    I like to cook when I’m in the mood to cook. So I make BIG pots of soups and whole pans of lasagna so we can freeze the leftovers. BFF is a pro at re-heating leftovers and rounding them out with sides.

    HAVE FUN!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m reading this post late, but I’m enjoying it immensely – especially since yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas dinner prepared by my husband. It was a glorious experience.
    My husband is no stranger to the kitchen, but a meal of this magnitude for 9 adults was new territory. I’m hoping this is just the beginning 🙂

    … but yes, god help him if he even considers messing with the feng shui of my kitchen 😉

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m wondering if some sort of cooking schedule might make that process easier. For me, the difficult part is when I plan a meal and then discover I have to go shopping for the ingredients. I hate shopping.

          Like

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