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Monday, February 2, 2009

I Can Almost Guarantee Take-Out on Thursday

I don’t know if anyone’s explained this to you yet – and I don’t mean to step on your parents’ toes – but there are things that men and women do – quite often in the privacy of their own homes – that lead to great satisfaction, potentially unsanitary situations, and differences in opinion on technique. It can look like fighting, but don’t be scared, kids. Mommy and Daddy still love each other.

And every Sunday, whether we like it or not, we do it, Willie and I.

That’s right. We cook.

It’s not exactly a well-oiled machine, our cooking and putting away three or four main dishes, but we manage. These meals will be both lunches and dinners for the work week until they either run out and/or we tire of them.

It’s both a domestic thing and an economical thing.

Of course, that much time in a small-ish kitchen and you’ll see we have different cooking styles.

Willie, for example, takes three hours to chop an onion. I may be exaggerating here, just a bit, but it’s enough to make me leave the room. As my brother, the king of hardwood floor installation and finishing would say, “Come on! We’re not painting the Mona Lisa here.”

But this is not how Willie rolls. Willie is precise. There is strong German and Dutch blood in his veins, and this leads him to measure everything, to line things up exactly, and to cause me to scream things like “for Pete’s sake, Willie, drop the knife already!”

Honestly, I just don’t have the time for the minutiae of a perfectly chopped onion. There’s laundry to fold, blogs to write, and forensic crime shows to watch.

I have a very busy life!

I am proud to point out that I’m no longer irritated by his perfectly measured, exquisitely cut and time-sucking onions. The instrument, however, required to measure my indifference regarding this “skill” of his has yet to be invented. I remain unimpressed with his chopping. The chopping is an inconsequential bit of the whole experience, in my opinion. I’d rather get on to the simmering part, shortly followed by the eating part.

I’m sure there are things about my cooking that Willie has complaints about; but Willie can’t type for shit, so we’ll never know what those things are.


I’m a big fan of food waiting for me in the fridge. Better yet, if I could get that food without having made it myself? That would be good, too. Because I don’t want just any food, not food in a can or bought frozen, but food made from scratch, in my own kitchen, filling the house with smells of home and then slowly mellowing in my fridge, waiting for me and my yoga-weary self at the end of a too-busy day.

Of course, for all my home-made-food snobbery, by Thursday or Friday we’re out of food and we're looking at take-out menus – and I don’t care.

This Thursday, I’m thinking gyros, maybe some hummus. I would not turn down crema or baklava.

Dagnab it, I can only be so domestic and thrifty.


Mary Moore said...

I can't stand it when someone (i.e. my husband dearest) takes too long doing anything!

naperville mom said...

such a delight to read...thx for a peek into yr kitchen tantrums:)

Pearl said...

Mary Moore, I know! It's not like the chopping part is terribly important. Just get it in the pot and let's get on with it!

Naperville Mom, you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Love It! Love It!
My BF is just as precise and it drives me up the walls. I love your idea of making food for the whole week, but what if you don't feel like that specific food by the day you're gonna eat it? Take out it is hey! LOL!

Keep posting... I'm loving your humor and wit all the way. Makes my day a bit brighter every time!

Not The Rockefellers said...

Willie and my Hubs. Separated at birth?

One of my hubs favorite quotes:

"I have a system"

To which I reply

"More like a symptom."

FYI- Sunday afternoon is our prep day as well!

Meatballs were made, Lasagna was created and (we) I also made 4 qts of chicken stock.

Despite all of this I do see some take-out in the future. Usually Thursday, as well.

Peace - Rene

Ann's Rants said...

I have a fantasy of having a Grandma from each food group (Italian, French, Mexican, etc...) that comes over and cooks for me. I relate.

Steve said...

The height of luxury for me would be to have a personal chef so I'd never have to lift a finger (or indeed an onion) in the kitchen ever again. Hey, we all need things to aspire to...

The Retired One said...

My husband started helping me cook late in marriage, which is really sweet (that at least he's trying to help). But it goes like this:
Him: "honey, where is the onion?"
Me: "the second crisper drawer"
Him: "Nope. Not in there."
Me: "yes it is, right behind the cheese".
Him: "Nope, Not in there."
Me: "Did you move the cheese?"
Him: "nope...not in...oh, wait a minute, here it is."
Him: "Hon, where do you keep the knife?"'
Me: third drawer under the microwave."
Him: "Nope, Not in there"
Me: "yes it is. In the first divider on the left"
Him: "nope, Not in there"....
Finally, I get away from blogging (damn him!) and go and get the onion, the knife and the chopping board and do it myself.

Douglas said...

I cook too. My favorite recipe is the number for Domino's Pizza. I am also a master of 15 minute meals, I make a mean omelet with whatever is in the fridge. And then there's my macaroni and tuna salad. Other than that, I'll starve if Faye ever leaves me and they stop making frozen meals.

Dr Zibbs said...

"Blog to write"...should be "blogs to read" for me. I've been spending way to muchtime reading blogs.

darsden said...

You would actually stab me waiting for a bloody mary...LOL too funny. The celery has to be minced just right by me and my knife...NO you can't use a chopper it is Not the same. (then they have to sit over night before drinking) Dying lol at he doesn't know how to type! Pearl you are so funny.

swenglishexpat said...

Have you ever tried putting up wallpaper together? ;-0

BTW My WV was "bilickin" !!!! as in
"I'll bilickin all the bowls"!
Happy cooking!

Sandi said...

I HATE to cook! HATE IT! When I met Brandon he listed cooking as something he enjoyed. So I married him. I haven't been in the kitchen in 3 years. LIFE IS GOOD!

La Belette Rouge said...

That first paragraph made me think this was going to be a hot post. Well, it is. A hot meal is so HOT.

Bee said...

There are so many funny things here . . . and one of them is your husband's name. Especially in the context of your first paragraph - an English person will just think of one thing when he or she sees the word "willie."

gratin is word verification . . . how perfect is that? How is Willie with a gratin?

Pearl said...

Maryx8815, I'm glad you enjoy my writing, because honestly, I enjoy doing it! :-) And I am glad to hear that I am not the only person in the kitchen gritting her teeth while someone does in 30 minutes what I normally do in 3...

Rene! Very productive of you! I'm stealing your "symptom" response, because Big Will has a "system" as well!

Ann, THAT or room for a chef!

Steve, I agree. As long as someone is genuinely cooking and filling my house with smells and leftovers, I would be happy.

Retired One, I think you've got a whole blog there! Very funny! (We do the same thing, but it primarily concerns the contents of the fridge. My response, when he can't find something, is the same response I had when my son was little. If I know it's in there and he claims he can't find it, I tell him that "if I come in there and find it, I get to hit you with it." :-) Works like a charm.)

Douglas, it sounds like Faye's got a Valentine's gift coming to her!!

Dr. Zibbs, I understand that one all too well...

darsden! Note to self: If I go to Mississippi, let Darsden know at least 24 hours in advance!!

Swen, Oh, wouldn't that be a sight?! No, Willie and I have very different styles in work. :-) I pretty much attack stuff, while he takes his time, looks at it from several angles, makes some phone calls, draws a diagram...

Sandi, you are one lucky woman!!

La Belette, it was no 9 1/2 Weeks...

Bee, I'm glad you noticed. :-)
A gratin would be something I would end up making. Big Willie's really good at home-made caramels and baklava, damn him. :-) His caramels, seriously, are like crack cocaine (absolutely addicting).

Christine said...

I admire your ability to plan ahead. And spend a Sunday cooking. I just couldn't do it (no do I have the fridge space to save a week's worth of dinners). But I totally relate to different styles in the kitchen. Matteo and I just have to keep clear of each other when we're cooking (separately).

PS... I dedicated my Feb 1st post to you... just because.

Susan said...

The Spouse can actually cook but he does his chopping on a PLATE instead of the cutting board. I volunteer to do it for him to spare myself and my neighbors the sound of Fiesta ware being maimed by a knife but he refuses. I have to go outside because it sets my teeth on edge! I say get Willie a bag of frozen chopped onions for Valentine's Day. Hysterical post as always!

Michelle said...

Ok i hope you still love me but :


Except my name is Michelle!!! I was once cooking with a friend and she literally threw me out of the kitchen saying something like, go rest i can take over from here. Within 20 min she had it all done. I was still worried about the onion i left behind!!!

Hey can i call you Pearly-Q??? Like Curly-Q???


Lilly's Life said...

Its true about Germans being anal and perfectionists. I come from a long line of them and luckily (or unluckily at times) I wasnt standing in that end of the gene pool. Surely there must be a machine on the market that chops onions in seconds. Buy him one. But I do like the fact that he cooks with you, now that is pleasurable. And respects food. I like a person who respects food. Onions are one of my cravings for some absurd reason that I have never uncovered, they must be loaded with sugar or carbs.

Kevin Musgrove said...

No. No no no no no.

Cooking together? It's unnatural. It's like a goat born with three heads of a bull.

You'll be telling us he gave you driving lessons next! (-:

Anonymous said...

We have a good system at our house. I start the meal with all the prep and whatnot, and then he watches over it until its done. I do the first half, he does the second. It works for us.
Will you post the carmel recipe?

Jess said...

LMAO! All of that sounds wonderful! Our idea of cooking is Hamburger Helper. Plus we are poor lil shits. AND we have priorities. Beer of course. Well, our Hamburger Helper hashbrown mish mosh is almost done...tootles.

fingers said...

Sometimes, when I can't be bothered ordering pizza, I'll just open up a can of the cats' deluxe tuna and eat it with a spoon.
It's really quite good and the only danger is that straight afterwards I have to fight the urge to go out onto the road, lie down and lick my ass...

Fragrant Liar said...

I wish I liked to cook. I mean, I really wish I did. I am envious of people who find such joy in it.

Braja said...

Oh pleeeeease....the first fight we ever had -- and I mean major doozie -- was over how to cut TOMATOES. Goddamn....

Sal said...

Hi Pearl,
Lovely read as usual. Had missed your blogs for a while now; and boy, am I glad I am back!
Cooking food over the weekend for the week is a routine for me too and the part that makes me cry, yes you guessed it right, is when I chop onions!
Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Very funny! And well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

My husband is like yours - oh, the horror of measuring and following recipes down to the very last gram...

Jeanne said...

You're a better woman than I am. Old Dog has started making dinner for me since I started my new job and get home so late, but I don't actually have to watch him cook....

Pearl said...

Christine, thanks for the post! And honestly, what a strange shower you have! A bit like a standing sarcophagus -- and a great subject for a blog!

Susan, his birthday is coming up...

Michelle, you may certainly call me Pearly-Q.
And I am sorry to hear that you are Willie. :-) But I still love you.

Lilly, I love onions and have been known to fry them up, just to salt and eat them. But watching him get those little buggers chopped all to the same size makes me crazy!

Kevin, while I agree that there is a bit of the farm animal to some of our cooking forays, I am actually the one who taught him to drive a stick -- and he still sucks at getting out of first gear!

SweetCheeks, see, that would work for me! And as for the carmel recipe, I've just made a note to get it. I think it requires like 24 hours' worth of stirring or something (I exaggerate, but you knew that!) so you'll never catch me making them, but those little suckers are totally blog-worthy...

Jess, hey, there's a lot to be said for good beer. One must have priorities!

fingers, now I've got a picture of you scooting across the carpet... You have absolutely MADE my Tuesday morning!

Fragrant Liar, I think I do it because both parents were good cooks, as were my grandma. There's a lovely mindless quality to housework -- it lets me turn my head off and just "do". Am heading to India next January to visit Braja and see the world, where I hope to learn something about just "being".

Braja, tomatoes?! See, now that's just silly. Now fighting over ONIONS. Well, that's serious. :-D

Salil, Have not been to your blog for a bit as well but will be today! Glad you liked the story!

ladyfi, it's those little things that make you leave the kitchen shaking your head, isn't it?

Jeanne, I've yet to throw anything at him, so I've got that going for me! Otherwise, yeah, sometimes I go do something else and just tell him to let me know when he's done chopping...

Braja said...

And I'll teach you how to cut tomatoes properly....because I KNOW.