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Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste*

Do you remember T? The man with a lawn obsession? The man with harshly worded indictments against the common gray squirrel? The man with the quick wit?

T has discovered cooking.

Not just normal cooking. No, no, no. Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess; and T has gone beyond learning the pedestrian stew, the homey hash.

Lemon pepper chicken: That’s reasonable, isn’t it? But where’s the fun?

An omelet in a bag: I actually got to try this; and outside of my concern regarding eggs and whatnot in a plastic bag into a pot of boiling water, it was delicious.

Chicken Marsala: Cooking with wine! Wait. That is a wine, isn't it?

His first dessert was a tiramisu.

But it was his next foray into the kitchen that opened a new world to him.

A dry cooked spaghetti, lightly covered with bread crumbs. And two kinds of olives.

Two kinds of olives! This, from a man whose eating habits could be determined by glancing at the fast food bags in the back seat of his car.

Pancakes with mascarpone and ricotta: I had to listen to him eat this one over the phone. It sounded cruelly delicious.

And then he started creating his own dishes.

He sent me a picture of a breakfast bruschetta: toasted raisin bread with cream cheese, grilled apples, caramelized bananas and a balsamic reduction.

“More than anything,” he said, “I think it’s the quality of ingredients, don’t you?”

Next thing I know, he’s saying things like “drizzle” and “pancetta”, talking about creme fraiche and things I suspect are on menus in the expensive restaurants.

He has purchased a Santoku, a butcher knife he is in love with.

It has an extremely sharp edge and a no slip handle, you know.

He created a salad the other night that was so good that I made it myself just a couple days later: parmesan-encrusted chicken on a blend of salad greens, feta cheese, and sliced strawberries covered with a fine drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Mine was good.

But it wasn’t as good as his.

Days later, we talked it over.

“Well,” he asked, “Did you do it the same way I do?”

I frowned a bit. “I only had butter lettuces.”

T, sitting on the edge of the couch, slapped his thigh and threw himself backward. “Butter lettuces?! You didn’t use the 50/50 spring blend?!”

And there you have it.

Ingredients. It’s all about ingredients.

*with apologies to Ministry


ICKY said...

This current obsession is totally your fault. If I wouldn't have been around big Pualie and Jay and the like, I would still be waiting for someone to put food in front of me. As a matter of fact, the lawn bit was your fault too !
What have you in store for me next ?
Calligraphy? Fencing? Basket weaving perhaps?

Ms Sparrow said...

Your Mr. T is showing the typical purist reactions of a new convert. If he had to prepare three meals a day for a family he wouldn't be so persnickity!

Anonymous said...

Get ready for some interesting meals.

Fragrant Liar said...

I am going into the kitchen right now and making that parmesan-crusted whatchamadiggery salad. That sounds FABULOUS!

So I hope this trend continues, is what I'm saying. Sorry, T.

CatLadyLarew said...

Omelet in a bag? Cool! Bring on the fresh ingredients!

Irish Gumbo said...

Did you then punch him in the nards? (snort)

Laoch of Chicago said...

It is time for a blogger cookout with him being the first guest chef!

Douglas said...

My culinary talents are limited to hot dog sandwiches, tuna and macaroni salads,lemon (or lime) pepper is my preferred spice. Experimentation beyond this is quite rare. Yet, I am somehow not the teeniest bit jealous.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I think everyone is a better cook than I am. sigh.


justsomethoughts... said...

i myself was dimayed about your not using the 50/50

good GOD woman!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I like the 50/50... and am wholly a one-lettuce person, you get my drift!

Jocelyn said...

Clearly it's time to throw a party--'cause you have just the right caterer, all ready to go.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Mr. T is welcome to come and cook at my house any time! Especially if he brings the tiramisu recipe.



Gaston Studio said...

Omelet in a plastic bag? I can't even imagine it being that easy.