Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The sweet smell of success

“Don’t burn the dinner, don’t burn the dinner, don’t burn the dinner…”

I’ve never been a fan of my culinary skills. Neither has my family. They bought me an apron one year that said, “Clean your plate; even my dog doesn’t like my cooking.” Hubby got me fridge magnets that say, “Last time I cook, hardly anyone got sick,” and “I kiss better than I cook.” I should be insulted at this unrelenting abuse, but if I can accept critiques on my writing, then I can certainly buck up and accept the fact that I’m challenged in the ways of the kitchen.

So it was with this frame of mind that I began dinner last night. Hubby's our chief cook, but he came home with the flu, so it fell to me to cook a whiz bang birthday dinner for our daughter, who turned 22. Hubby is a great cook. When the kids were young we had a rule; “If you want it now, I’ll cook it and you’ll be quiet about the quality. If you want it to taste good, wait for Dad.”

What to do? I can’t “wait for Dad.” He’s sick. Shitfireboogersnots. Daughter wanted nothing simple – at least not simple in my narrow field of tacos and meatloaf; chicken marsala and fresh spaetzle. I consider ordering out, but the fam would never let me live it down.

So I cooked.

And cooked.

I measured, I beat, I sifted, I added, I sliced, I prayed a whole lot, I cut up, I reduced, I drank three glasses of the cooking wine, and voila – I made dinner.


I’m still reeling. The chicken was paper thin scallopines with Marsala and onions. The spaetzle is a messy affair, but dang, not so hard after all. And fabulous. The fam freaked. “Mom, you really outdid yourself.” It’s fair to say that shock was the flavor du jour around our dining room table. But I did it. The lip smacking was as sweet as the best book review I’ve ever had – confirming that I really do love my family more than writing.

I’m thrilled that Daughter’s memory of turning 22 will be a happy one and not one of homemade fire extinguishers, smoke, and lots of swearing. I feel so empowered that I may conquer Duck L’Orange tonight.

Or maybe we’ll just eat leftovers. Hate to push my luck, yanno?

1 comment:

The Hat Chick said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one whose culinary skills lean to the grilled cheese end of the scale.