Saturday, July 8, 2006

Well, that was interesting.

I hate to cook.

There, I've said it. Go ahead and kick me out of HomeschoolBlogger, take away my Starbucks gift card, and call CPS. But it won't change the truth - I really do hate to cook, and I don't think I should have to do it. Isn't that why God created fish sticks and Pizza Hut?

But, just because I hate it doesn't mean I don't do it. Somehow my kids and husband fell into this terribly bad habit of wanting a meal three times a day, and I've never been able to convince them that Diet Coke, some carrot sticks, and an Oreo make a perfectly good three-course meal. So I've been forced into this indentured servitude in the kitchen, but the joke's on them. Not only do I hate to cook, I'm really not very good at it.

Take meats, for instance. Roasts? Too dry. Chicken? Too tasteless. Hamburgers? Too crumbly. My husband won't even let me touch steaks or pork loin or fish fillets. His own mother abdicated the meat cooking responsibilities to him when he was about twelve years old, so who am I to stand in the way of a man with a mission? He makes all his own marinades and rubs and has enough grilling tools to cook all the combined herds of cattle, sheep, mountain goats, elk, and flying squirrels in Wyoming.

So tonight my husband decided we should heat up a smoked brisket from our freezer. He handed me this long, vacuum-sealed package of meat, and I stood there holding it like he had just spoken to me in Martian. I finally had to say, "Uh, how exactly do I warm this up?" and he gave me one of those looks that means, And you're teaching our CHILDREN?" Apparently, his memory was then quickly jolted back to one of those times when I served broiled pork chops that had to be cut with a chain saw, because he was kind enough to explain to me, with a tone you'd use to address a two-year-old, "Put it in a glass pan on the stove with some water and just let it boil." Okay, this was something I thought I could handle, although I usually put my microwave in charge of boiling water. No matter. I got things set up and went to read my email.

A short while later, my husband stepped in the office to tell me an important fact about the Nigerian Belching Wood Worm he had just found in his workshop, when we both heard an ominous cracking sound. He ran out toward the kitchen, with me a few steps behind, when we were greeted by the sound of something like Office Depot's entire aisle of pens & pencils blowing up.

I wish I could have seen it. Apparently the explosion was quite spectacular. My husband says the pan actually lifted off the stove surface a few centimeters before it shattered into a million billion trillion pointy ouchy shards. Extremely hot, wet glass bits were everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a few pieces had managed to pierce the interior wall, the exterior brick wall, and become imbedded in our neighbor's cat, which I never liked anyway.

Once the environmental clean-up crew (aka, me) had done their job, the management (aka, husband & I) had to have a brief meeting (aka, argument) about quality assurance (aka, assigning blame). I'll spare you the details except to say that, 1) I can now take briskets off my list of Foods I Can Prepare Without Hurting Someone or Wiping Texas Off The Map, and, 2) I don't think my husband is soon going to be offered his own instructional cooking show on DIY. MTV might be interested, though.

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