Who Can’t Cook?
When Tracey and I married back in 1991, it didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that she can’t cook. I mean, she’s a third generation German raised by Italians; and while you might expect some good cooking to come out of that, Macaroni and Cheese is her specialty – six meals out of seven. I cook the seventh meal.
Tracey’s mom works for Kraft, and Tracey loves Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – so you can see how we arrived at this situation. Perhaps I’m being a wee bit unfair here; however, for the first seven years of our marriage I only experienced my wife boiling water, soaking some noodles, and either pouring something out of a packet or out of a jar onto them – and there is the meal! Well, she could always bake cookies like a champion – mmmm snickerdoodles!
Anyway, one day in 1998 I was in my home office working on some code. I had very unstable logic construct in my head and was sorting out how best to stabilize it when my lovely wife barged into my office and demanded to know from me what I would like for dinner – and it was only two in the afternoon.
Frustrated that I lost my train of thought, I snapped back that I didn’t really care, whatever she cooked would be fine. I didn’t say it, but I was clearly thinking I’d be getting drowned noodles again with something poured on top of them. Tracey had about enough and she dressed me down about being unspecific with what I desire to eat and how she wished, just for once, I’d be specific.
I determined that I would teach her to mess with me! I quickly replied that I would like to have Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy, Turnip Greens, Cornbread, and Peach Cobbler. She immediately left my office and shut the door securely behind her. “Ha!”, I thought, “That will teach her, now I can get some work done.”
About ten minutes latter, I hear the front door open and close and the car noisily pulled out the drive. I began to think that maybe I had pushed a little to hard, but I had work to concentrate on. Some time passed and I heard the family return and they began making noise in the kitchen. I ignored them and focused on work.
Eventually, Samantha hesitantly stuck her head in my office and quietly advised me that, “Mom said dinner is ready.” I sighed, stood up and stretched, and headed to the dinning room. The first thing I noticed was that the table was loaded down with precisely what I had ordered for dinner; and I immediately realized that I was going to have to eat it, all of it, and pretend to not dislike it.
After the blessing, I got started. It was odd, everything looked “just right” and I took a bite of the chicken … it was good. Not good in the sense of “Hey, this tastes alright” but good in the sense of “Wow, mama could take lessons from you!” and my mamma can COOK! I quickly tried everything on the table and it was all fantastic, which just made me angry!
I threw down my utensils and said, “Tracey! We have been married some seven years and all you have ever cooked was noodles and some thing from a jar!”
“If you could cook this well, all this time, why in the universe is this the first time you have cooked me a real meal! Why have been eating macaroni and cheese from a box!” I demanded.
Tracey calmly explained, “In seven years of marriage, you have never once told me what you would like to eat. Every time I asked you would say something like I don’t care or whatever or something hot and macaroni and cheese is simply one of the simplest things to cook, so I always make something like that.
Well, suffice it to say that since then, if Tracey asks me what I want – I am very particular with the details. It turns out that she is a gifted culinary artist and even if she has never made what I request, she figures it out and makes it taste good anyway! It might also be noted that after this event I began to seriously gain weight – which I am still doing to this day!
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