“No, really… it’s good,” Heidi stammered as she forced another bite of the unidentifiable ‘dish’ into her mouth. Praying her gag reflex would decide to take the night off, Heidi plastered a smile on her face and slowly chewed.
Dylan watched her chew and knew she was miserable. Heidi had always been a terrible liar. Dylan tried not to laugh as he watched his wife finally choke down the bite she had been chewing like cud for the last five minutes. He had barely touched his own plate. Tonight had been his night to cook and as usual, he refused to follow a recipe, instead he relied on his “winging it” technique. This ‘technique’ left the rice undercooked, the beef chewy and the seasoning, well, it varied from nonexistent to tear-inducing depending on the bite.
Heidi gulped down several large mouthfuls of water and accessed her plate. She had barely made a dent. “I can’t do this,” she thought desperately to herself as she absently nodded at something Dylan had just said. She briefly contemplated just telling him she couldn’t eat what he had prepared, but she choked that thought down like a piece of his overcooked beef. For weeks she had subtly encouraged him to help her out in the kitchen and now that he had, she was loath to say anything that might cause him to give up his new-found enthusiasm. Heidi pushed the food around on her plate, “At the worst, I’ll lose those last few pounds I’ve been working on,” she thought half-heartedly.
Watching his wife and guessing at the internal battle she was struggling with, Dylan decided to give he an out, “Babe, it’s ok. You don’t have to eat it.” The look of relief quickly camouflaged by her determination to be polite was too much for him and Dylan burst out in laughter. “Seriously, it’s awful, I know it is… I can barely stomach it and we both know I eat anything. So stop trying to be polite for my sake, my feelings won’t be hurt, honest,” he said getting up from his place at the table and making his way to where she sat. Not waiting for her to feign protest, he scooped up her plate and dumped it, with his into the sink.
“Next time, I’ll pick out a recipe,” Dylan said good-naturedly, “as for tonight, how does grabbing a slice at Giovanni’s sound?”
Sighing and thanking her stars for such a good humored husband, Heidi grabbed her coat and answered, “It sounds like heaven”.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: I’m not a very good cook. I’m easily distracted, terrible at planning and typically forget one or two key ingredients or steps along the way. Having said that, I think Andy is worse (and I say that with love). When the boyfriend decides to cook, it’s usually at the spur of the moment, random ingredients tossed in at whim, rice and whatever meat is in the freezer (that is not reserved for the wolf dog) and a myriad of spices that usually have no business ever meeting. The cooking technique is usually his version of stir-fry and if you ask if he’s ever considered using a recipe his reply is, “what’s the fun in that?”. So basically, he approaches cooking like a science experiment… that we’re intended to eat. Tonight was no different. And while it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, let’s just say there was something left to be desired. I always struggle in these situations, while I sincerely appreciate his effort and enthusiasm to cook us a meal, being quite the persnickety eater I don’t know if my taste buds can take much more. By his own admission, tonight’s meal was no winner, and he actually advised me not to eat it (after scarfing down a bowl he felt a little off). With that in mind, I think I’ll spend the rest of the evening for easy recipes we can print out for future meals… meals we will both want to actually eat.
Love & Squirrels.