why do you have to make something fancy?? christian asks.
i usually ignore him. from day one he’s said things like, we don’t need to use napkins, paper towels work fine. or why are you using serving dishes? it’s just getting one more thing dirty. or you don’t need to make a dessert.
quickly you can see how our differing belief systems regarding food and kitchen clash.
on almost a nightly basis he consumes some form of snack before dinner. the top contenders are: an entire sleeve of oreos, ritz crackers with peanut butter and honey or mini pretzels. when given meal options 100% of the time he will request lasagna, even though he knows we don’t keep ricotta on hand. when in a hunger pinch, top ramen + broccoli will do or several bowls of cold cereal. he puts kitchen gadgets, mixing bowls, pots and pans away willy nilly. when asked to retrieve an ingredient from the big freezer, after some rummaging he usually says, it’s not in there. and then i go and dig the thing out. without fail he never remembers if i wanted salted or unsalted butter. he likes to let things pile up in the sink. he calls it soaking.
sunday night, he protested from the couch – mid mario kart race while simultaneously trying to keep little whopper at bay from the controller. i wanted to make some treat deliveries to a few friends that night. i was just about ready to drop the doughnut holes into the hot oil.
you’re making something fancy, aren’t you?
no just some doughnut holes.
wait, you have to heat oil up for that and fry them. why don’t you just make some cookies?
i brushed him off. who was i to take culinary advice from a grown man-child who would eat pizza every day for the rest of his life? besides, doughnut holes aren’t fancy. i didn’t even make a yeasted dough or roll it out. now that would have been fancy.
the holes sizzled while little whopper wanted my attention and christian growled at the cheating computer. i proceeded to stubbornly fry all of the dough even though batch after batch was burning. i powdered them, thinking all they needed was a little cosmetic help. i tasted them. burnt exterior with blotchy sugary patches with doughy centers. there would be no redemption for those little blobs.
are you going to go make your deliveries? he asked.
no. they’re ruined. i said.
occasionally i get frustrated with myself in the kitchen: when my recipe doesn’t turn out like the picture. when my baked goods don’t release from the pan. when my cookies are too flat or too crunchy. when we eat quickly while gulping water because i added too much heat. when i decide to mash two recipes together on the fly yielding poor results.
despite all the misses christian is always an eager diner. devouring what i make with gratitude. except for tonight. tonight we just stared at those sad little doughnut holes and thought about the cookies we could have been eating.