Notice I didn’t say “love to eat.” They do love to eat, if by “eating” you mean putting a substance into their mouths and swallowing. It just doesn’t particularly matter what that substance is or what it tastes like.
I come from a long line of very good cooks and, if there is one thing an Italian family teaches its young, male and female alike, it’s how to cook. They start us young.
So I’ve been cooking for a long, long time. I don’t claim many talents, but I am a good cook. And I wouldn’t be good if I didn’t love to do it.
That being said, I hate – hate – cooking for Dirtman and the Heirs.
Scenario 1: Sisiggy spends the entire day in the kitchen preparing a full meal from salad to dessert. Every dish is carefully thought out so that the ingredients compliment each other without overpowering. The presentation is worthy of any glossy gourmet magazine. She calls her family to the table and they pass around dishes, Sisiggy, as cook, serving herself last. But before she finishes plating her meal, Heir 1 is already done and clearing the table. Dirtman has literally swallowed some food items whole, stuffed them in his cheeks and heads for the computer, still chewing. As Sisiggy eats, Heir 1 looms over her, waiting to grab her plate.
Scenario 2: Sisiggy has prepared a simple weekday meal, scheduled to be served at 6 p.m., half an hour after the time Dirtman has said he will be home. At 5:30 p.m. Dirtman calls and assures her that, though he is “running a little late,” he should be there not too much after when he’d originally told her. So she waits. At 6:15 p.m. she receives another call that he “is almost there.” At 7 p.m. the meal sits waiting in the oven.
Scenario 3: Sisiggy prepares yet another weekday meal and calls her family to the table. Heir 1 arrives, looks at the dinner and moans, “Beef Stroganoff again,” in spite of the fact that the dish has not made an appearance in over three months. Heir 2 arrives, takes note of the menu, rolls his eyes and proceeds to place a minute portion in his plate. Dirtman finally hangs up the phone, arrives at the table and declares that he’s eaten a huge lunch, so he doesn’t think he’ll eat much for dinner. That night all three eat huge vegetable bowls of cereal. Sisiggy, thinking there is something wrong with her Stroganoff, later offers some to her brother who, upon tasting it, say, “What’s wrong with those people?”
Scenario 4: Sisiggy prepares yet another weekday meal. The first phone call comes at 5:30 p.m. from Heir 2 at track practice. He tells her the whole team is staying at school for a soccer game and then is going to McDonalds. At 5:45 p.m. Heir 1 calls from his friend’s house and tells her they’ve decided to go to the soccer game after which they are going to McDonalds. At 5:52 p.m. Dirtman calls and tells her he and his crew decided to stay late and “finish up” and he thinks he’ll catch the high school soccer game on his way home. He’ll just pick up a burger at McDonalds afterwards.
Scenario 5: Sisiggy decides to prepare Dirtman his favorite meal, filet mignon. She takes the time to cook the meat to perfection, deglaze the pan for the perfect sauce and serve it up with sautéed mushrooms and the perfect wine. The meal lasts exactly 7 minutes before Dirtman is back at the computer (still chewing).
I would think the problem was my cooking, but it is the same at restaurants. I’m still eating and Dirtman is staring at me, tapping his foot, until I give up, box my meal, and agree to move on. The Heirs won’t go to restaurants, preferring to stay home and eat the ever-popular cereal.
So, though I love to cook, I no longer cook. My cabinets are dominated by cereal boxes, my refrigerator by milk.
When John Boy comes over I indulge in cooking a whole meal and it’s a pleasure to watch him eat. John Boy loves food and he takes his time with it (he does hold the family record for requiring the most time for a meal). So this is the only time I can sit, enjoy and savor my meal.
It drives Heir 2 crazy, which is another bonus.