Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Waiting for Dinner

I’m glad my daughter, Melissa, married her husband, Trevor, for quite a few reasons. First and foremost, he's taken her off my hands and generally puts up with her. Second and secondmost, he’s a great father to Miles and Georgia, who, by the way, look alarmingly like him.

But another important reason I’m happy to have Trevor as a son-in-law is that, of everyone in our immediate family, he is the only one, and I do mean only one, who can cook.

The Big Kat, my ex and the father of my children, has vegetable soup as his signature dish. Said soup is made by pouring canned vegetables in a pot with one chicken bouillon cube and boiling it.

Although my son, Billy, purports to excel in All Things Poultry (i.e. an egg or a boneless breast of chicken) using the melting-butter-and-then-putting-the-poultry-item-in-a-pan-and-covering-it method, the only recipe of his I’ve personally experienced is his Flaming Fart Dip. No need to say any more about that.

Molly, my youngest, is a master at Hamburger Helper and frozen dinners. However, during a recent foray into better eating, she called to ask about fresh vegetables. When I inquired as to if she knew how to peel a carrot, she said in a somewhat sad and tremulous, not to mention a tad accusatory, voice that she didn’t know how to peel anything.

Melissa, who doesn’t cook much at all since she snagged Trevor with her womanly charms, still likes to call my Coca Cola ham recipe her own, although she has to phone me on the Wednesday before every Thanksgiving, asking me what the ingredients are. Since there are only four: ham, brown sugar, honey mustard, and yes, a can of Coca Cola, I’m able to help her no matter where I am or what I’m doing. The only problem with my rendition of Coca Cola ham is that its ultimate level of success depends on how long I sleep the night before, as it is meant to be cooked all night. If I undersleep, it’s underdone. If I oversleep, well, you get it.

So, we are left to Trevor and he with us.

Trevor is a very good cook, a gourmet cook.  He loves good food, fine wines, and craft beers (whatever they are).  He actually flips his dough while making the best pizzas in the world. The bad news for Trevor is that we, his adopted family, are, at best, an inadequate group of appreciators.   Remember, we are the Hamburger Helper, Flaming Fart people.

However, a dearth of understanding of the culinary arts and a lack of palate don't stop us from sitting around and waiting for dinner to come to us.  In the summer, we gather in the back yard, eyeing the grill.  In the winter, we decorate the couch, sniffing the air for food-like aromas. At Christmas, we sit under the tree like a biggie-sized nativity scene, looking like we are expecting our entree to arrive with Baby Jesus.

Waiting for dinner, that's what we do.  That's all we contribute.  And, overall, we are pretty good at waiting.  In fact, it seems we will wait forever.

And that's because Trevor, being the artiste he is, can't be hurried.  Dinner, for him, is a journey, not a destination.  Off to Salmon Dan's house across the street for fish so fresh it's straight from Dan's beer cooler still in the back of Dan's boat sitting in Dan's driveway.  Then down the block to Sharon's coop for eggs so new the hens are still checking under their feathered asses. Finally, he comes through the front door as our mouths begin their serious optimistic waterings, but no, out the back door he goes to the garden for salad greens, reds, and yellows.

Back in the kitchen, he opens a bottle of wine, letting it breathe, and then mixes up an exquisite dressing for the salad.  We, on the other hand, share the couch and a mint from the bottom of my purse.

When dinner finally arrives, it's to die for and we are spent, all of our work done.

Trevor thinks one day he'd like to open a small restaurant, a breakfast or lunch place, farm to table, only the freshest ingredients.

But, in case his patrons get tired of waiting for fresh, good, and real food, or if they run out of bottom-of-the-bag mints, maybe he'll want to offer Billy's dip as an appetizer to keep them entertained while they wait.

25 comments:

Friko said...

That picture at the top is absolutely gorgeous. Is that before or after cooking dinner?

I can see that waiting for dinner could wear you out, but someone's got to do it, so sacrifice yourselves.
It's all in a good cause, ie helping Trevor to show off his culinary expertise.

I can't get over that picture, it's delectable.

LC said...

If it is true that laughter is good medicine, and I am living proof that it is, you should open a pharmacy.

Once I managed to tear myself away from the intro photo, I started down your trail of culinary hilarity. It was all the more funny to me because I don't cook, and I absolutely love you, your daughters and your son, and yes, even your ex!

My unrestrined laughter seriously interrupted my husband's quiet perusal of the news sites he visits. That could be the only downside. He is the cook in our household and I was sitting on the couch, waiting for dinner, which he has already started! I don't want to slow him down on finihing his reading and getting back to the kitchen. He he!

marciamayo said...

Boy Linda, am I glad you are back to typing!

MaryB said...

Ohhh do I love it! Tears are running down my face as I read it and identify with the wonderful people in your family. My son is the cook in our family and the rest of us are similar to your group. I think you were at your best in this one!
And the picture - it is priceless.

marciamayo said...

and Mary, I'm glad you never quit typing.

Wisewebwoman said...

argghhhh it lost my post I'll try again later....

Cile said...

I agree with Friko and LC that is the best picture EVER! You are in fine form on this post, Marcia! It is hilarious and flows like a babbling brook full of delights and surprises! Obviously Trevor's cooking has inspired you to new heights in story telling. I can tell you, as a non-foodie myself, I hear you sister on the magic of those who create culinary splendors!

Olga said...

I like to cook, but I am definitely the challenged one on my side of the family. Mike's daughter is an excellent cook--a lot like your son-in-law from your description. There always seems to be a crowd at her house at meal time. And "meal time" is usually somewhat past my bedtime.

Arkansas Patti said...

This is the best post of yours I have read so far. Just brilliantly funny. I totally lost it at "a biggie-sized nativity scene."
My dad was a wonderful cook. I think all men should cook. They look so hot in aprons.

Birdie said...

The picture is so sweet!

I can't cook very well but I can cook a delicious pot roast so it is all good. Oh, and a turkey dinner. People forget I can't cook because I can cook those two meals.

I would love the Coke recipe!

Brighid said...

Loved your pic...and the fact that your not big on cooking. Someone has to be the taster...and I'm a taster. Thanks for the laugh, it tasted sweet!

liv said...

See, that's the great thing about Trev and Mo, they make a great entertaining team! Also, having lived with Trev's little brother for year, I believe Trev is the only one on BOTH sides of his family that can cook. :)

marciamayo said...

Then we got lucky, Liv!

schmidleysscribblins.wordpress.com said...

Just wonderful Marcia. MY SIL and my sons are all great cooks. So is my oldest granddaughter. I used to be a good cook. I have never eaten much that my daughter has cooked because both of her husbands could cook. Dianne

Nance said...

That's the dearest picture! Kiss the cook and the cherub.

This was a great piece of writing, dear!

Friko said...

I had to come back and look at the picture again.

marciamayo said...

It is a great one. It's funny. I tried to find a picture of Trevor cooking but couldn't. I'm glad I didn't as this one has been a definite fan fav.

paula devi said...

okay, I am ready to be adopted as an auntie in your family and not just because of Trevor's artistry. Your picture is priceless.
Your writing is hillarious. I love your writing.
As far as Coca Cola ham, are you patriotic for the large company in your city or are you helping to keep my daughter & son-in-law working.
xoxox

Wisewebwoman said...

I love the pic, Marcia! I had previously tried to comment and got booted off. Oh I am such a witch.
I was laughing about going outside our own genepools. There are several adoptions in my family which have introduced tall slender ballet dancers and sleak-ed hirsute jazz musician to our stumpy lot, ungraceful lot. We are only thrilled to claim them as our own.
Three cheers for yours!
XO
WWW

marciamayo said...

WWW, in our case, going out of the gene pool has been a wonderful thing in many ways.

oklhdan said...

Love, Love, Love the picture! You made me laugh as usual! Great post!

June Calender said...

Smile making post -- but why didn't the kids learn to peel anything? When my daughter relates that her 24 year old magna cum laude son, living on his own usually have approximately one carton of strawberries in his fridge and that he can't cook anything that doesn't have microwaving instructions on the box, I ask her how she raised him without an idea how to cook an egg or make a salad. No response. Apparently a common problem.

marciamayo said...

June, in my case, the lack of peeling expertise has to be due to poor parenting. At least I can say that none of them was able to peel me when they got mad at me as teenagers.

Linda Myers said...

I'm a good breakfast cook and I can make sandwiches, but my husband Art is the one who loves to be in the kitchen. This moment, as I type, he's whipping up a pretty decent leftovers dinner.

One of my requirements in a husband is that they be able to cook. So far I've found two. This one I will keep.

Phil said...

"under their feathered asses." You have such a way with words, a way that makes me laugh at loud. This post also made me quite hungry, something I didn't need to be!