2010.08.04 Someone's in the kitchen with David

Written by David Green.

Who cooks for you all?

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I laughed aloud when I read a teaser on the front page of the Detroit Free Press a couple weeks ago.

I’m not really sure “teaser” is the correct word to describe the item I read...at the Observer we call them “reefers,” as in referring the reader to an inside page, and I’m always a little worried someone will walk in the office on a Tuesday when I yell something like, “Are the reefers done?” as we get close to deadline.

Whereas Observer reefers are tiny little photos with a few words of explanation letting you know of something particularly interesting in this week’s paper, the Free Press runs nice size photos with headlines, captions and a short synopsis of the story you’ll find in another section of the paper.

And this reefer headline read, “If you cook together, you’ll stay together.”

The headline alone brought on the laughter, but the synopsis only added to it:

“Do you spend a lot of time with your sweetie in the kitchen? It might be good for the two of you. A survey has found that couples who cook together view their relationship more positively than those who said they did not spend time together in the kitchen.”

My immediate thought was, we’re always lucky to make it out of the kitchen alive when we cook together. It’s probably a dangerous thing for me to wield a knife when David is thwarting my efforts by secretly turning down the flame on the onions or adding turmeric to the tofu.

The photo shows a wife preparing bruschetta for dinner as her husband looks on. It seems more like he’s keeping her company than actually cooking anything.

Flip to the Life section and you see the husband stirring vegetables in a wok as the wife leans toward him laughing about something. The photo looks a bit staged to me and not much like reality—not my reality anyway.

David and I are just not that highly evolved when it comes to sharing kitchen space. It’s a small kitchen and, invariably, whenever we’re in it together preparing one meal or another—which is just about every day—I’m always where David wants to be...which causes him to lament that I’m always in the way...which brings to mind the chorus of that tune, Father’s Whiskers.

Oh, they're always in the way,

The cows eat them for hay,

They hide the dirt on Daddy's shirt,

They're always in the way.

The song makes me smile, but to David it’s no laughing matter. He’s usually in a hurry.

“I just stand there, silently waiting, figuring eventually you’ll finish chopping, chopping, chopping or whatever you’re doing,” he says.

I was quizzing him about our kitchen interactions. I thought our culinary capers had improved over the days when his carrot peeling could send me into paroxysms of frustration. I think he does his carrot peeling in secret now, because I can’t really recall the last time I witnessed carrot heresy.

“Don’t you think we’re cooking better now?” I ask.

“Cooking better? Do you mean eating better? I don’t know what it means to cook better,” he says.

“I mean I don’t say anything now,” I explain.

I think I’ve improved dramatically, refraining from commenting when he does something that conflicts with my kitchen sensibilities such as how to wash leafy lettuce or cook brown rice.

But David hasn’t noticed any difference.

“You’re in that position where you have to do it yourself because everybody else does it wrong,” he observes.

Darn, I really thought I was getting better.

But he tosses a few examples my way to remind me of who I really am.

“The amount of mayonnaise I put in tuna, the balsamic vinegar I put in tuna...”

Oy, he’s right. I can’t abide it—not just the mayo: too much—or the vinegar: wrong kind (apple cider is best), but, the draining of the tuna water—he doesn’t squeeze enough out. He doesn’t take the lid completely off nor does he press down on the lid with all his strength to remove every last drop of water.

He’s brilliant at removing all the bones from smoked salmon and superb at mincing garlic, but his method of washing leafy lettuce leaves me wincing.

“I think I cooked you an egg once and you ate it,” he said. Was there a forlorn hint to his voice?

I don’t know how we’re still married.

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, David must have ulcers.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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