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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
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  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

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