Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grill Zombie and other adventures in the suburbs

Marge is here

Have I mentioned how much I dislike cooking? I would rather scrub a toilet than cook. I’m not sure why I have such a strong emotion about cooking and blame my lazy nature. But really, cooking doesn’t interest me all that much. Food interests me. There are a few things I can make well but we can eat them every day. What I like to cook is old fashioned heavy sauces with lots of cream and butter. But like I said yesterday--


The Exploding Cheese Incident this week brought to light just how much I hate to cook. I was completely distracted by the pork in the oven which wasn’t cooking but was drying out and turning into something more suited for footwear. It was my self-inflicted ire which distracted me and made me forget the rule about hot glass and cold metal. And I was right about those pork chops: dry and tough. But everyone ate them out of fear.

And don’t tell me: “Oh honey, bless your heart you just need to learn how to cook and then you would enjoy it.” And I would say: “Oh honey, I know how to cook. I just don’t enjoy it.”

In fact, I used to lie and tell people I didn’t know how to cook. It worked on TG for almost six years until a few weeks ago we were at our second favorite French restaurant and the vichyssoise was like sipping clotted cream with a spoon. I was terribly disappointed and all the sudden the martini started talking: “This is awful; I can do so much better than this! This soup needs leeks and dill to finish it off.” My proclamation was met with raised eyebrows.

“You have a vichyssoise recipe?”
“Uh huh”
“Is it as good as your quiche?”
“You’ve been holding out on me, haven’t you?”
“Um, I guess so. Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I like to do it.”

The gig is up and I’ve been outed as someone who cooks. Not only have I been outed as someone who cooks but the responsibility is now more or less mine most nights as TG’s hours have changed.

Oh. The. Horror.

You see, if it were just me, I would be happy with grapes and microwave popcorn on the rare nights I didn’t go out or have left overs from going out.

I can readily admit I enjoy cooking winter types of food. I don’t mind putting a very large piece of meat in the crock pot with vegetables and calling it soup or stew. I like to make chili and soup. My roasted chicken is always good, too. But summer cooking calls on a more imaginative cook to avoid heating up the kitchen thus the house. “So grill, June. Grill.” Was the girl’s remark to me the other night. And I had to explain to her

Why June Doesn’t Grill

Because I am afraid. Very very afraid.

Not the meat part. I do know people who are squeebed out by raw meat and can’t touch it or cook it. But, hello? I’m a nurse? It’s the lighting of the grill. Now before all my kind readers take up a collection to buy June and TG a nice self-igniting gas grill, put your checkbooks away and log off paypal because we have one. My fear is so deep set; I’m even tripped out about turning the switch on this one. Rationally, I know it’s probably safer than any of the gas ranges in any of the crappy rent houses I lived in during and just after college.

When I was a little girl, me, my sister and mom watched Marcus Welby, MD, religiously every Sunday night. I enjoyed the medical stuff and my sister enjoyed it because of this guy. ------------------>

And well…duh…James Brolin was so hot on that motorcycle, a new breed of doctor, with his sideburns, bell bottoms and his blatant 60’s prime time style sexuality.

Anyhow, there was an episode in the 70’s (it was in color so it was definitely the 70‘s) and a woman was hostessing a BBQ. It must have been a particularly festive party, too. My mom wore shorts or slacks when we had people in for grilled meat. This woman had on her 100% petroleum based polyester maxi dress with long flowing sleeves and to complete her groovy ensemble she had her hair (or a wig) stacked way way way wayway way up on her head secured--no doubt--with two or three cans of Aqua Net. Mrs. Maxi Dress is prancing around the kitchen and she goes into the backyard with her big tray of steaks or what have you and tries to light the grill. And tries again. She even leans her face down to see if something is the matter and can’t see anything so she puts more lighter fluid on the charcoal, steps back and throws a lit match and


Up in flames, burnt beyond recognition. The end. Her life is over. Bye bye.

It could happen to anyone, especially me because I always cook dinner in long flowing maxi dresses with drapy sleeves made by our friends at the DuPont Corporation and my hair saturated with highly flammable hair spray.

And because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life like a mummy with gauze wrapped around my face and hands, struggling to talk; I won’t grill.

So what’s for dinner?

Probably mac and cheese if they are lucky.


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