Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fried and True

When my husband and I first got married he knew how to cook his mom's spaghetti, cornbread, cube steak and also tuna helper, and I knew...well, I knew how to make cinnamon-chocolate chip cookies. We were meant for each other.

For that first year we ate lots of frozen pizza and tuna and baked potatoes in the microwave - uh, microwaved potatoes, I guess - and cookies. Anyway, one night we thought we'd get creative and have hot dogs. And my husband trusted the woman who thought "sweet things" was a major food group to make them.

I went into the kitchen, got a frying pan out, and decided to make those hot dogs the way my family used to take them. I split them down the center, heated some oil in the pan, and splayed the dogs open-faced in it. I waited until they were nicely curled at the ends and seared to perfection.

I brought the finished product in a bun to my husband, and I was completely insulted by his horrified expression after all my hard labor.

"What the heck is this? What'd you do?"

"I fried them."

"Fried them?!"

I tried to explain to him about cultural influences, culinary ingenuity, and honored family traditions, but while I was talking he went to find a sauce pan and boiled himself a new hot dog. Therefore, I didn't have an opportunity to tell him about my barbecued bologna heritage, but I figured that was a revelation best saved for the future.

These many years later, I no longer fry hot dogs, and I don't even eat bologna unless I'm visiting relatives. I won't touch Tuna Helper, but I do feed frozen chicken nuggets to my kids occasionally. I know how to make cornbread, spaghetti and cube steak - ha! I'm crazy about spices, and if it were possible to OD on cinnamon and nutmeg, I would have gone to re-hab years ago. Our family eats lots of raw fruit and steamed or grilled veggies, but I still microwave the potatoes.

I've learned, sadly, that one can't bake a whole meal. I think it goes without saying that hot dogs are best left out of the frying pan. But please don't doubt the great and growing ambitions I have in the realm of my kitchen, because you can bet ya that one day I'll realize them when I get over my fear of raw meat, sharp knives and French cooking. Maybe someday soon I'll even share the few good recipes here that I execute easily and well.

Until then I'm sending you over to A Lady in France. She shares easy recipes (French recipes!) like this ONE, and she also tells wonderful stories like this ONE. Today, she happens to be sharing Part Two of a captivating story about Paris written by Daniel Hylton, my dad.

As for me, I must get cooking, literally. Tonight I'm making grilled chicken, Parker House rolls, and sweet potato souffle. Haha, so there, and wish me good luck!


  1. As soon as you said "got the frying pan out" I knew it wasn't going to end well :D

    1. How right you were, Kellie! My husband tells that story to this day, any chance he gets.


I love your comments!