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."
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!