Feb. 9, 2015

Dining...feasting...to be or not to be... a gourmet every day!

Here's the cheese souffle, which we'll get to in a few paragraphs, just to whet your appetite!

Does anyone have honey-baked ham on a regular, ordinary, no-big-deal, middle of the week dinner?  Seriously, nobody’s coming over, but you go to the honey-baked ham store and take one home.  I don’t think so.  There are certain things that only seem to work for holidays.  For instance, turkey.  Have you ever bought a turkey in the middle of April, just because you could?  Probably not.  Pot roast we can have whenever we feel like it.  Meatloaf, barbequed chicken, the occasional steak, salmon, salad, spinach, broccoli.  Any old time at all. 

Do you think that early man, when doing his and her level best not to let large, unpleasant animals eat them, but also doing their level best to bring said large, unpleasant animals down, drag them back to the cave and grill them, ever thought twice about having saber-tooth tiger for dinner on a Tuesday night?  Again, probably not.

At my current season of life, cooking is not at the top of my “to do” list.  If possible, I’d like to eat out, or eat whatever’s in the white Styrofoam box from the last time I ate out.  Instead of providing several meals a day to four children and a nice husband, I now provide oatmeal in the morning, a sandwich for lunch and maybe a baked potato for dinner for the aforementioned nice husband and me.  I will, on special occasions, whip up a cheese soufflé, French toast or pancakes.  Very special occasions!

When first we wed, my husband was unused to food.  His mother, while a wonderful woman, in fact, the only woman who ever thought I was perfect, prayed for me daily and never criticized me, was not a good cook.  Food preparation made her nervous and she was a true believer in Aunt Penny’s White Sauce in a can.  My mother, a rather more difficult person, was a great cook, and I, myself, was no slouch, having been familiar with the kitchen and its mysteries from the time I was about nine.  My mother felt strongly that as she had to go to work every day at a job, and all I had to do was go to school and stay out of trouble, that I should pitch in and start pulling my weight.  So, I learned early to cook.

When first we were dating, my husband and I worked at the same aerospace company, he as an engineer with responsibilities for serious projects; and I as a feckless assistant to the tall, skinny, constant smoker who was in charge of the drafting department.  Occasionally for lunch my soon-to-be husband would whip up a really excellent cheese omelet for us and it was so nice to have someone cook for me that I enjoyed his omelets for quite a long time.  When he slipped the ring on my finger, he retired from the kitchen.  I remember those omelets quite fondly.  Maybe we should have honey-baked ham more often, too.  Bon Appetit!