Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This Takes As Much Commitment As My Marriage

My friend Maquel is a great cook. Well. Several of my friends are great cooks. But Maquel is the one who, when we went to her house for lunch one time, took some salad plates OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR to put the salad on before she served it. She had chilled the salad plates. And I knew in that moment I was in the presence of a truly great cook. Because, y'all.

I have NEVER ONCE chilled the salad plates at my house. It takes all my energy to dump that salad out of the bag onto a plate straight out of the cupboard.

The last time I was at her house, she presented me with some friendship bread starter. It was in a big plastic bag and she handed it to me with a page-long list of instructions. I skimmed over it. Huh. Looked like I just had to kinda smush this bag of liquid ingredients once a day for a few days, then add some more stuff and make bread from it. How hard could this be?

I casually smushed the bag every day as the ingredients grew and fermented and then, when I took the paper down from the fridge to see how to make the bread, I realized I had screwed up. I was supposed to FEED this stuff on one of the days. Gah. I had not fed my starter! Just what kind of a cook was I? Well. A lazy one, obviously. This stuff was requiring quite a commitment. Even more than my marriage. Well. That's not PRECISELY true. I often have to do more than smush Tom once a day.

Now, I had to smush this bag every day AND take care of my husband. This was really taking up a lot of my time. But I managed. I fed the starter, smushed the bag AND took care of my husband. Who managed to contract some kind of virulent virus from our daughter and was laid up in bed for a few days. Smush the starter, take care of my husband. While trying to get ready to leave for Florida. Running errands, packing, doing laundry, getting my truck washed because I was the designated driver for the trip, smush the starter, take care of my husband.

In hindsight, I realize I could have just pitched the starter in the trash can. But then when Maquel asked how my bread was, I would have to tell her I had to give up and throw it way. Oh, the shame! The shame. I just couldn't face the pitying look she would have given me. The shaking of the head. The sighing.

So, I took care of that frakin' starter every single day.

Every. Single. Day.

And the I had to go to Florida and let it die. Because there is no way Tom was going to smush and feed that starter for me.

The shame.


Anonymous said...

wait 'til you get home and see all of the dirty dishes...(waiting on you)


Alice said...

I'm with you on cooking. Who knew you could even refrigerate salad plates? Never would have occured to me. EVER.

And I've had the friendship bread before and it was delicious. If you can keep up with it. And smush it. ; )

Anonymous said...

I agree, it is hard to feed the starter bread and take care of hubby and house. I threw mine out. The reward is worth it if you can do it all. The bread is delish.