Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two Chefs + One Kitchen, a Happy Marriage Does Not Make

Last night was the official beginning of the "We cook at home to save money and pay off massive debt" Vacek Newly-wed Challenge. How did we do? Well let's recap.

Last Night's Recipe de jour: The Illustrious Porkie Pine Meatball

Only at about 4pm did I realize that my pressure cooker went ka-put before the most recent move, so that sort of threw a wrench into our plans. So now I have thawed ground beef and no idea what to make.

Also in the news: It is the coldest week in Houston so far this winter. This comes into play later.

So I arrive home freezing my knickers off. (It's is a balmy 46* here but that is very cold for us). Jon is feverishly trying to find the end of season football bowl-of-the-week, while cursing our pauper-like living situation. Alas, we do not have ESPN. (I jump around in glee, fists pumping in the air). I make the suggestion that we move the beef stew that was planned for Saturday (when the Arctic blast moves out) to tomorrow (as the hard freeze arrives). I think we should start the crock pot and get it going today for tomorrow's lunch/dinner just in time for the hard freeze. He agrees with the idea, but not the mode of cooking. Thus far, my crock pot experiments have been sub par to say the very least. Beef Stew was also his one meal of the week to prepare, so he decided that he was going to make it his way.

By this point I am already hungry, which means I have little room for shenanigans. My temper flairs as my blood sugar goes down. I offer Jon two dinner alternatives since the meatballs are scratched. He fiddles around awhile before deciding on spaghetti. For me, this is like a 10 minute meal. Brown beef, dump in pasta sauce, boil noodles, voila! Dinner. Meanwhile, J is lolly-gaggin around the kitchen trying to get this stew started. He starts rummaging through the spices to find something season the stew with. Being that I set up the kitchen, I try to help out.

Me: What are you hunting for little Ninja?
J: Not sure, I'll know when I see it.
(He's looking in the baking spices)
M: Um snookie, the spice rack is over there with a plethora of spices, why don't you try there first, you're kind of crowding me. (Only 1 large burner on this stove that I need to heat the sauce)
J: Mmmhmmm *rummage rummage*
M: *starting to fume* Babe, I promise what you are looking for is probably over there.
J: Mkay *various bottles now on the counter*
M: For the love of God man! What are you looking for!?!!?
J: Found it! (Tony Chachaere's Season salt)
M: You are going to put Cajun spices in a beef stew...? *eyeballing his stew pot contemptuously*
J: What's your problem?

Oh no he didn't!!!!

So now begins the circling of the bowl, so to speak, as we jockey for stove space and spew heated rhetoric back and forth.

M: This onion is for you, I got it so the stew would not be bland. (very small onion. He hates onions but admits they are a necessary evil)
J: K. *chops about half of uber tiny onion into minuscule pieces for the stew meat now browning on the stove*
M: *Eyeballing meager rations of onion usage*
J: What?!
M: That whole onion was for your stew. I picked the smallest one I could find for you. *said in an overly dramatic way. As in "I gave my left kidney...FOR YOU!"*
J: Well, I am saving some for you to use on something else.
M: *Blood sugar dangerously low* What the hell am I going to do with a half of a miniature onion!?
J: *blank stare*
M: *face palm, slaps tiny half-onion in a bag. Tosses into fridge*

 (Dinner 95% complete by this point, blood sugar at critically low levels. Supernova impending.)

Me: *putting on pot for noodles*
J: What are you doing that for?
M: Ummmm....noodles. Wouldn't be spaghetti without noodles now would it?!!!!!
J: How much longer do you think it will be before dinner's ready?
M: *Staring at him in disbelief* However long it takes to boil the noodles. I have been trying to hold out until you get to a pseudo-stopping point with your stew.
J: *big sigh*

Oh no he didn't!!!

M: *Fuming around the kitchen, plating dinner* Are you ready to eat yet?
J: Do carrots need to go in the pot with potatoes, or do they not need to cook as long?
M: They probably need to go together. Are you ready to eat yet?
J: Do you like the carrots this size (baby carrots) or do you want them cut?
M: Usually I like them smaller, but dinner is getting cold, just throw them in.
J: *chop chop chop chop*
*KABOOM, blood sugar meltdown*
J: It's important that I make it the way you like it, it will only take a minute, just chill.
M: *Banging head on table*

New rule: Only one cook in the kitchen at a time.


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