Cooking sounds holy but it’s not


Gar likes to say, “My wife’s idea of

cooking, is to make a hefty pot of something

on Monday, then have us eat it the

rest of the week.” And he says this like

it’s a bad thing. Last week I cooked every

night. EVERY NIGHT! God in heaven, am

I dying? I mean, every night? I think I see

Jesus. This was so extraordinary, I texted

our friends the dinner menus with the last

evening being muffins, strawberries and

heart. A buddy texted back, “Heart? Heart

from what?” I said, “A guy I knew who did

me wrong.”

I once had clients who needed help with

meals. Why I was sent in is a mystery with a

capital question mark. Upon meeting them,

I explained my culinary deficiencies, “I’m

no chef and in fact, in a time of conflict, if

you’d put me in charge of cooking for the

enemy, I’d single-handedly win you a war.”

For some reason, they found this amusing,

but it was an honest-to-goodness, no laughing

matter.

For several weeks this couple purchased

Blue Apron, a meal delivery service that

sends ingredients which must be cooked by

the customer. It enclosed a recipe with each

shipment, like that was going to make all

my dreams come true. Someone told me,

“Blue Apron is so easy, you can prepare it

while arm-wrestling Ree Drummond with

Paula Deen refereeing.” That someone was

a freaking liar.

There were dozens of processes, starting

with, “Make a paste from fresh garlic

by using the side of your knife as a press.”

Every meal, I cursed under my breath but

mostly out loud. The dishes were time-consuming

and complex, and even the titles

were hair-raising, “Za’atar-roasted cauliflower

& tzatziki over fregola sarda pasta”

or “Hoisin-glazed pork & gochujang mayo

with furikake potatoes & snow peas.” I

started having nightmares, so began praying,

“Jesus, come quickly, before I have to

go back.”

I went online for tips from customers to

ease my anxiety. One person gushed, “Blue

Apron makes me feel like I can cook,”

and though I wanted to throat-punch her,

I felt a little foolish. I knew how to cook,

I just didn’t want to work that hard. When

someone wrote, “Too laborious, cancel my

order,” I was so elated, I fist-bumped myself.

Why did I ever doubt me? Finally, I

was asked if I wanted to prepare my own

meals and stop the service? I said, “Yes,

but first I have a priest coming to do an exorcism

because Blue Apron is a spawn of

Satan.”

One morning it was overcast and my

house was cold. A friend texted about the

cool day and said she was putting a beef

roast in the oven. I thought that was a great

idea, using the oven to heat the house, so I

made chocolate chip cookies. Later a friend,

who’d been exercising with me, stopped by,

and seeing the cookies raised her eyebrows.

I said, “It’s freezing and I don’t want to get

a chill. I made these solely for medicinal

purposes.”

I should admit, my mouth runs a lot

about me dieting, but the truth is not in me.

There’s a lot written about dieting though

and I once saw the heading, “What you

should never do while on a diet.” I didn’t

read the article because I answered with

my own thought, “Eat a sleeve of Oreos

with a glass of milk.” This was right after

I’d eaten a sleeve of Oreos with a glass of

milk.

Nabisco has sold 450 billion Oreos,

which is 20 million a day, mostly to me,

because they’re basically cocaine. Nabisco

began stocking Oreos on store shelves in

1912. I’d have milked the cow, poured the

bucketful into a milk can, and loaded it into

a wagon, along with my dipper and mug.

At the mercantile, I’d have filled my mug,

sold the rest to the shopkeeper and bought

Oreos with the money from the milk. And

Gar says thinking is not my skillset. In your

face husband.

One day last winter, I stuffed and cooked

a turkey and the juices ran over the edge

of the pan. The next morning, I began the

stove’s self-clean, and started the oven on

fire. A friend called and when I told her,

she exclaimed, “How did you put it out?!”

I barked, “Out? Are you mad? I didn’t. I’ve

been looking for a way to get rid of that

kitchen for 40 years.”

Contact Trena Eiden at [email protected]

com.

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