I made dinner last night and it tasted pretty terrible. Now, I like to pride myself on being a pretty darn great cook. I watch cooking shows, I try new ingredients and techniques. I can even cook some great meat, regardless of the fact that I don’t eat it. But some days the food I make just plain sucks. Last night the kids were screaming, M was sick, I was tired, and I was evidently just not in the cooking zone. After the first bite, I warned Arp about the taste. He took it pretty well, didn’t make any wisecracks, and ate it anyway. That’s one reason why I love him.
Here’s another: He told me he’d take the fall for me.
You see, I like to imagine that I’ll someday I’ll be a famous chef. Or at least I’ll get to brush cooking elbows with one some day. And last night, as I ate the terrible dinner, I thought, “Oh No! What if Bobby Flay came over tonight and tasted this terrible food! I’d be so embarrassed!” You might ask me why the hell Bobby Flay would just happen to be dropping by my house . Well, last night I imagined that maybe some caring relative might have signed me up to appear on some sort of Food TV show where Bobby Flay just drops in to cook with an unsuspecting mother. So anyway, if something like that just happened to occur, I was horrified to think what Bobby Flay would think of my cooking skills. Would he smile and pretend, or just spit the horrifying food covertly into his napkin? Either way, my reputation would be tarnished forever.
I shared this wild scenario with Arp, and he immediately told me that he would tell Bobby that he had made the food. I tell you, in that one moment, I got all mushy inside with love for my husband. He’ll take the fall for me with Bobby Flay.
Of course, Arp almost deserves to take the fall for what he put me through, cooking wise, in Costa Rica. We stayed in the guest house of a new friend for one week in Costa Rica. While Arp was privately talking to this new friend, he bragged about my ability to cook Indian food and suggested that I could come over the next day and cook Indian food with this new friend and then our two families, on top of another family (a client of the new friend) would eat it. The bragging part was OK, but the cooking part?! I was really freaked out. I had none of my Indian spices. In my experience, Indian cooking is, number wise, the most spice-heavy type of cooking in the world. On top of that, I’ve only been making Indian food that is decent for about 5 years. Here at home, I’ve dedicated 2 whole drawers, plus another half a shelf to just Indian spices. My dear husband actually signed me up to cook Indian food without my recipes, without my spices, in a foreign country with seemingly very little Indian presence. Would this freak any of you out just a little bit? I ended up performing adequately, but it wasn’t as great as I would have liked. I didn’t have my home-made garam masala and I couldn’t find any of my favorite legumes in the Costa Rica supermarkets (pink lentils, yellow split peas, any of the other little yellow Indian legumes, or even mung beans). I had to make do with cooking rajma, with red kidney beans. On the bright side, I actually used a completely new spice: fresh turmeric!! I had no idea what fresh turmeric even looked like. Our new friends had both fresh ginger root and turmeric growing in their garden. And the taste of fresh turmeric is wonderful, especially compared to what the powder tastes like. I absolutely can’t wait until we can go to Costa Rica and grow it ourselves.