Sunday, June 8, 2008

I'm No Rachael Ray, So I Married Alton Brown

Cross-posted from The Dana Files.

I'm not a horrible cook. I'm not the world's greatest chef, either. It's safe to say I can turn on the oven, boil water, and make almost any basic recipe given to me. I have a vast collection of cookbooks and I love to dig them out of the back of my pantry to try something new on occasion, but for the most part, my husband is the master chef of our kitchen.

When we were first married, I cooked dinner every weekday. My husband always seemed to eat what I prepared and never complained, however, as a former line cook in a popular local restaurant, he always took it upon himself to educate me on cooking techniques and ways to "doctor up" my favorite dishes.

I always say if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and it started to irritate me that my loving spouse had a "suggestion" for every meal I made. After a few years I decided to hand over the reigns. If he was so smart, he could do all the cooking, right? In fact he thinks he's the greatest chef in our town and often refuses to go to restaurants because he could cook a meal ten times better. (This is probably why we haven't gone to Chili's in ages. He insists on outdoing their baby back ribs.)

After Dawson was born, I barely had time to shower let alone stand in the kitchen over a hot stove for 30 minutes. Then I discovered Rachael Ray and fell in love with her 30-Minute Meals. Her cookbooks are my favorites, because when I do have to cook, she makes it quick and somewhat easy. I've even caught myself saying, "Yummo" and using a garbage bowl.

My husband, a FoodNetwork addict, would frantically write down recipe ingredients from these shows, and then try to recreate the culinary masterpieces. He will spend hours watching Alton Brown on Good Eats, and he has a secret crush on Giada De Laurentiis.

A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to make an Emeril recipe for coconut shrimp. I bought all the necessary ingredients, made the batter with the flaked coconut and proceeded to line the coated shrimp in rows on a baking sheet. I was so impressed with myself, until I realized I forgot to clean the shrimp veins. My husband assured me we wouldn't die from eating shrimp poop, but it took me a good three weeks to eat the little crustaceans again.

These days, my "cooking" consists of visits to Subway, and Dawson doesn't seem to mind. (Of course my know -it-all husband insists he could make a better sub at home. He probably could.)


This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a contest sponsored by the American Egg Board.

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