Saturday Surprise

In retrospect, over the years, I have made my share of dumb statements.  My only solice is in the fact that most were said accidently.  Like the time upon taking a phone call that I told the caller that “I am almost glad you called”.  You get the idea.  Most were merely slips of the tongue, while others were just operating my mouth when my brain was not engaged.

So it was the other night when, while helping out in the kitchen, I uttered what could ultimately become the biggest faux pas of my long and varied life.  I would consider my culinary role in our marrage to be that of a sous chef.  Not in the true sense of the role.  I do not direct how the food will be presented for instance, and I am not responsible for assuring the quality of the product.  I am responsible for training new chefs (me), and cleaning and prepping the food.  I am no Bobby Flay, but I can wield a mean peeler and kitchen knife when called upon.

I have been very fortunate that my wife has always been an excellent and able cook.  Over the years only one or two recipes (sherried chicken livers for instance) come to mind as being subject to scrutiny and ultimate banishment.  Her tastes and mine are pretty similar except that I can handle more spice then she can.  But overall, I cannot think of many meals that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. 

So, back to the dumb statement  thing.  While peeling and chopping, it occurred to me that I can do almost anything in the kitchen except cook.  Any expertise that I possess ends at the stove.  Oh, I can cook a burger or toast a grilled cheese sandwich, but putting together a meat or fish dish with sides has never been in my wheel house.

That’s when it happened.  In a brief moment of insanity I asked “what would you think if I prepared one evening meal a week”?  Initially, there was a pregnant silence and I thought I was home free and the offer would not be accepted.  At least, that’s what I kind of hoped it meant.  But instead, she said “I think that is a great idea and I think you might even enjoy it”.  We will call it “Saturday Surprise”.  At that I started to waffle a bit, adding conditions like “you can’t tell me what to do unless I ask” and the menu will be of my selection”, but she was not going to be put off.  “OK” she said.

My new role begins a week from tonight, which is good, because it gives me six days to worry about it and one day to actually prepare something.  But I do have a couple of things going for me.  I know how to use the slow cooker, the instant pot pressure cooker, and I am the only one that knows how to use the air fryer. Surely, there has to be some redeeming qualities in there somewhere.

I keep telling myself I can do this.  If I stay calm , I am going to be OK.  I mean, what is there to worry about?  I can read a recipe and, if I get a little heavy handed with the spices, the first responders are only three miles away.  I thought I would start off slowly.  I was thinking of tube steak, lightly sauteed in natural juices and served over a bed of slowly cooked legumes in a savory molasses based sauce, accompanied by prepared brown crescent roles.  To make it even more upscale, I will begin the meal with a glass (maybe two) of red wine while Perry Como sings softly in the background.  Oh, and I think I wlll buy some kind of dessert.  I said I’d cook, not bake.

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Aging, Cooking, Faith, Family, Fear, Food, Home, Humor, Perspective, Reflection and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Saturday Surprise

  1. Great story! I hope you will keep us informed as to how it went.
    My husband cooked for me when we were dating but he chose something very complex. Still, it was good and no one was harmed.


  2. I’m thinking the amount of wine consumed by your dinner partner will be directly proportional to your meal review. Also in your favor, franks and beans is a New England favorite when I was growing up in Connecticut. I feel success is in your future.


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