It takes my husband 37 minutes to make a salad. THIRTY-SEVEN MINUTES. I find this . . . excessive. And yes, he does make an excellent salad — complete with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, sunflower seeds, and croutons. He even makes his own dressing. But somehow the goodness of the salad does not erase my SUPREME ANNOYANCE that it takes 37 minutes to make. I think my annoyance exists on two levels. Well, actually my annoyance is so multi-leveled that it could be a skyscraper. But my supreme annoyance exists on two levels: 1) I can make the same salad but way, way faster and 2) I can finish making the main course, clean off the table, make my daughter dinner, feed the animals, load the dishwasher, wash the remaining dishes, check Facebook, and set the table and Demetri WILL STILL BE MAKING SALAD. In fact, our conversation often goes like this:
Me: Honey? Dinner’s ready. Is the salad done?
Demetri: Nope. I’m just about to start washing the lettuce.
Then my head explodes.
Now, if my husband had to go dig up the lettuce, toast the bread for croutons, or press the olives for oil I might be able to give him a break. But he doesn’t have to do any of those things. So, he suffers my loving and well-intentioned wrath. See, in a recent and oddly domestic turn of events, I have started doing a lot more cooking. I generally have a reputation as, well, a bad cook. But lately I’ve made some good soups. A loaf of bread without the bread machine thankyouverymuch. And a creamy chicken thing that involved the thickening of a delicate sauce. In some ways, this new culinary arrangement works out well for Demetri. He gets to eat good food, etc. etc. But in other ways, this turn of events might not be the best thing that ever happened to him. Because, as it turns out, I’m a bit of a kitchen bitch.
See, my domestic partner and I, we have different kitchen/cooking philosophies. His is more of the food-is-fun, let’s-enjoy-our-time-in-the-kitchen variety whereas I’m more of a I-must-follow-the-recipe-exactly-or-die-in-the-attempt type. And to say that I am anal about time and timing in the kitchen (and, sadly, in life) would be, at the very least, a massive understatement. If I had an apron it would say, “No Pain, No Gain.” Or maybe, “Do it my way and do it according to my time table or get yelled at.” The second one is less catchy but more accurate.
My other “issue” is that I can hold a grudge. If grudge holding was a sport I would medal. So the fact that the last 37 minute salad making incident occurred over a week ago is insignificant. Time does not dull my rage. When I go out for a run I use this rage and pound it out on the pavement with each step, “Thirty. Seven. Minute. Salad.” My times are dropping like nobody’s business. But I love my husband, despite his obvious salad-making faults. And I recognize that my annoyance, anger, and grudge may be the merest bit “unhealthy”. Another word for it may be “cray-zee.” So my new apron says, “Salad Can Suck It.” And my new philosophy is that steamed vegetables make an excellent side dish.
(BTW, Check out a new recipe blog that I’m part of, The Flaming Toaster. Because, clearly, those who can’t cook should be teaching others how.)