Friday, June 19, 2009

I Miss The Person with the Cooking Skills

I am tired and cranky this morning, and there is no coffee. There is a coffeemaker, and I suspect the kitchen contains some of the powdery brown substance that smells like coffee, but alas, there is no coffee made.

This makes me sad. I have already checked the coffeemaker twice this morning, just to make sure it is as empty as it was yesterday when I poured the last half-cup from it into my airplane travel mug. It is still just that empty.

I can hear you. I hear you saying or thinking, "Well, Dipsh*t, sounds like it's time for you to get off your behind and make some coffee!" and if the world worked the way it ought to, I would.

But here's the thing: I don't like to drink bad coffee, therefore I do not participate in making the coffee. I regard coffee-making the same way I regard car repair or major surgery: If I want my brakes to function or my spleen to continue creating my fiery-hot anger (or whatever spleens do), then I let somebody qualified do the brake-repairing or spleen-surgery. Likewise, if I want to drink coffee that is drinkable, I have to wait for someone to make it for me.

I married a person just for this purpose. I remember the day in college when I decided to marry her. She walked into my class with a travel mug of coffee that smelled really enjoyable, and she proceeded to enjoy it with a relish I could only generate by hooking up with Teri Hatcher and Carre Otis at the same time (um, this was in 1991). I thought to myself, "Man, would I like to be that mug of coffee", and then I thought, "And also to drink some. Of the coffee. Before I become the mug of coffee," and then I thought, "Now I am confused and horny."

Anyway, I conned her into marrying me, and one of the very first items we picked out together when doing the bridal registry thing at Service Merchandise was . . . wait for it . . . an answering machine! And right afterward, the coffeemaker - the very same coffeemaker that sits empty right now in the kitchen, mockingly empty while I type.

The problem is that my coffee-making wife has gone to her parents' house in Upper Retiredsville, and she will not be back for a few days. And there is no coffee made.

I am no idiot. I am perfectly capable of following directions. But that doesn't help me in my cooking endeavors. I can follow coffee-making instructions to the letter, and it comes out as sock-strained dog water swill coffee every time. It's my own special brand of magic. I apply this magic to cooking and baking equally.

Someday I will be rich and famous because of this magic talent. When some cable channel (Food Network or Home and Garden or Animated Chatty People Who Cook and Decorate) holds an Improbably Bad Food Cookoff, I will be the champion, and then people will hire me to come to their event and cook a whole lot of embarrassingly inept food for their guests ("Dinner Inedible?").

Here's how it will work: each contestant will have a proctor assigned to them, to make sure we follow the recipe exactly. Which I always do. The contestants will have a possible point total of 500 for this part, and I will have a perfect score, because I always do exactly what the cookbook tells me to do.

Actual Directions:

Chop chicken and press through a sieve. Soak bread in milk. Press through sieve. Add melted butter, egg slightly beaten, chicken, seasonings and milk to make of the consistency to shape. Shape between two spoons and poach in boiling salted water. Stir until cool, pour into a mold wet with cold water and set in a cool place. Serve plain or with cold cream sauce or plain sweet cream.

Then the contestants will have their mess judged by a panel of Foodie-Channel judges who have pissed somebody off but still want a paycheck. They will award up to 500 points for all the usual categories: Unrecognizability, Forbidding Odor, Surprisingly Unwelcome Texture, Carbon Infiltration, Gag-Reflex Test, Aftertaste/Afterburn, and Gastric Unfriendliness.

I will be the first contestant to walk away with a perfect score of 1000, because this is what always happens when I cook something: 1) I do everything right; 2) my special magic talent renders the food inedible; 3) somebody else cooks something or (3.5) we send out for pizza.

I have already eaten all the available crackers and cereal in the pantry. I miss my wife. And I am still sleepy.