Kiss the cook (It’s me! Kiss me!)

I recently acquired a new hobby. I take food items and mix, bake, grill, chill, slice and dice them, (all sans a Slap Chop, mind you) transforming them into delicious other food items. Eggs become omelets! Celery becomes ants on a log! Hamburger becomes…hamburgers! Food is always better plural.

Consider making ants on a log for that next fancy dinner party.

How the media hasn’t blown this fad outta portion yet, I don’t know. (Food jokes!)

I’ve decided to call this newfangled activity “cooking” (let me have this), and it’s great because it inevitably leads to om-nom-noming. Not to mention that the gorgeous glow I get upon devouring half a pound of turkey bacon in my favorite breakfast quiche is almost akin to exercising. Almost.

I’m not sure exactly what prompted my passion for the culinary arts except that whenever Clay and I have a free evening, it always seems to turn into an Iron Chef episode. Think more jammies and less narration. For awhile, we stopped going out on Fridays at all. That was scary. Then there was our last shopping trip to Wal-Mart:

Clayton (adamantly): “We need a spatula!”
Me (thrilled): “They come in different colors! I want purple! No, red! Green!”
Clayton (suddenly alarmed): “Ea-sy…”
Me (instantly out of control): “We also need a can opener! Tongs? An egg thing-a-ma-jig!? Spaghetti strainer!!”
Clayton (cautiously): “Ok, Cass. One at a time. Can openers appear to come in all different prices and sizes here. Look, this one has a grippy rubber handle.”
Me: Overwhelmed silence and reverence

I also can’t leave out all the Hy-Vee trips where a certain cart boy inevitably greets us with a demanding “Ladies first!” every time we approach the entrance. On cue, Clay and I rowdily push one another out of the way to get inside first, running off of love’s purest, truest and most gentle adrenaline (him – testosterone; me -feminism). This irritates the cart boy.

Once inside, we freeze instantly in our tracks, always stunned by the life-sized cardboard cutout of Ellen DeGeneres—whoops, that’s Curtis Stone.

It's uncanny! It's...not right...

Then, onto fruits and veggies. We don’t make it out of the produce section for a good 15 to 20 minutes, and trips that should take half an hour become twice as long as I explore new ingredients with the tenacity of a kid at an ice cream parlor. I stop investigating the mangoes, white asparagus and herbs only when I see Clay taking a trip of his own to frown town.

Our cart slowly becomes filled with random ingredients we’ll most likely hate – papaya and Korean pear – and of course, wine. You know, for the cooking. We exit the store past a now wordless cart boy, satisfied until the next time we get a food fetish.

One time we went to Hy-Vee four days out of the week.

Once back in the kitchen, I immediately take over as sous chef because I excel at vital tasks like  pouring wine, washing produce because men consider dirt just another seasoning, and of course, stirring. Nothing makes you feel more important than having yourself a good stir. It’s also a great way to look busy in an effort to avoid cutting onions. (For the love of God, someone teach me already)

The more we cook, the more we like to think our tastes become increasingly refined. Our meals consist of seafood more often than not, and it’s a must that red or white wine appear on the list of ingredients. And, although our dishes only call for a ½ cup of it or less, we feel obligated to finish the bottle because we hate waste. Life is so hard sometimes.At the height of sophistication...puns!
I keep with the evening’s theme of pure sophistication and class by setting the coffee table in front of the TV with paper towels, covering our water glasses with coasters to ensure Chloe doesn’t dunk her head into them. As I do, I can’t help but think how wonderful it is to have a hobby where I’m constantly learning and trying new things. It’s my special time alone with Clayton, where we bond over the entire process of creating and eating a meal we made ourselves — garlicky hands, burnt pancakes, “natural turkey casing” and all.

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18 responses to “Kiss the cook (It’s me! Kiss me!)

  1. You crack me up CB! We are opposite sides of the same coin on this one girl. I hate cooking. In fact, I think I’m allergic to it. The last time I cooked, I melted my husband’s favorite spatula down to a nub. I had to replace it, and I was overwhelmed with all the options. After pangs of anxiety in the cooking section, I just bought all the spatulas in the store, ha ha. 🙂

  2. As I type my reply, I am wiping streams of tears and am wondering which upsets me most……still no pictures of your new kitchen apron or the fact that the GLUTEN filled pasta looks so dang yummy. I’m jealous, but happy you found the joy of cooking. When will you publish your new cookbook?

    • I love the apron! No cookbook – I’m not remotely ready to reinvent the wheel on recipes yet. Watching Chopped makes me very wary every time I simply SET cheese next to seafood! 🙂

  3. My favorite part of this blog: The photo of the asparagus plate with the Cosmo magazine in the background!

    I too have recently picked up cooking and am thoroughly enjoying it. This blog echos my sentiments exactly!

    • I’m sure my Cosmo horoscope for that moment would have gone something like: “You have excellent taste in art – culinary art, that is! Get the night cooking by planning a saucy dinner with you boy toy. Then, things become hot and steamy in the kitchen…when you wash the dishes. What’s on the dessert menu? You.”

      Haha! 🙂

  4. Feit Can Write

    Ah Hy-Vee….

    I’m not longer allowed in there since the time I went in after a few beverages and tackled that life-sized cutout.

    Even though I know slum at Super Saver, it was worth it.

    • Who won, you or Ellen??? Quite awhile ago, I went in after a few beverages as well and proceeded to open a package of freshly baked sugar cookies, eating them as I continued to shop. I think the cashier found it more endearing than anything, especially when I bought the cookies in addition to the supplies needed to make a hearty breakfast at 2 in the morning.

  5. Haha me and my partner are the same. Going shopping is an exciting event 🙂 Is that sad or just growing up? Funny post 🙂

  6. You are now well on your way to becoming one of us, a foodie. Aka Food Snob. We even have our own channel, Food Network. This is important: stay OUT of Macy’s kitchen department, within minutes you realize you cannot possibly live without the entire Martha line & its all down hill from there. Listen closely: resist the lure of Williams & Sonoma. And please do NOT click on this:||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-
    Just because I’m silly enough to buy such things doesnt mean you should !

    • You are BAD!!! That whisk is amazing! For my birthday last year, mom and dad got me a fancy cake server shaped like a high heel, so I think I’m well on my way already…I’ll know I have a problem when I actually buy the Curtis Stone olive oil drizzler for $60 that we keep eyeing at Hy-Vee.

      Foodie…that sounds like something sophisticated I can add to my resume for an instant hire!

  7. Haha..wonderful, Cassie! Oh, and yes, love the ‘ants on a log’! Bon appetit.. 🙂

  8. a) I miss shopping at Hy-Vee! They don’t exist in Arizona.

    b) Pouring the wine is absolutely the single most important part of cooking. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    c) Your photos of yourself, your man friend and your food are great! 🙂

    • a) That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m so sorry for your loss.
      b) Wine + the alternative music channel on TV = I could cook all day
      c) Thanks! I had many more, but the slideshow feature was being difficult, so I eventually gave up. 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on Dots Of Color and commented:
    Good post and fun read. Good job! We love food! 🙂

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