AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: October 23, 2012 | COMMENTS: 8 Comments
I can cook.
That’s not an emphatic statement. It’s more like a “Stuart Smally Affirmation” in the spirit of …
“I’m good enough…
I’m smart enough…
And doggonit, people like my cooking!”
I admit that in the beginning of my marriage I wasn’t the best chef. Cooking for two is, well, rather boring and after a long day at work the last thing I wanted to do is come home and stand at the stove. I was more in the “come home and collapse on the couch” camp.
This was an acceptable approach until Drew started wanting to eat more than pureed carrots and peaches. That’s when the mom guilt kicked in and I felt compelled to give the cooking thing a swing. Unfortunately, when I kicked up my career a notch with my principalship, I realized that being a working mom and cooking are two difficult tasks to coordinate. That’s when, after a snarky comment from Sean about our family eating take-out for the umpteenth night in a row, I remember growing desperate to make him think I had this working mom thing down. Hell yes I could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan…but I often preferred to bring home the bacon already fried..you know what I mean?
That’s when the charade of fake cooking began.
How does one fake cook?
Well, I’ve managed to fake cook with a few special recipes. I slaved over these concoctions with stellar results.
Fake Home Cooked Meal # 1
1. Drive through Taco Bell and buy four Grilled Stuft Chicken Burritos.
2. Transfer burritos to greased 9×13 glass baking dish.
3. Pour jar of salsa and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over top.
4. Turn on oven to 350, cover casserole dish and microwave it until cheese is melted.
5. Turn off oven and place casserole dish in warm oven.
6. Throw out Taco Bell bag and receipt…preferably in a place where no one will see it. (I like to wrap stuff like this in a used diaper. Sean would never check there.)
This is one of my family’s favorite meals. I’ll never forget one of the boys asking me how I got the grill marks on the tortilla. I panicked but quickly channeled my inner-politician and said, “Grill marks? What grill marks? There are no grill marks!”. Ah…the power of suggestion works when you are saying something your audience really wants to hear!
Fake Home Cooked Meal # 2
1. Stop at Sofos on the way home and buy a frozen lasagna.
2. Stuff it into a 9×13 pan.
3. Bake according to directions.
4. Dispose of original foil pan. (Note…This won’t fit in a diaper. For larger items I usually insert them in an empty cereal box and place them in the recycling bin.)
*Tip* Familiarize yourself with the ingredients of the Sofo’s lasagna. I didn’t and it came back to bite me in the arse. You see, I faked this meal for a “lasagna bake off” at my mother-in-laws. Imagine the horror when my lasagna won and Sean’s sister asked me what kind of cheese I used. My response, “Uh….American?” didn’t serve me that well!
Fake Dinner #3
Beef and Broccoli
1. Buy two beef and broccoli dinners from a Chinese restaurant.
*TIP* Savvy fake chefs don’t go to the best Chinese restaurants. A drive thru version will do. If it’s too good, you’re likely to blow your cover.
2. Pour contents into casserole dish.
3. Follow steps #5 and #6 from recipe #1.
4. Pour white rice from take out containers into sauce pan. Cover. Leave on stove top at warmest temp.
5. Grab your frying pan and lay it in the sink. If you really want to “sell it” sprinkle some water on it so it looks like you just washed the pan.
6. Dispose of evidence using tips from previous recipes.
I know, on the surface, it seems like fake cooking may require more effort than it’s worth. Trust me, when I say the feeling of getting away with a little charade here and there is somewhat exhilarating in my otherwise mundane life.
Oh…and I really do cook. To prove it, tune in tomorrow for some redemption. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite and simple week night dinner recipes.
Now Spill Your Fake Cooking Stories for A Turkey Give Away!
Have you ever fake cooked? Please do tell! The best story will win a gift certificate to Sautter Market to put towards a fresh turkey for your very real Thanksgiving dinner! Leave your story in the comments below!