Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Princess Can Not Peel Oranges

He likes to cook for me. I like that he likes to cook for me. I think I am a terrible cook. (Except scones! I bake yummy scones!)

"What do you want for breakfast?"

"What are our options this morning?"

"There might be ingredients to make waffles. Eggs. Potatoes?"

"Potatoes! Yes, like hashbrowns or breakfast potatoes." My eyes were now glazing over with spuds dancing their little potato dance. Potatoes!

"Your favorite."

It's true. I love potatoes. Cooked any which way but loose and the french fry being my least favorite kind of potato and I love a french fry - so, you see, I have never met a potato I didn't like. Unless it has sour cream sitting on it. Then that just ruins it for me. The Love Affair will be OVER. Desert island food? Potatoes. Desert island drink? Champagne. Desert island dessert? Gummy bears. Desert island man? James Dean. He is alive during the time I am on the desert island. You didn't say when I was going to be on this desert island or that there is any time continuum so Alive James Dean will accompany me in this fantasy. So I am going to eat fried potatoes, drink champagne, pop gummy bears, and kiss James Dean until somebody gets me off this desert island. No rush.

So he shreds the potatoes. Shreds. With a little shredder tool that I know I have but never use. I think to myself, can we not afford the extra two bucks to buy the potatoes already shredded? (Perhaps that is 2 dollars towards a shiney Christmas present that I don't REALLY want (of course) so I should let it go.) But he likes to grate his own cheese too. Which, um, the store already does it for you too! Oh really, Grocery Store, you shouldn't have! His argument - and my sister's - and my father's - is that it is "fresher this way." How much fresher can it be? I certainly can't tell the difference. But Kitchen People, AKA People Who Can Cook, know better so I should just sit still and beam, "He is shredding a fucking potato for me! Be happy girl." So while he is frying those up he is preparing the eggs, cracking them one by one in the bowl. And whisking and whisking and whisking. And? (Whisking.) When I make eggs for myself I just crack them in the pan and run a wooden spoon through them? Is that OK?

So I am sitting there useless. I offer to help many times, but he saw me try to shred the cheese one time and he heard about my whisking and I chipped one of his very expensive plates (don't ask) and I made the most disgusting fajitas you would every encounter so, The Thinking Guy, he tells me to sit there and relax. He'll do "all the work."

I know what you are thinking. Or I don't. But Version Smart Me point 0 is thinking, "Great! I am princess. This is my castle. You are my servant. Shred my potatoes, pluck the egg from the chicken coop and prepare me a feast, young lad. I will repay you in butterfly kisses in my princess chambers. Then you will go back to your servant duties. I'll ring when I need you again." But Smart Me is nowhere to be found. In fact, I'm not sure she entirely exists. Instead there is just Little Ol' Me Who Will Always Find Trouble point 00002 and a half. I flip through the owner’s manual for the vintage car that he keeps laying around the kitchen. Feeling helpless. Until he asks me if I want a smoothie too.

Holy fruity concoction jackpot! Visions of oranges and bananas dance in my head. Or a carton of orange juice. But, this is My Guy, who shreds, peels, and cores for his meal. And so I grab the orange. To help.

Except. The no cooking thing? Kind of correlates to All Things Kitchen. (Except scones! I bake yummy scones!) Peeling oranges doesn't always come easy to a kid like me. And the Peeling Orange gene most definetely left the building this morning. I should have just said from my perch on high, very princess-like, "That is ok, I do not feel like doing anything for the breakfast preparation. I would like my servant to peel this orange."

So I proceed to peel. Because who can't peel an orange, right? I think princesses do not. And that may or may not be Me. But I forget. So how does the peeling go? Well, you know how sometimes the peel comes off in nice big pieces and there is very little white left on the orange? It is the Perfect Orange Peel Job. Medals should be handed out when this kind of perfection happens. Well this wasn’t happening this morning as is usually the case with me and the kitchen and me. It was coming off in these tiny little pieces and what I ended up with were ends that were deeply embedded in that pesky orange. So in my hand was this mostly white round semblance of an orange with Jammed Ends. Princess be damned! I was going to be helpful at this here breakfast. So as I was mumbling about the Jammed Ends in my orange all crybaby (not really!) I thought of a brilliant idea. [Not so brilliant. --My Guy] I proceeded to open up the orange from the center. You know, just pick a random spot right in the center of the orange slices and pry that baby open. Orange juice was squirting everywhere. But not my eye! I was a Determined Orange Peeler that was not going to let the Jammed Ends get me down.

And so my Knight in Shining Armour comes over to save the damsel in distress, She of No Kitchen Skills, from the Land of I'll Just Bring Home the Bacon, But I Won't Fry It Up In the Pan. (Except scones! I bake yummy scones!) And this knight, with the best of intentions - I'm sure because he is nice, nice, nice - whisks the orange from my juicy, sticky, once-princess hands and says, “Wait. Is that how you open an orange?”

OK. I was prepared to have him muscle his way at that thing. To save a princess. A little he-man tug of those Damned Jammed Ends. But this kind of insulted me at this point. I may not be Chef Originale Moi. But intelligence insulted just a little here.

So I snap back in a very Lara The Brat kind of way (that mostly only my family knows), "Um. Excuse me? There is no right or wrong way to OPEN AN ORANGE! I was doing the best I could. Normally the ends come right out for me. But you buy all this food that you have to kill the goat and skin a hide for. I live in the 21st century where grocery stores do that for me!"

Well, I didn't really say all that exactly. But I did snap at him because I DO believe that there is no right or wrong way to peel a damn orange! Am I wrong on this? But I guess the whole point IS: To retain the juices because that is what will make a good smoothie. Again, I would just add more orange juice. But orange juice is different from orange juice. Apparently. One is fresher.

So I will not try to find something to do in the kitchen anymore. I wll sit on my perch, princess that I am, ordering My Guy as he muscles his way through the kitchen for me. You know, if that makes him happy.

But I have one question. Given that I can't peel an orange, should I not attempt to make Beef Bourgignone for Christmas Eve supper*? I can just follow directions, right? They don't look hard.

*I NEVER say supper but when I re-read my post I saw that I did in fact say "supper" so I left it in anyway because what does that mean? I was raised dinner-style.


Morgan said...

Has someone you've been recently spending time with use the word supper? Perhaps you have been watching a number of episodes of the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. Maybe?


Kelly said...

Hi, Lara! First of all, I just love reading your posts. You crack me up.

And, I've changed my blog address due to some major family drama (mama-in-law drama). Anyway, I know you read it, so I wanted to let you know it's now

Thanks for reading!