Sunday, August 23, 2015

Greatest chef on earth





Food plays an obviously vital part in our everyday lives. Without it, we wouldn't survive. There are a wide variety of tastes and preferences when it comes to food and everyone has their own unique likes and dislikes. I can honestly say that the list of food I don't like is a short one. In fact, I would be hard pressed to name a favorite food. At the top of the list (in no particular order) are burgers, pasta and a wide variety of Mexican food. Two things got me thinking about this over the weekend. One was the fact that my wife and I tried out a new restaurant in town this weekend. The other was a special request I got from both my girls tonight at dinner.

I will admit that I do very little of the cooking in our house. It's not because I don't know how to cook or even that I don't like to cook. It usually comes down to a matter of timing. Although my work schedule lately actually allows me to eat supper with my family every night, it does not have me home early enough to be the one preparing supper. At least not early enough to keep my girls on time with their nightly schedule. My wife does a phenomenal job of providing a wide range of cuisine for our evening meals. She even manages to find a way to make at least parts of the meal palatable for the girls.

Considering how much my wife and I love food, it strikes me as odd how particular my girls are about what they'll eat...even as far as how it's arranged on the plate. Don't get me wrong, we don't give in to their every demand, but there are a few exceptions we'll make just to make life easier on us. Our exceptions usually involve not adding all the spice, putting the sauce on the side or something similar. However, there have been a few times that (for the sake of our sanity) we completely scrapped the menu for them and made a new one.

One of those times happened a couple of months ago. The girls were over tired, cranky and in no mood to listen to anything we had to say. Add to that the fact that Sarah and I were also tired and not in any mood to argue. Somewhere in the menu debate, one of the girls said they wanted pizza. What I gave them is pictured above. As you can probably see from the photo, I put a cheese slice on a piece of bread and threw it in the toaster oven for a minute. What I intended to be a "fine- here's a piece of cheese on bread" turned out to be a huge hit with them. The good part is that the "pizza" I offered them made them happy. The bad part was that it looked like I caved into their demands.

Just this evening, Sarah made an amazing "pork chop pizza". I won't go into too much detail (because I don't need to make myself hungry at 9pm), but imagine pork chops smothered in cheese, pepperoni, peppers and some sort of tomato paste concoction. It was absolutely fabulous. Did the girls appreciate it? Nope. Within minutes of hemming and hawing about not likely pork chops (They both love pork chops AND pizza.), Ziva finally said, "I want one of those special pizzas that dad invented." Siri quickly agreed with her older sister. Well, for the second time in a couple months, I caved. Out came two slices of bread and two slices of generic processed cheese. They were instantly happy and I got to get back to eating the delicious pork chop pizza quickly cooling on my plate.

I am starting to see a pattern develop with their impression of my "cooking." My wife occasionally has an evening meeting or something that leave me preparing supper for the girls. In an effort to make life simple for me, she usually just plans for me to make mac n cheese. I even get to make it from a box rather than the (much better) way my wife does by melting cheese in to the pasta. According to my girls, I make the best mac n cheese. Even "better than mom's." It reminds me of the time my dad complimented my mom on her spaghetti sauce by saying it was the best she ever made. That happened to be the one time she used store bought spaghetti sauce because she didn't have time to make her own from scratch...as she had been doing for years.

The extremely weak point I am trying to make with this post is that being the world's greatest chef doesn't have anything to do with how well you cook. It is completely dependent on who you are preparing the food for. Apparently, it doesn't hurt to be a "guest chef" either. My girls probably wouldn't react the same way if my wife were to make my custom "pizza" for the girls. Then again, she didn't have my secret recipe until I wrote it out in this post. We'll see what happens one day when the girls put in an order with her. Until next time....