Lately I’ve been playing Chopped in my kitchen. It’s that show on the Food Network where they give the contestants a basket full of random shit like kumquats, cotton candy and a hundred year old egg (it’s a real thing) and challenge them to turn it into a four star meal in 40 minutes.
I imagine that the inspiration for this show came from someone like me whose husband came home from work one day and asked, “Hey, what’s for dinner?” And she was like, “Um, I think we have some stale pretzels and a furry hotdog in the fridge.”
I hate food shopping. No matter how focused I am, somewhere between the bread and milk aisles I turn into a pregnant pothead and find myself wandering around like, Wait, why am I here again? Oh right! Three cheese tortellini and hot fudge. Yes, I’m sure that’s all I need.
Thankfully, Tom doesn’t demand that I make him dinner. In fact, most nights he cooks for me, but not because he’s trying to be sweet. It’s more because he doesn’t want salmonella poisoning. Some of our biggest fights have started over raw pork. It’s always the same scenario. I’ll declare that the pork chops I just made are done to perfection. He’ll take my word for it and scarf them down like he’s been living on a deserted island for three years surviving off of fire ants and coconut milk. Then I’ll take a better look at the pork and declare that it needs to go back in the oven immediately. He’ll yell, “Why do you tell me it’s done if it’s not!” To which I’ll reply, “I can’t believe you just ate two raw pork chops in under a minute. You should consider competitive eating.” He never thinks it’s funny. Instead he checks his pulse all night while I call him a hypochondriac and secretly script what I’ll say to the police when they find him face down on the lawn.
So what’s in my Chopped basket tonight? A hundred year old avocado, 1lb of questionable frozen-solid chicken that I’m pretty sure moved with us twice, an economy-sized box of Cheeze-Its (the pregnant pothead must’ve went to Costco), two bottles of House of Tsang sesame seed oil left over from the Asian-inspired raw pork dish I made last week, and a half empty bottle of wine that I’ll polish off while I’m cooking this shit so I can forever say, “Oh that meal? I was totally wasted when I made that!”
I’ll let you know how it turns out. If Tom survives he’s doing the dishes. And he better not dry them with a washcloth because when we’re not arguing about raw pork we’re arguing about his blatant misuse of towels. Like one time I asked him to get me a burp cloth and he handed me a beach towel. When I called him out on it he was like, “What’s the difference?” I said, “Well, a beach towel is something a grown man uses to dry the seaweed off of his ass after he emerges from the sea like Godzilla, while a burp cloth is a small piece of fabric used to wipe dibble from a newborn’s tender lips.” He didn’t agree so I made him pork that night.