Posted on

Two is too many

Two is too many Two is too many

– Column –

My boyfriend, Brett, claims to like my cooking. If he doesn’t like it, he pretends he does enough to eat it.

Brett’s cooking is also good, made even more special by the fact that it is a rarity. One year for Valentine’s Day, Brett made an entire meal for the two of us from scratch, from the salad dressing to the dessert.

Our cooking, however, leaves something to be desired. It’s “too many cooks in the kitchen,” combined with “too much of a good thing.”

The most recent example of this, is when we decided to make homemade cinnamon rolls. Apparently, chili and cinnamon rolls just go together. I’m convinced the combination is just a quirk of Nebraskans.

The whole time I was mixing up the recipe, which Brett was reading to me, I was using some choice words to describe how well it was working. No amount of flour would keep the dough from sticking to everything. Brett kept his eyes averted the entire time. Poor Brett.

Also, we had the bright idea to bake the cinnamon rolls in muffin tins when the correct size pan was already being used elsewhere. The cinnamon rolls were crunchy.

We didn’t learn our lesson after the first failed attempt at couples cooking. The infamous carrot fiasco.

Brett came over for supper one day, and I decided to cook up a bag of baby carrots as a side for the meal. I was the only person cooking, so it was going pretty good. Brett was chatting with me from outside the kitchen area.

I drained the carrots, plopped some butter in, salted them and reached for the Italian seasoning. That’s when Brett decided to protest.

“You’re going to make them too hot,” he said.

I pointed out Italian seasoning is a mixture of herbs and that it doesn’t even have anything remotely spicy in it. He agreed, if I didn’t put too much in.

I’m not sure if he was coming over to check how much of the seasoning I was sprinkling in, or if he just wanted to say hi, but he timed his visit horribly. The hovering over my shoulder was expected. I didn’t anticipate him touching me though. I jumped. Half the container of herbs went into the pot.

I may have used some colorful language in regard to that incident as well. Brett’s comment was something closer to, “Wow, that’s a lot.”

It was a lot. He was not wrong. I offered to rinse the carrots off, and start the buttering and seasoning process over. He insisted the carrots would be fine. I said the carrots would technically be edible, but a far cry from good. Brett just stared at me, so well-seasoned carrots it was.

The side tasted exactly how I imagine dried grass clippings would taste, only there was a hint of cooked carrot flavor in there. The herbs also stuck in our teeth, which was annoying.

We did learn some things from the carrot incident. For starters, go easy on the seasoning. More importantly, check what the other is doing before you walk up behind them in the kitchen. Brett gives me a nice wide berth when I have a knife in my hand. I’m apparently jumpy enough to make that a wise idea.

Despite the occasional things I make that don’t taste great, whether by poor decision or happenstance, most of the food is actually pretty good, taste wise and nutritionally.

When Brett last visited, the state was just starting to shutter things ahead of the health emergency spurred by COVID- 19. We ended up sticking close to my place and eating at home more than we usually would when we’re together.

Brett lost 8 pounds in nine days. I thought that seemed like a huge amount for that short of a time frame. I mean, we did not have that many issues with food preparation. In fact, I thought it was all good (save for those cinnamon rolls).

Cue the teasing and smart comments from all sides. Even my friend’s cat was not safe. The cat is already on a strict diet in a bid to help it drop a few pounds, but what would be the harm in the cat losing 8 pounds in nine days? That’s only a third of it’s body weight. Totally healthy.

Of course, I was laughing at the absurdity of it, too. What would have happened if quarantine would have set in before Brett left and he had to stay for a month?

Brett figured he would end up “fit as a fiddle.” If only it were that easy, right?

My dad’s response to the weight loss was the winner though.

“He’d be dead.”

Thanks, Dad. Much appreciated.