men and cooking

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Dacnar cooked today and it was terribly good! Of course he did something simple, like stick little potato balls in the oven, and fry up a ray with cream, onion, anise and beer. What makes this exceptional is that he's advanced to the point that he has four ingredients in the sauce, and the four fit together elegantly. I'm so proud!

Normally he does something stupid like fry onions with peppers and then spoon the glop over boiled pasta...or he has this weird chick pea dish which is just smashed chick peas with green peppers, served with bread. It's quite minimal stuff...because he gets distracted easily.

But today, I'm not sure whether he was inspired, or just happy to eat fish after three days of sauerkraut and salted pork (yeah, the choucroute will NOT go away). In any case, it's proved to be an inspired go at kitchen duty. BRAVO!

When I first met Dacnar, he used to eat canned spinach, canned green beans, canned pasta, dried tortellini, boiled plain pasta, bread and butter. I still remember the puzzled look on his face when I served him green beans that weren't grey. And, he stubbornly holds on to that strange idea that vegetables need to be so overcooked that your tongue takes the place of your teeth. I hate canned spinach. Who eats that dog poo? And yes, Popeye is a cartoon character!

But this is not the only case of male culinary retardation. For example, my father is notorious for the three times he tried to cook for my sister and I. My sister was quite a non-discriminatory eater, but even she was horrified at the messes he produced from the kitchen. For example, I have a memory of his french toast so scarring it prevented me from ordering or tasting french toast till the age of 25. And I think he tried to make daal once, but I've erased the taste from my brain. My dad's a bad cook not from lack of trying, unlike dacnar, but from sheer lack of talent.

And then there's the finnish friend, JP, who lives off steak. That's all he cooks. The rest is just carrots, apples, ice-cream, vodka and gallons of milk. Before he got on the caveman diet he ate chinese noodles with chick peas, or chicken with cream. The noodles were boiled and then tossed on the chick peas, which were then fried in an assortment of soy sauce, oregano, herbs de provence, hot anything that he could ge within arm's reach. The chicken was as the title suggests, fried then tossed with cream. It's really not as bad as you think...except he would regularly leave this food on the stovetop, then eat it the next day, and the day after. No wonder we went through so much toilet paper last year.

Finally, the last category is devoted to men who just won't grow up and eat properly. Old roommate, false front teeth, used to be a McDonald's addict till he moved to France, where he coined the now famous "double dinner": whatever you're eating for dinner, eat a doner/kebab before. Or ex-boss, Dr. Turettes, who used to blab about fine wines and excellent pate, but left alone, he'd live on popcorn, chocolate, and dessert wines.

But seriously, I feel like I'm making headway with the Dacnar when it comes to food. If this is true, it would make the second boyfriend that I've successfully managed to brainwash into stardom in the kitchen. The first one turned into a cook after discovering the soup wasn't just powder poured into water. I have a lot hope, nonetheless, that this is a passing phase and he'll go back to the minimal cooking style. It's just too much to hope he could be distracted from his computer for more than 2 minutes.