- Food and Cooking
My Love Affair: A Married Woman's Willing Confession
He's Tall, Dark, Attractive and a Good Cook!
© B. L. Bierley 2012
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m in a new love affair. Oh, don’t panic, my husband Cap knows all about it. He thinks it’s a good thing for us. The object of my affection is taller than his predecessor, dark and attractive. He’s got a lot to offer a girl, too! And on top of it all, he’s an excellent addition to my life! And he’s a good cook! I mean, seriously, when we get together things really heat up!
Don’t get me wrong. This has nothing to do with my marriage. Cap is a terrific husband. This isn’t anything to mar what I have with my man. But I must confess I often come away from my new love a little flushed and excited! He’s the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time! He brings so much to the table, too! I can’t tell you all the things he’s taught me in the short week I’ve known him. And he doesn’t waste my time either! There are so many things we still can do together! For now let’s call him Fred.
I don’t have to hide anything from Cap that I do with Fred. In fact, he’s completely accepting of my time with my new friend. This isn’t about sex, folks, I assure you. But there is definitely chemistry between us. I do my best to keep up with all the things Fred lets me do with him. Even though I’m not a spring chicken Fred doesn’t think I’m fat, and he encourages me to eat whatever I can whip up. He isn’t shy either. Why should he be with his young flat surfaces and his sleek lines? Even my other friends are striving to emulate him when they’re together in my house. Everyone’s trying to be smooth like Fred. Everyone wants the kind of attention I give him, too.
When we first met, I was overwhelmed by him. He has characteristics that are much more sophisticated than anyone else I know. But he put me through my paces quickly. I still feel like such a slob with him, constantly having to keep a towel around in case I spill something. I don’t want to ruin what we have together with my messiness. Fred is unique and so young! That’s why it works. He’s making me do things much better than I ever did before! Cap likes to see Fred and me in action, especially if Fred encourages me to make healthier choices in life! Cap even got us a set of new Cuisinart cookware for when we are in the kitchen making something for dinner! I tell you this, if I ever doubted I needed someone like Fred in my life, our first breakfast together changed my tune! We made the perfect muffins on Mother’s Day! Yes, I was inspired to cook on my one day off from the kitchen, that’s the influence Fred has on me!
Okay, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Fred is my nickname for my new Frigidaire Ceramic Cooktop and Convection Range! I’ve been like a giddy school girl since the moment I programmed the clock! I didn’t realize how much I was missing with my cooking until I got my new baby! I can boil water in no time at all! And the convection oven with the hidden heating elements is on another plane of existence! And don’t get me started on the probe! It’s sick how fast and sure the meals are created using that little magic wand! I have never been so happy about cooking in my entire life!
The only thing that’s taken me a little bit to get used to is the ceramic cooktop. I’ve had electric cooktops most of my life. A brief brush with gas greatness taught me that gas will always be my true love, but in my neighborhood gas isn’t an option unless I want one of those hippopotamus tanks in my yard. So electricity will be my weapon of choice with appliances. But getting back to cooktop issue, ceramic cooktops are the same as electric stove eyes. Sure, I’ve used ceramic cooktops in the houses of friends and relatives for a few years now. And now it’s in my world every day. The neatest thing is the fact that I don’t have to move my pots around on the heat anymore to make the food cook evenly! That is a standard feature of a ceramic stove eye! And my new cookware, my real Mother’s Day gift, has the layered bottom that boasts even distribution in addition to what the cooktop can do!
I still catch myself moving the pots and have to make my hand move away. On electric stove eyes with non-stick cookware it’s often the way of things that the pots don’t sit evenly because the elements are higher on one side than the other. On my old cooktop my best working eye required that you balance the pot with the handle and pot contents so that the tilt of the eye wouldn’t off-set and pour your food into the floor or worse—in the stove eye itself! I forever had to maintain the movement of my pots so that all the food heated consistently, too. But no more! My new pots are level and the ceramic stove eyes are available in sizes that fit the new cookware diameter perfectly! I almost feel guilty for how easy it is to make food at home!
What I’ve Learned the First Week
There are many things about Fred I still haven’t mastered. I don’t know exactly how to use the time-bake feature yet. According to the manual, you must press the time-bake entry before you start the oven preheat. I’ve tried this many ways so far without success. But I always have my backup timers. The oven has an independent timer, and we still have the one on the microwave menu. So I’m not too worried if I don’t get it right away. I keep the booklet on the use and care out on the counter. It’s the go-to document for all cooking endeavors for now.
I still think whoever writes those manuals must not actually use the range itself. I have found some convoluted instructions in there that I cannot decipher no matter how I inflect the semantics of the sentences. I think those mysteries will never be solved unless the technical writer who writes those instructions learns how to speak in “female” lingo. Women are literal about things. Books written for a female audience have more descriptive adjectives and adverbs. We like to know what shape, what color, what it smells like, the way it looks in different lighting, how much, how far, how shiny, how exciting, etc. Guys usually are content to just know the action with a little metaphorical candor for flavor. But instructions are written by technically minded individuals who don’t care about incidental details.
I will probably never understand the reasoning behind the time-bake feature, but that’s okay. And I’m not 100% certain that the convection bake feature will even allow for time-bake. But I do know the probe works. I’m getting better at remembering not to add zeros when entering minute to the regular timer. Fred beeps three times when I mess up to let me know that something won’t fly. It’s a trial and error learning curve.
A Very Personal Affair
Cap and the kids are still laughing at me when I start working on a meal. I’m still freaking out if anything is spilled on the cooktop. I wipe down every surface on the range with a towel before and after cooking with it so it stays as clean and nice as it looks today. I’m like a taskmaster when anyone is preparing non-cooktop food anywhere in the vicinity of my shiny ceramic surface. No sugars, no syrups, no condiments of any kind shall be administered on the cooktop by order of Queen Cathy of the Kitchen Range!
Ziggy still looks at the new range as if it were a monster lurking to strike out if he gets too close. And he’s still put out that I removed his Minecraft magnets from the front of the refrigerator so that the black enamel of the stove and fridge can complement one another. Cap was overjoyed to be able to see the front of the refrigerator at long last! All magnets and papers have been relegated to the side to keep my appliances pristine together! They all match now, you see! Our kitchen is finally taking shape as a cool place to work!
DaVelma is earning her permissions with Fred a step at a time. I let her cook a cake in him the first day. The cake was fine, but she was impatient with her preparation. She didn’t use the mixer, and the cake wasn’t as smooth as it could have been with all that available power at hand. I don’t know how long it will be until I can trust her implicitly with Fred and all his shiny new features. I am still like a new girlfriend where he’s concerned. There’s a lot of jealousy and coveting going on where he’s concerned. I am working myself into a frenzy just to keep anyone else from getting a hand on him. I’m sure it will pass eventually—probably right after the first pot boils over or when some piece of food falls onto the floor of the oven and burns to ashes. It’s the kitchen cycle of life. When the new wears off and the mess is allowed to linger, someone else will be able to use the new appliance without me looking over their shoulder and pointing out his or her mistakes.
What’s For Supper, Y’all?
Until the new wears off of Fred, I’ll just keep dreaming up ways to work with him again. I’m already getting a hankering for a roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. That meal would allow me to use all of Fred’s best features! I might be persuaded to make a non-cooked side dish like a garden salad if the others talk sweet to me. And I’m sure I’ll break my “eat-less-carbs” plan eventually and test the broiler with a big pan of cheesy bread! For now I’m off to search the recipe hubs for ideas! Arrivederci, andiamo mangiare!!