Cooking with Susan

As I have mentioned in the past, my parents were largely indifferent to my survival as a child and I was left to fend for myself a good bit.  Once in a while, my parents would realize that some portion of our upbringing was likely to bring shame upon them and they would take some step to remedy our filial deficiencies.  For my sister, my Mom realized that she had some natural inclination toward crafty things and so Susan was taught to sew. I got an F in home ec in 6th grade because my bean-bag frog was found wanting by Mrs. Chapman, the home ec teacher.  However, since I had exceptionally good grades, my parents were generally content to let things like my lack of artistic and/or domestic talent slide. By the time I got to college, my Mom realized she had failed me in that I had absolutely no domestic skills: my house was a wreck, my buttons were stapled on as a needle and thread were beyond my abilities, and the contents of my refrigerator included an ancient package of frozen pollock and condiments. Something had to give.  The solution: send me to culinary school, in Italy. And so it came to pass that I mastered the art of cooking. In Italy. Some would call that overkill.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my sister married and had kids. Sadly for them, Susan’s culinary talents were absolutely non-existent. Susan called me one night to ask me for the recipe for meatloaf. I gave her a recipe. Two hours later she called back for advice. This is a near-verbatim transcript of the conversation:

Susan: Hey, the meatloaf came out kind of weird.

Me: What do you mean by ‘weird’?

Susan: Well, the cheese on top kind of blew up and then deflated like a sad balloon over the meatloaf.

Me: I don’t recall telling you to top the meatloaf with cheese.

Susan: Well, after I poured the meat in the pan, it looked kind of sad so I thought I should cover it with cheese.

Me: Poured?

Susan: Well, I didn’t want to touch the meat and egg mix with my hands like you told me so I put it in the blender. Then, I only had a 13×9″ pan so I took the brick out from under the leg of the sofa and covered it with tin foil and put the brick in the pan to make it smaller like a loaf pan. Once I poured it into my new loaf pan, it looked sad, so then I thought, “cheese fixes everything” so I cut cheese slices and used the torch to seal the edges of the cheese over it so I wouldn’t have to look at the meat-like liquid. Now the cheese has blown up and burned and is floating in a sea of grease.

Me: That’s not sad, that’s tragic.

Susan: How do I fix it?

Me: Open the trash can lid and deposit the contents of the pan there. Then pick up the phone and call for pizza.

I still cannot sew and Susan still cannot really cook. Susan is now divorced (probably not related to her cooking and more related to his tendency to date girls young enough to say things like “Who is Prince?” with a perfectly straight face.)  However, I think Susan really just needs a keeper before she poisons anyone. If anyone wants to marry a 40-year-old menace in the kitchen, let me know. 

P.S. to Susan: You can thank me later.

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8 Responses to Cooking with Susan

  1. Noa Gavin says:

    Sad cheese balloon. How I wish I could have seen this sad cheese balloon.

  2. My policy is to name my dishes after they’re done. Like “Meat Surprise” or “Beans Vesuvius.”

  3. dagnydarling says:

    Your sister was right to cover it in cheese. That is generally the answer to all of my cooking endeavors; do A, then stir with B, add C and place in oven, but add copious amounts of cheese.

    I’m also single. Unlike your sister, I know for a fact this is related to my lack of cooking talents.

  4. Jerry says:

    I’m sure Susan could be a fine cook. She is inventive, imaginative and approaches her culinary tasks with a certain verve and twisted logic. She just needs to be given a few basic facts and pointed in the right direction.

    Uh, in your kitchen, not mine.

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