Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Suzy Homemaker

So yesterday I threatened to turn my mom in for insurance fraud. She wanted me to cook dinner for her and a friend. Now, while this may be a normal activity for a 20-something, it is not, however, a common occurrence for me. When I was in high school it was a rarity that I was actually home for dinner, let alone home long enough to attempt to cook. Now that I’m at school, we’re required to live in the dorms all four years. My cooking set up there consists of a mini-fridge, microwave, and toaster oven—not exactly your gourmet chef set up. So, I claimed that she must have been out to get the homeowner’s insurance money that we’d get once I burned the house down.

Not only was I supposed to cook, but the house was a mess and there was nothing in the house to cook with. Being the good little daughter that I am, I ran errands and went grocery shopping, and cleaned the house before starting on my cooking endeavor. I should invite some friends over now. The house looks great, if I do say so myself. I suppose since I’m not working this summer, this is the least I can do for my mom feeding me and putting a roof over my head.

I loved Mami’s cooking in the Dominican Republic and stood over her should a few times and took notes. My recipes, however, are less than specific. For example, the dish I was attempting to make last night included the following instructions: water, tomatoes, garlic, salt, onions, jalapeño…boil and blend. While that might work out for an experienced cook, I was less than convinced of my abilities to create something edible from this. But, I tried. Everything was going fairly well until it came time for the blend step. Being the brilliant Honors College student that I am, I put the boiling concoction into the blender, held the top down, and pressed liquefy. It didn’t take very long for the top to become unbearably warm, causing me to jerk my hand off the lid. All I could see was tomato goo flying all over our kitchen. Luckily, this premonition prompted me to turn the blender off before the top came rocketing off. At this point I realized it was probably not a bad idea to let it cool a bit before I went back to trying to puree everything.

The sauce turned out okay, a little watery (in taste and texture) and didn’t even have a hint of a kick to it. My guinea pigs found not fault with it, but knowing the exquisite taste that came from Mami’s hands, I knew it wasn’t up to par. I poured too much sauce on the nachos, too. But, it didn’t taste all that bad. All in all, it was a pretty decent. We had green beans and canned pears along with it. Mom had requested that I buy a cantaloupe. I tried to acquiesce this request, but after I looked at them all, picked up a few, sniffed them, shook them, and knocked on them I determined that I hadn’t the slightest idea on how to pick out a melon. Tres Leches and Key Lime Pie (made by the grocery store bakery) rounded out the meal with some Bacardi O3 for the after dinner conversation.

It was a pretty nice evening, particularly for my mom who’d been at work all day and her friend who has been attending to her dying father for the past three weeks. After the evening was over my mom went into the kitchen to get something to drink. She was shocked to find it spotless. She hadn’t seen me cleaning as I went nor cleaning at any other point in time. Okay, I know I’m bragging, but I’m proud of my limited Suzy Homemaker skills!!


  1. I recall when my children use to do this for me ... oh how I miss those days. Good read.

  2. My mom was tickled. It made up for another night earlier this summer that I got the urge to cook for her and called to see what time she'd be home. An hour and a half after she said she'd be home she walked in the door to (what I thought was) a ruined dinner. She ate it and supposedly ate the leftovers for lunch at work--I certainly wouldn't have, it was gross!