My sister, her husband and their 3 kids stopped by our house for an overnight visit this past Wednesday, during their annual Summer pilgrimage from Canada. Our boys had football practice, so my husband and I figured the best dinner solution was to order pizza for everyone when practice was over.
My brother-in-law offered to go to Wegman’s and pick up a few things to grill for dinner instead of ordering pizza. “Sure”, I said. I mean, I like burgers on the grill and nuked Stouffer’s mac and cheese as much as the next person.
Except his shopping list didn’t include any hamburger or mac and cheese. This is what he brought home:
- garlic flavored hummus
- gourmet crackers – who knew there was something better than a Ritz?
- fresh basil
- fresh mozzarella
- yellow peppers
- gourmet chicken breasts
- a whole white onion
- fresh garlic
- mini dessert cakes
- real cream
- and more than one potato (up yours, Dan Quayle!)
Since I had no idea what to do with any of these ingredients that lacked the preservatives and frozenness that I am typically accustomed to when I “cook”, I decided to stay the hell out of his way.
There were a few requests he had while he was busy whipping up dinner. Literally people … he whipped the cream he bought. I told him I had Cool Whip in the frig, but he made the same face Molly Ringwald did as teenager Samantha in Sixteen Candles, when her grandmother suggested she take Long Duck Dong to her high school dance.
He asked me where I kept my garlic press. I told him that my garlic comes out of jar, in the pre-chopped format.
He asked me where my fresh Rosemary was. Puzzled, I told him none of my foul-mouthed and inappropriate friends had been invited to join us for dinner.
He asked where my whole pepper corns for grinding were. I showed him the shaker on the table with the pre-ground pepper. I’m not interested in that much exercise while I spice my food.
The evening’s menu consisted of garlic hummus and fancy cracker appetizer, fresh mozzarrella caprese (I did have olive oil and balsamic vinegarette), marinated grilled chicken, grilled peppers and onions, baked potato wedges and individual strawberry shortcakes. It was the best meal ever made in my kitchen. And the bonus was that none of the Rices’ bodies rejected the good food, or went into shock from the freshness of the ingredients.
Unfortunately, my family is destined for another year of nuked nibbles and pre-packaged, preservative-filled provisions until Uncle Jonas once again appears to fete us with his culinary creations. I hope we can all hold on that long.