This post has a bit of both.
I’ve still marveling at Husband Robert’s culinary chops (and patience) making, this past weekend, a fabulous but time-consuming Au Gratin Potatoes dish.
Here he is, doing prep work, with cheeses whose names I can’t pronounce.
Whenever Husband Robert (let’s just call him HR, you’ll remember what that means, right?) is making something “fancy,” I will wander into the kitchen (most often because of the aroma, similar to what dogs do) and sweet-sincerely ask, “Babe, is there anything I can do to help?” Here’s where the story takes an abrupt turn before it has really even started.
HR doesn’t immediately answer. He presses “pause.”
The pause is substantial, pregnant with meaning. If the pause were a criminal taking a lie detector test, here’s the truth it would freely confess, to avoid jail time:
“Uh, excuse me, Neal, but you don’t really belong in a chef’s kitchen. You are more at home with a cast iron skillet in your Southern hands, frying something. Go read your escapist novel.”
What?! I love my old cast iron …
But here’s what actually birthed out of HR’s full term pause:
(Which basically means the same thing as what that honest criminal said.)
After pouting while joyfully reading Apples Never Fall for a bit, I return. To take pictures. And being a photographer, Robert CANNOT resist pictures being taken of his food.
He bought this new contraption to slice potatoes thinly—which TERRIFIES ME. It’s a potato guillotine.
And I don’t mean to be a cynic or anything, but this is a Big Bunch of Energy Expenditure for a potato.
Here HR is watching a YouTube video WHILE OPERATING THE GUILLOTINE!
“You do it your way. I’ll do it mine,” I think he said to the online chef.
Finally, FINALLY, the Dish is Done. And it looks and smells heavenly.
I find it SO yummy.
But Robert is NOT happy, and when the head of HR is not happy, neither am I.
He moans (and it wasn’t even Monday morning yet).
His problem? Well, being lactose intolerant, he couldn’t use cream or half and half in the recipe, so he substituted almond/coconut milk instead. He thought it didn’t come out creamy enough. Didn’t have the proper scalloped texture or coloring. Sort of Rotten Au Gratin, he seemed to think.
But I thought it was good, actually VERY good, especially for food not fried in a cast iron pan.