Emily cannot tell a lie — she bought her Cherry Turnovers at Caputo’s Chicagoland grocery store and declared them “tasty, tasty.”
I can lie but have opted for honesty like Emily, and my foremothers (not to be confused with my first mother) before me and will tell you I bought Pepperidge Farm’s frozen Cherry Popovers and they were really good the second time I made them.
The first time they looked like this . . .
But the second batch looked like this . . . “Yum.”
This story has nothing to do with popovers, but it does have to do with truth and food.
Joe would go on food kicks . . . we once ate his homemade ravioli — made of every conceivable filling — for two weeks straight. Joe even made Cole a peanut butter and jelly ravioli for his lunch. When I asked Cole how it was, he simply said, “Well it was better than the tuna fish ravioli,” and asked me to make his lunch for the next few days.
Homemade ravioli was followed by Friday Fish Night. This phase coincided with Lent. Good Catholics are not supposed to eat meat on Friday night during lent, but here is the thing — we aren’t good Catholics. Once when I was taking one of Cole’s friends home, the friend asked Cole what religion he was, and Cole answered that he was a “loose Catholic.” That about sums it up.
However, I like fish and Cole likes fish, and it’s good for you, and if eating fish on Friday during Lent made God happy, I wasn’t against the idea. There was just one small problem: Joe cooked a lot things well; however, with the exception of salmon, Joe did not cook fish well. I really mean he did not cook fish WELL. He was so afraid of over cooking it that it was practically still gulping for air when he put it on our plates.
Now, you might wonder why I simply didn’t say, “Hey Joe, my fish needs to be cooked a little longer.” Why? Because the conversation would go like this:
Kb: Hey Joe my fish needs to be cooked a little longer.
Joe: Really? You don’t like it?
Kb: No I would just like it a little more done.
Joe: Overdone fish ruins the flavor.
Kb: Maybe I could just stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Joe: Why ruin a perfectly good piece of fish.
Kb: Why not just take it off the plate and put it into the frying pan for two minutes?
Joe: I thought you liked fish . . .
It wasn’t worth it. Really, it wasn’t. There was another way to solve the problem — my napkin. When Joe wasn’t looking, I would stuff the fish in my napkin.
Joe: It was good, wasn’t it?
Kb: Delicious, Joe.
Cole, the kid who will eat everything, didn’t like the undercooked fish either, but when Joe would say, “Do you like that fish, Buddy? Is it tender enough for you?”, Cole would nod in agreement that the fish was really good, while staring hard at me.
Why is it always the mother’s fault???
So, I did the only thing a mother could do — what my first mother taught me to do — I diverted Joe’s attention and taught Cole the napkin trick. I’m proud to say that Cole got so good at it that he could make his fish disappear with a slight of hand while Joe was sitting at the table.
We got through Lent that year, and I believe God was proud of us for not telling Joe his fish was not tender, it was underdone — and for stuffing it in our napkins instead of telling him it sucked.
Joe’s spring soup phase came next, and Cole and I were both very relieved that it was tasty and delightful . . . well, except for the Borsch Soup, but that is a whole other blog post.
Later today we will muse about about Chop Suey! Odd loves Company so please do leave a comment and muse a bit with us.