The Woman Who Can’t Cook and The Man Who Loves Her

Have I mentioned before that I can’t cook? Well, I can if I have a detailed recipe in front of me. Or if I only have to nuke it for a few minutes. Truth is, my mom never taught me how to cook and I never asked. Then, right out of high school, I went on the road with a band and didn’t have the opportunity to cook. I ate almost every meal in one or another restaurant for eight years. By the time I settled down with my husband, I had no desire to cook and when I did it always turned out badly. He, on the other hand, is an excellent cook. So mostly I rely on Chinese take-out, nuke-able food…. Or my husband.

This year he has to work on Thanksgiving. I thought maybe we could go out to a restaurant later that evening. Only, guess what, he’d rather have a home-cooked meal. That would be great if he were the one cooking. But he’s not. Nope. I have been elected. He knows how awful I am in the kitchen and yet he’s willing to risk it. Is that love or what?

So, I’m at the grocery yesterday, looking at all the turkeys. Steve said to get something small, around 8 or 9 pounds. I inspected everything there. Some were frozen. Some weren’t. Mostly they were all huge. I found some smaller ones, but I wasn’t sure so I called Steve.

“What brand is it?” he asked.


“Is it frozen?”

“Nope,” I said, poking at it. “It’s soft.”

“Fresh,” he said. “How much does it weigh?”

“Eight pounds.”

“And it’s Purdue?”


“What else does it say?” he asked.

“Oven Ready Roaster.”

“Are you sure it’s a turkey? Sounds like chicken”

How dumb does he think I am? It’s surrounded by turkeys. The whole freezer display bin thing is full of different brands of turkeys. Except then I remember on the opposite end there were some ducks and Cornish hens. I peered closer. In tiny print at the top: Chicken. “Oops.”

I could envision him rolling his eyes.

It reminded me of two weeks before. I was trying to make an Italian recipe out of the Weight Watchers cookbook. It called for turkey sausage. Before I left for the store, Steve asked, “Are you sure the Acme has turkey sausage?”

“Sure. I’ve seen it there before.”

“So you know what turkey sausage looks like?”

“Yes. I’m telling you. I’ve seen it there.” I came back from the store, unwrapped the sausage and started slicing it.

Steve comes in. “That doesn’t look like sausage.” He picks up the wrapper. “It’s Kabasa.”

“I know. Isn’t that the same thing as sausage? It looks like a sausage.”

“It’s essentially a big turkey hot dog,” he said. “It is not sausage.”

“Won’t it work?” I asked, feeling awful. I got the raised eyebrow that said, no. “I’ll go back to the store,” I said.

“I’ll go,” he said.

Guess he didn’t trust me not to screw it up a second time. Yet, he’s trusting me with our Thanksgiving dinner.

Ah, my hero.

Of course, I will be calling him on his cell phone Thanksgiving morning asking for a play-by-play on how to cook the darn turkey. And yes, I did come home with a turkey, not a chicken or a duck. Amazing.

I also came home with deviled eggs made at the deli. I love deviled eggs. Haven’t had them in years.

Steve blinked at the plastic container. “I can’t believe you bought deviled eggs. You could have made them.”

He’s kidding, right?

* Stay tuned for Day-After-Thanksgiving report. That’s if I’m alive to tell the tale.

** If you have any secret turkey tips, I'll take them!


Cynthia said…
Oh dear. Good luck on Thursday! Looking forward to the report. I'd offer advice, but I have none, as I barely cook. I can, if have to, but I don't much.
flchen1 said…
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, Beth! That's a bit how it works in our house, too--my husband is a wonderful cook, and I'm hard pressed to make spaghetti (with sauce from the jar ;))

My one tip for turkey--brining. It helps make the finished turkey moister and gives you a little leeway in case you overcook (like I have).

Have fun, and what a terrific husband you have, and what a great wife you are! That's what marriage is all about--a partnership ;)
Olga said…
I feel for you because I also got nominated to cook on Thanksgiving. Go figure. Best of luck, Beth! I believe in you! And apparently, your husband, too! And Happy Thanksgiving!
Beth Ciotta said…
Thanks for the support, Cynthia. We sound like kindred non-cooking spirits. :-) Havea fab Thanksgiving!
Beth Ciotta said…
Like there's anything wrong with Ragu, huh, Fedora? Ah, yes. Another kindred soul. :)

Thanks for the turkey link. I'll be sure to check it out. Steve said if I use an oven bag I should be fine. Another friend suggested I shove a stick of butter into a head of lettuce and the lettuce into the cavity of the turkey. She shaid it makes it SUPER moist. ;)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Beth Ciotta said…
Hiya Olga! So you got recruited too, huh? Well, we can commiserate on-line. LOL I believe in you too, Olga. Show that holiday meal who's boss!
Olga said…
Beth, thanks, and actually, it turned out pretty good! Well, maybe because I wasn't the only one cooking...

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