I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: I am a disaster when it comes to anything that involves making food. I love to eat, don’t get me wrong, maybe a little too much actually, the problem is I can’t cook, I get annoyed reading food labels, I don’t know if 500 calories for a bagel is ridiculous or not, I can’t tell the difference between parsley and cilantro and I’m not entirely sure what a Rutabaga is, and I had to Google the correct spelling for it. I’m not proud of this trust me, I’m still working on it. The fact that I married a chef is a huge deal for me, because I went from eating Ramen Noodles to eating fresh homemade pasta. Score.
After 10 years of being married to this guy, I’ve learned a thing or two in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean I like it now, it just means that I won’t starve to death when he’s not around. So when my husband told me that we were invited to one of his friend’s house for dinner, along with around 35 other chefs and foodies my heart immediately stopped. Putting aside the fact that I didn’t know ANYONE at this dinner, I knew the only topic of conversation was going to be about food, something I know nothing about, except how to eat it.
I tried binge watching the Food Network Channel a few days before to see if maybe I could learn some of the lingo and not look like a complete idiot, but I couldn’t do it. I got so anxious watching these people trying to make a gourmet entrée using only a tub of peanut butter, an orange peel and a potato. I also tried reading some of my husband’s books, I fell asleep. I tried getting him to give me a quick crash course, but it wasn’t quick, it involved charts and homework, so I told him I had to do the neighbor’s laundry and ran away.
My only hope was that maybe another lost wife was going to be there too, maybe we would bond over our culinary ignorance, maybe we would talk about kids, maybe we would talk about shoes, maybe we would become bff’s. I was getting excited about meeting my new imaginary best friend and so was my husband, he had noticed me having all these pretend adult conversations with myself and frankly, I was starting to look like a mental person.
We got there and were received by 30 something people. I knew no one. I clenched my husband’s hand, but of course, he soon exchanged it for a glass of wine. I looked around and did not see another lost wife like me, everyone knew each other.
After what seemed hours of
following my husband around like a lost puppy mingling, we sat down and waited for the first course, in the meantime, everyone was talking about food, and ingredients, and techniques, and foam, and liquid nitrogen*(apparently, the super cool use it to cook) and that chef that was the underdog and now is super famous. All gibberish to me.
I had nothing to say.
First course came out, everyone whipped out their cameras and started snapping pictures, I followed. I don’t even know why, but everyone was doing it. One hour later we were on our fourth course. I kept thinking about my daughters, hoping the little one would start crying so much that my father in-law would have no other option but to call me. No calls. 5th course…no calls.
Me: “So dessert is next? This is our 5th plate of food, I don’t think I can eat anymore.”
Husband: “It’s fifteen courses, desserts (as in more than one) come after.”
Fifteen courses. FIFTEEN.
I wasn’t sure I was going to make it all the way to the last course, but everything was so good I just kept eating and eating. With so much food around me and my non-stop eating, there was no time to join in the conversation even if I tried. They will ever know how much I don’t know.
We made it to the 9th course before my father in-law really called in a panic. The baby had woken up and wouldn’t stop crying. We had to leave early and I asked my husband if it was too tacky to ask for take out. He rolled his eyes and we left.
Next time I’ll be sure to be well prepared, I’ll study the charts and do the homework, learn the lingo and even practice some recipes of my own. I promise.
P.S. Thank you to all the chefs and cooks out there (specially my hubby and his friends), who dedicate their days cooking AMAZING dishes. Thank you for sharing your passion and art.
* I had actually written dry ice but my husband had a mini heart attack and quickly corrected me.