Thursday, November 19, 2009

chez charlie

I'm sick. Really sick. I've been sick for the past four days and hopefully, I'll be better within the next day because in two days, I'm supposed to start my 3-Day walk and I have no room in my fanny pack for all of my sick supplies.


I am so sick that today, as I was driving to an important meeting in Orange County, I actually turned around before I even got to the freeway and drove back home. Walking in the door to our house, I dropped my briefcase (which was devoid of a computer because I shipped my broken wreck back to our headquarters yesterday and with a note that demanded they SEND ME A NEW ONE OR SOMEONE WILL DIE), kicked off my shoes, fell on to the couch and promptly dozed off to sleep for the next three hours while children climbed all over me.

During that time that I was sleeping, Charlie decided to start dinner. But since he was missing some critical ingredients and didn't want to leave his four small children at home alone with his unconscious wife, nor did he want to take his four small children to the store, he opted instead to 'shop our pantry' for items he could use in lieu of the key ingredients called out in the recipe.

Have I ever mentioned that Charlie is a fantastic cook and has expressed an interest in starting his own cooking blog? He possesses an uncanny ability to take random ingredients and make something great. His food presentation is incredible and I don't even like eating out any more because nothing that we order in a restaurant can remotely compare to what we eat at home.

But sometimes, once in a blue (blue, blue) moon, my husband has an off day in the kitchen. Annnnnd, today was one of those days.

On the menu tonight was his mother's famous Beef Stroganoff.


It wasn't until he was fully vested in the dinner preparation did he realize that he didn't have approximately 80% of the ingredients required. So what started out as Beef Stroganoff ended up as Beef Whoa Where The Heck Are The Tums. In lieu of mushrooms, he used red peppers. In lieu of egg noodles, he used lasagna noodles that he boiled and then cut in to long strips. (Um?)


He left out the shallots and sour cream. He left in the beef. And salt. And onions. (There were so many onions used that when I woke up from my nap, my eyes were watering even though I was two rooms away from the kitchen.) He threw in some Worcestershire sauce and a can of tomato paste and a handful of other dry ingredients. When we sat down to eat, the children just looked at their plates and started to cry. It could have been that they were overwhelmed with emotion, or perhaps it was the abundance of onions. Tough call.

Trying to set a good example, I picked up my fork and eagerly took a bite. It was nice and hot and the texture was good. But beyond that, seeing as I'm sick, I couldn't taste anything. So I smiled at my husband and encouragingly said, "Yum! Daddy this tastes great!"

Charlie took a bite of his dinner and noticeably cringed before guzzling down his glass of water. He then excused himself from the table for several minutes. When he returned, I had polished off my entire plate and was helping myself to seconds. My husband stood for a moment staring at me in disbelief before he said, "Well, at least you like it. But I'll bet if your cold medicine was actually working, this entire dinner would have been a total bust."

Then he kissed my cheek and added, "Remind me to check your pulse before you go to bed."


  1. Ha! Cute! I'm married to one of those myself, although I would venture to guess mine has a few more mishaps than does Charlie. ;-) What're you gonna do.

  2. Note to self - being sick makes ones a more supportive wife.

    My husband once had an off day in the kitchen. He over-peppered the scrambled eggs. Once. He's still upset about it.

    Feel better soon!

  3. Hi Jen:

    I am actually commenting on your 1000th post - I wanted to say that I am thankful for my infertility - why you may ask? I would not have had the opportunity to be connected to you and your blog! you are amazing and I so look forward to your tales each day! Rock on and thank you! Lori

  4. Well at least he tried, right. My husbsnd doesn't spend s lot of time in the least not making full meals.
    I hope you ate feeling better.

  5. Everyone has off days and I am beyond impressed that you ate it. Sounded... interesting.

  6. I can attest to Charlie's meals! He definately is a great cook but I'm glad I wasn't around for that one!!

    Hope you feel better soon, only a few days left for your big debut!

    Talk to you soon. Marg

  7. How funny. Sometimes dinners are just a bust! I hope you feel better soon!

  8. Now how about the real recipe?! Hope you're feeling better!


  9. Sally in Germany11/19/09, 3:05 PM

    Thanks! I wasn't expecting to laugh to the point of crying when I started to read your blog about your husband's cooking! Let me go wipe my face off now! :+)

  10. I guess when you have your own person chef you can put up with a bad night every once in a while. Great story.