I sent a text message to Leo letting him know there was fish defrosting in the fridge for supper and if he wanted to cook it I would be home by 6:00 pm. Leo loves to cook and he thinks he is good at it. He has come a long way since the days of eggs, spaghetti and mac and cheese as popular menu items- of course, don’t forget the can of beans or soup which is easy to heat up and impressive to look at- at least to Leo.
When Leo makes soup for supper, he is very proud and will heat it up and pull out large spoons and whisks and use different pots. He isn’t faking it either, he really believes there is no other way to cook unless you use every pot and utensil in the kitchen. And Leo doesn’t clean as he works, he saves it all up for later, then forgets about it or leaves it to drip dry. He is the drip dry king!
I walked into the kitchen after work and could smell fish cooking. As I looked around, I had to take a deep breath and do my 3-3-3 breathing which is 3 seconds to inhale, hold for 3 seconds then exhale for 3. I saw the flour container with the lid on one counter and the container on the other with flour everywhere from the floor to the ceiling and on all counters. 3-3-3 breathing did not work-time to try 5-5-5 breathing. He had out the flour sifter to “coat” the fish. Measuring spoons and several varieties of pepper and salt which he seasons his fish with before dropping into a pound of melted butter in not one- but two frying pans. Leo announces to me that he is cooking fish- which I guessed by the smell and the fact that I was defrosting it for supper anyway. Leo is excited because he found the big container of pepper after much searching and then explained that he also had a backup “pepper plan” which is why he had several pepper corn varieties on the counter with the blender to grind it. The stove alarm was going off, the microwave timer was going off and his iPhone alarm was going off. Between the alarms and the fish smell, I thought I was at a carnival on the wharf! I asked Leo if he needed help- I was praying he said no because I was on sensory overload and could possibly lose my mind at any moment. He asked me to set the table then announced- I didn’t know what to make to go with the fish. Which translated to we were having fish for supper- just fish… only fish- but, at least it would be cooked.
Leo misses the subtle art of cooking supper. It isn’t like he hasn’t been exposed to meals with more than one item on the menu, he just thinks cooking is easy, and I would have to agree if all I ever had to do was put one item on the table. It is just the way it is. One day I wanted to order in, Leo told me no because surely to heavens we have something we can cook. I told him I did not do groceries and was tired. Leo informed me it would be easy- stand aside and watch what he can do. 45 minutes later, Leo plunked a platter of barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers on an unset table. No condiments, no plates, no utensils… just burgers and dogs. Leo does not even have the common sense to at least fake it a little by spreading out condiment bottles, grabbing a bag of chips or hunting for buns so it looks like more than just meat. Truthfully, I think Leo was born in the wrong century. He should have been born in the 1800’s where there was only access to the fish you caught or the meat you killed and that is what supper was. I set the table, told Leo it looked delicious and we sat down for a meal of fish. I think fish is brain food- but, Leo eats a lot of fish… I do not think it is working very well!