Mark Terry

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No Helpless Males

March 13, 2008
Please note that I have two sons. Ian is 14 and Sean will be 10 on Sunday. Just so you get this straight, I'm providing a few facts ahead of time. Is this more backstory than you needed?

My wife has something of a mantra--which we haven't heard in a while, come to think of it: I'm will not raise a helpless male.

By that she means, her sons will learn to cook and clean and do laundry and pay bills and take care of children and there will not be, under any circumstances, anything referred to as "woman's work."

I agree wholeheartedly.

So last night Leanne decided that Ian would help cook dinner. It's not the first time for sure, but it was a new recipe for him. We were doing home-made chicken nuggets.

Anyway, once dinner was ready, the nuggets seemed an odd color--a little lighter than usual.

Leanne took one bite, frowned and said, "How much salt did you use?"

Ian: "What you told me to. Half a cup."

"Half a cup! I said half a tablespoon!" (or maybe it was teaspoon, I forget which).

Leanne, willing to try to rescue things, suggested we scrape the batter/crust off it. She tried then shook her head. "Out it goes."

We settled for what we could scrounge--meatball subs and chicken pocket quesadillas. Neither of us were upset, because, well, shit happens, and we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. I just commented that any time he's cooking if he thinks it requires a half a cup of salt, he'd better be making enough for 80 people, that half a cup of salt in any recipe would be pretty odd.

Of course, Ian has a younger brother. My feeling is, Ian's going to be hearing about this chicken nugget experiment for the rest of his life. (Which is why I felt obliged to blog about it so the whole world would know. :))

Mark Terry


Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Great story.

I am the "helpless mom." I don't cook and my guy is a former chef, so you know, it's the key to staying together or else my kids would starve.

Now he is a bartender. He makes a GREAT martini and has a faithful following at the club where he works. A great martini is reason #2 to stay together.


4:33 AM  
Blogger Maria Zannini said...

>>Which is why I felt obliged to blog about it so the whole world would know.

You've done your parental duty. Priceless.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Whatever works.

Thank you, thank you. :O

4:41 AM  
OpenID albogdan said...

Reminds me of the friends that thought a clove of garlic meant the whole bulb. Three bulbs of garlic spaghetti sauce.

For your son's sake, you will have to name the dish...
Salt-Lick Chicken?
Chicken Encrusted Salt?
Chicken A La Sodium?
Salty Nuggets?

6:06 AM  
OpenID eric-mayer said...

Not helpless, just hapless...

Reminds me of the time I cooked chili for the kids and mistook the cayenne pepper for the chili powder. Of course food that is almost too spicy to eat is highly amusing and entertaining and they ate as much as possible as theatrically as possible.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Cardiopulmonary Surprise?

I love that! Yeah, Dad just likes it spicy!

This got Leanne and I going about recipe disasters. Two notables. One was early in our marriage when she tried a ginger chicken recipe, substituting ground ginger in a can for fresh ginger. (For those who don't know, fresh ginger is very mild; it gets very, very strong when it sits around). We tossed it out and went to Burger King.

Also memorable was a recipe on the back of the Miracle Whip jar that somebody recommended to us. Even the dog wouldn't eat that crap.

7:11 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I'm with Erica. I'm the helpless mom, well, wife. DH, however, is an amazing cook. I mean, his father was chief chef or whatever they call it at Lawry's, back in the day. DH was offered to train at the Waldorf, I think it's called? But he went into the Marines instead.

He also doesn't let me do the whites, as I don't get them white enough. (This is actually true.) And I don't put enough soap in the rest of the laundry. (I don't think this is true.)

I could probably cook, but I write all morning, teach all evening, and I'm sure as heck not going to add cooking dinner at 9:30 at night, LOL.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I'm an ok cook, but I honestly, I don't really like to cook. Leanne does and I don't mind doing dishes, so it works that way for us. I'll cook when necessary.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Allie said...

That's really funny! And he learned an important cooking lesson. :)

1:02 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

I love your wife! lol
The only thing my husband doesn't do is laundry. He says he doesn't know how. He's an engineer, a rocket scientist, and he can't do laundry. He was also a Marine so I know he's lying to me.
However, he was raised in a deli so he can cook. Probably better then me.
He never lets me forget when we were first married and we were making cole slaw to take to a BBQ. He cut up the cabbage. I didn't know it was made from cabbage! So I got a big pot out. He asks whats that for? Too cook the cabbage, of course! He told me to go sit down...
Tell Ian I understand.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Melanie Avila said...

Reminds my of my Macaroni & Cheese Incident. At age 9 or 10 I followed the directions exactly but forgot to drain the pasta. To THIS DAY my family claims I can't cook because of that.

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