Up Chuck

We all know relatives who can't cook. Not that we are experts in culinary delicacies, but when an inedible concoction hits your plate with a thud, it takes some special manners and facial control to compliment your host.

An in-law of my wife's who has since passed away, mentioned proudly that dumplings would be part of the coming feast at her house. Misshapen, gray lumps of congealed flour and water sank immediately to the bottom of the soup, lying there like raw clay ready for working. Only by dividing these door stops in tiny pieces were they swallowed at all, being quickly sloshed past our taste buds with the wickedest of wines. Unsurprisingly, no-one took seconds.

While not strictly a relative, a well-meaning neighbor lady repaid any and all favors done her with a beautifully wrapped dozen of her own home-made cookies. Better named 'conversation stoppers', one cookie could dry out your mouth for fifteen minutes. Only wild pointing at the rest room and effort to smile through powdered lips could save you from decorating the table with a shotgun of wheat pellets. Sneakily taking out the garbage at three in the morning, we had to remember to thank our kindly bakery chefs the next day for their delicious contribution.

One newly-wed couple rendered a barely edible meal of sawdust meat loaf and marblized beans, unfortunately followed by a carrot cake made with still-raw carrots, easily identified in each slice. She apoligised for the slightly burned crust on the meatloaf, but her young husband sincerely complimented her with the statement that it reminded him of his Mom's recipe. A blue gelatin dessert filled a bowl like a country lake with little plastic ducks floating on top. Luckily the extra water in the mix made it possible for the ducks to actually swim.

The other night, my wife (who is a superb cook) miscalculated the cooking time for the ravioli, bringing new meaning the to phrase, al dente. I'm still chewing. On the other hand, some diners have not a kind word for the chef especially when the dishes are undeniably delicious. Even after three helpings and much smacking of lips and uncovered belches, these gourmands have only a 'Menza, menza" or 'It was O.K." to say. Next time I hope they go to MacDonald's.

Love to write, paint (graphicly), and eat.