A Pot of Gumbo
People do not believe what I have to go through for dinner. I’m telling you, I cannot make this stuff up. First, let me say this, unless my husband is away from the house, I have to let him help me, otherwise he’ll be in the kitchen offering his advice and trying to direct and supervise me. That being said, I was going to make some chicken and sausage gumbo one night so I enlisted his help. He was the slicer and dicer. Here’s how it went.
Me: “Can you cut the chicken up into pieces and slice the sausage. I need the chicken first, though. After you’re through, will you slice the onion and the red pepper, too?”
Him: “How do you want the sausage cut? Do you want it sliced up?”
Me: “Yes, just like when you make pilaf – same way. But, I need the chicken cut up first so I can cook it.”
Him (2-3 minutes later): “Do you want the sausage sliced into chunks or small pieces?”
Me: “How do you slice it for pilaf?”
In between this entire conversation, I’m running back and forth from the stove to the living room where I am printing out over two dozen labels for eBay.
Me (as I go by him going back to the computer, I check the sausage): “You’re doing fine, but I am going to cook the chicken first so I needed that before the sausage.”
Him (No kidding here): You didn’t say that. If you had told me you needed the chicken first, I would have cut that up first.”
Me (I am not going to argue): “It’s okay. I can always set the sausage aside while I cook the chicken.”
Him (After the sausage is sliced): “How do you want the chicken cut up?”
Me: “Into pieces. Just cut it up.”
Him: “Do you want it sliced, cubed, or what?”
Me (I silently shake my head then go into the kitchen): “I need it cut into bite-sized pieces so we can eat it.”
Once the chicken is cut, I go in and start cooking it. I run back and forth two or three times as he’s preparing (yes, preparing) to slice the red pepper. Once the chicken is done, I add the sausage and seasonings for the gumbo mix (which I have already pre-made). As I stir it all together, I look over my shoulder to see how he’s coming along with the pepper. He’s just now taking the top off and cutting it in half.
Him: “How do you want the pepper sliced?”
Me: “Slice it length-wise.”
Him: “Do you want it cut in half after that?”
Me: “Yes, that’s fine.”
Him (When I come back to stir things again, he gets up and brings me the sliced and halved red pepper): “Do I add these now?”
Me: “Yes, please put them in and I’ll mix them before I let them cook a little.”
Him: “What about the onion?”
Me: “Yes, I need that sliced into rings and then cut in half.”
Him: “Does it matter if I cut it in half first?”
Me: (I’m back at the printer and I just shake my head): “No, it doesn’t matter. Slice it how you like just as long as it’s sliced.”
I go back to the kitchen and stir the contents in the pan. I look over at him and he’s just now peeled the onion and cut it in half. I pay no attention and walk back to my desk. As I get there, I look at the time. He’s been cutting the pepper and onion 30 minutes now.
Me: (Knowing how he’s coming along, I ask anyway): “How are you doing with the onion?”
Him: “Fine. You want it sliced, right?”
Me: “Yes, I want it sliced but I also wanted it to cook with the other ingredients.”
Him: “You didn’t say that.”
(Really? I have to voice that for him to realize you put all of the ingredients into the pot to cook?) I say nothing about it.
Me: “Yes, I need it with the rest of the stuff. I’ll just cook it a little longer before finishing up the gumbo. Do you want me to come in there and slice it?”
Him: “Why you?”
Me: “Because I’m faster than you are.”
Him: “No, I got it.”
He puts the onion in the pot and I stir it all together. As I finally finish the gumbo, he makes the rice. What should have taken 1-1/2 hours took almost 3 hours to finally finish (It was good, though. If I had room to eat two bowls, I would have!).
I don’t mind cooking with him. It’s the 20 questions that go with it, which causes me to lose my patience at times. This is every time, all the time, though. However, for the most part, I’ve learned to just accept it.