a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

A New Cook in the Kitchen

Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket (Photo credit: basheertome)

< by Jill >

My mom’s a phenomenal cook. To boot, she’s a generous cook. She welcomes company for extravagant meals, and then sends them home with recipe cards — cards for bacon-glazed green beans, pastry-encrusted torta rustica, and triple-thick fudge sauce. In Hancock-style cursive, she autographs these cards with the name “Klosterwoman.” The name is tantamount to yum.

And so, I imagine she felt confidently smug the weekend she left town for a women’s retreat and put my dad in charge of cooking. She supplied him with a freezer full of plan Bs — pasta sauce, berry syrups, and soups — just in case.

I didn’t super-totally trust dad with meal preparations. Sure, he’d flip the pancakes on Saturdays and fold omelets on Sundays, but other than that, he mostly just ate.

Around mid-afternoon that Saturday, while the sun was still high, he began his first great test: dinner. I could hear him tinkering around in the kitchen. I heard the metallic swish of a cookie sheet being extracted from the pantry. I heard the raindrop pitter-patter of toothpicks falling on the countertop. I heard the crinkling of cellophane and plastic and tinfoil.

About 10 minutes later, dad slid the cookie sheet into the oven. Servicing my curiosity, I peered through its window and beheld a masterpiece: Hot dogs swaddled in cheese and pinned inside white bread. Genius!

When mom came home, Ann and I bombarded her with the news: Dad’s a culinary genius! He’s simply the best! He made us—she leaned in—hot dogs rolled in cheese and white bread! 

Mom, ever the gourmet chef, let out a sigh of relief. I think she also rolled her eyes. But from that day forward, she occasionally shared the kitchen with the new cook: dad!

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