Monday, May 4, 2009

The Evolution of Rae

How I Learned To Cook Edible Food
an inspiring new poem from DeVault Publishing

Newly married, shining with glee
with two other roommates--living happily
I set out to make the easiest of meals
Kraft mac & cheese, a budget-friendly deal.

I got the water boiling, feeling oh-so domestic,
and thought to myself, "It will be majestic!"
I threw the noodles in and went to town.
I let them boil while I sat down.

Alas, when I went to add the butter, milk and cheese,
I looked in the pot with a feeling of unease.
The budget-friendly noodles, once hard in their dried state
were now a thick mush unworthy to grace a plate.

I added the other stuff: milk, cheese, butter
and said "Dinner's ready!" with a secret shudder.
My husband, so sweet, looked at the mess.
"Looks good!" he fibbed, trying not to distress.

The roommates and Phill took a bite, faces brave.
And, chewing slowly, became somewhat grave.
"It's alright..." Phill said, seeing my tears start to fall.
"Yeah, it's good!" Roommate said, as I began to ball.

Thankfully the box of mush-mac was swept
into the trash while I wept and wept.
"I have an idea!" said a roommate with a cackle,
"It's alright--we'll use it for spackle!"

Part II
A lack of confidence was the cause
of two or three years of faux pas.
I chose meals made to order, costly food fare
or just let Phill cook--now that's some talent there!

But some part of me still badly wanted
to be a domestic goddess, a brave cook undaunted.
And one day while watching my sister Abby,
I began to realize she was not too shabby.

I asked what the secret was, her key to good food
and she answered quite quickly, no need to brood:
"I think you just lack confidence, young cook.
I myself read most of my recipes from a book!"

I went home renewed, determined to try.
I pulled out the cookbook and didn't even cry.
I assembled the components with a measured hand,
praying that at least it wouldn't be spackle-bland.

When at last I pulled the dish out of the oven to sample,
loving praise from Phill and kids was more than ample.
From then on I decided to be confidently daring,
finding easy recipes worthy of sharing.

Part III
Although I still have some less creative days,
I like to think I'm far from my spackle-mac ways.
Whether it's cereal or Chicken Parmigiana for dinner,
my secret is to pretend I'm a Top Chef winner.

And now that I've wrestled those demons of dinner-dread,
I'm beginning to think I can assemble a good spread:
For the last three days, I have been full of delicious deceit....
my children don't know how many veggies I've made them eat!

Puree of cauliflower, carrots, and squash
(It's WORTH all the dishes I've had to wash),
my kids have consumed these, hidden in their food.
And they already seem to be a much happier brood.

Ravioli, scrambled eggs, tuna salad and brownies,
I've powered up our food with clandestine ease.
I am no longer bound by crippling insecurity;
perhaps my dinner menu has
finally reached full maturity!


The Taylors said...

LOVE that! Was wondering if you have been reading decietfully delicious, by Jessica Sienfeld?! I watch a big thing and am always tempted to but the book when I see it! I heard she makes the BEST cake with beets hidden inside lol AWESOME I am so proud of you!!! <3

Abby Hanson said...

I love it! I kept thinking of "Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio" and wondering if there was anywhere you could send this that would get you some money!

Also, did you see on Courtney's blog that she's doing the shortened feed in google and was able to disable copy and paste on her blog? I know the first is an easy feature for blogger but not as sure about the second. Anyway, point being - maybe you should do that so people can't steal your work. See, this is THAT good that I'm thinking about it and worried someone will try to pull one on you.

I can't wait for my own "hidden food" journey to begin. Soon, soon.

leslie the licorice stick lady said...

How creative! Isn't it true that new talents emerge as we go through each step of life? This was really fun to read, Rae. You're so fun!

Lara said...

Such an awesome poem! Unfortunately, I am still in my spackle-mac days, with no real aspirations of moving up. :)

And I still adore your yellow teapot.

Kelly said...

What a cute poem!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. :) You are a great cook, and I love to hear your secrets.
I was actually hoping there would be a part IV that would tell your secrets of keeping a clean house with 3 kids!

Anna said...

That's quite the journey. I consider myself a competent cook but I've never tried Chicken Parmigiana, and have no idea how to hide that many veggies- in brownies no less!

Kate said...

I love that. You are so creative. I love to cook and bake also but I am probably not near as good as you.

MAG said...

It's been such a treat, catching up on your blog this morning. I especially love this poem!