As Valentine’s Day came barreling towards Mr. How Sweet, he was faced with a familiar problem…what to get his beautiful bride?
Normally I would just get her something shiny as that usually distracts her. “Oh, look, there are SEQUINS on that blouse!!! Aren’t they AMAZING? Those are the BEST sequins ever!”
Fact: Guys don’t care about sequins. As least guys not named Elton John.
I thought a great treat for the wifey would be if I made her dinner and wrote a post for her blog. But what to make? Our taste buds don’t always see eye-to-eye. Her tastes are a little more refined than yours truly. Mine, well, they’ve been compared to those of a 5 year old. Chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese…don’t mind if I do, thank you very much.
What meal could satisfy her refined, yet picky (“no” to chicken or vegetables, “yes” to bacon and cheese… and bacon) tastes and my requirements of 200 protein grams in one sitting? After much soul searching and head-pounding-against-a-desk I had a vision. A filet-mignon-with-lobster-sauce vision. I mean, I’ve tackled (and mastered) dippy eggs and toasted bagels. I was now ready for a challenge.
After stopping at the grocery store where I required some assistance (What the deuce is a ‘tarragon’? And where does one find it?). I returned home and reached for the most important ingredient. Filet, you ask? No. Lobster? Nope. Mass amounts of butter? Not yet. The first thing I grabbed was the Ketel One. Just a nip to take the edge off.
Then I was ready.
Being a man and having no use for recipes, I skipped the first step, feeling it was more of a suggestion than a requirement. Cook lobster? I don’t have time for that. I’ve got bigger things on my plate than silly directions. There is Daytona 500 practice on the Speed channel in HD. There are questions that need answered, like how is Dale Jr, running? And how is Elliot Sadler’s ride, as he was my pick in the pool I’m in at work? I’ve got my drink. I am watching racing. Life is good but it feels as though I’m missing something…what could that be? Oh snap! How about getting back to cooking?!?!
I head back to the kitchen to slice shallots and chop cloves of garlic and squeeze fresh lemons for juice. *yawn* But not once do I consider boiling the lobster tails. After a review of the recipe it dawns upon me that I may have sort-of, kinda missed a step. I *beep* *beep* throw it into reverse and return to step #1. Unfortunately, I had already cut the meat from the tail and placed the shell pieces in melted butter. So I did what any red-blooded man would do…I brought a skillet of water to a boil and threw the lobster meat into that. Why a skillet? Because it was sitting there from my breakfast that morning.
As I watched the clock I knew I was close on time. I didn’t want the wife to get home from work to see lobster meat boiling in water in a skillet because, quite frankly, I knew it was wrong and I would have to hear comments like, “what would you do without me?”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe live my life without a closet full of Carlos Santana and BCBG Max Azria shoes and not be forced to watch Dirty Dancing.”
Funny thing is, she asks questions like this all the time but never thinks my answers are as funny as I do.
3 minutes left on the timer and who do I see pulling into the driveway? Why, it’s my lovely wife. No matter how fast I want that clock to tick down to zero before she comes bouncing up the stairs, it’s just not going to happen. And I am way too anal retentive to take the skillet off before time is up. I mean, it says right there on the step that I finally chose to read to boil for 13 minutes. Not 12 1/2 minutes, but 13.
She looks at the mess in the kitchen that is normally reserved for the weekends when she has prepared a couple of dinners for us and all of my lunches for the week. But this was only one meal. Actually, it was just the sauce for one meal and by my count, I have used a skillet, scissors, a pan, several bowls of various sizes, 2 different knives, 3 spoons and multiple cutting boards. She asks if she can help. I lie and tell her I’m fine as I want to prepare this meal on my own for her.
After assessing all of the damage, err…cooking I’ve done, I decide it’s time for another drink while I wait for the lobster butter to cool and before I start the vinegar and shallot reduction. The butter cools, my drink chills as I add more ice, and I begin the next phase which includes me beating egg yolks and lemon juice like they were a foster child. Actually, you are supposed to whisk, not beat but I’m not going to let correct terminology stand in the way of a good joke.
At this point things start to pick up speed. Jess steps in to assist with cutting the sweet potatoes for the side. It’s not an official meal to me if I don’t have a side dish. When those are done are roasting, in goes the filet to broil. Out it comes 12 minutes later cooked to a perfect medium-rare and we enjoy our first grown-up meal that I have ever cooked.
I hope you had as wonderful of a Valentine’s Day as my sweetheart and I did!