My husband is a very easy man to please – gastronomically, anyway. He loves every meat, as long as it’s schnitzel, and every vegetable on earth, if it’s potato, and fried. And even though I hate cooking at the best of time, and schnitzels are the messiest, splatteriest, most annoying things to make, my greatest joy is pleasing my husband*.
So every now and then, I will buy a mountain of chicken, and a huge pile of veal, and fry up enough schnitzels to last the year. Or at least feed my husband for a week or two.
Last night was one of those nights. I prepped the kitchen, pouring a mound of flour on one plate, a mound of breadcrumbs on another, and a bowl of whisked eggs in the middle. Then I added my secret ingredient , love (using ‘love’ in the sense of ‘combination of herbs, spices and salt’), and began pounding the meat.
|Totally (not) my schnitzel|
So I kept on pounding the meat, hard. Like, really hard. I wasn’t just pounding that meat. I was pounding my husband, and the bits of chicken spray in my hair, and the veal in my nose, and the whole unfairness of my life, of having to spend hours messing up my kitchen only to spend hours cleaning it up again when everyone around me just hung about taking it easy. I pounded and pounded until the kids became alarmed and my husband appeared before me.
“What are you doing?” he asked warily, looking as anxious as if I was wielding a mallet in my hands, which, of course, I was.
“I’m making you schnitzels,” I yelled. “And you’ve forgotten about the bath!”
“I just ran it,” he said carefully. “Um... I think the chicken is ready.”
I looked down. The piece of chicken was in tatters. There would be no schnitzel for this particular bit of bird. There wasn’t even enough left for a nugget.
Chastened, I continued to prepare the rest of the meat. I dunked and I dipped and I rolled and I fried, and then I presented my family with a nutritious meal (using ‘nutritious’ in the sense of ‘containing trace amounts of protein amongst lots and lots of oil’). And then I sat down at the table with my own nutritious meal of Gin and Tonic and a slice of cheese (because I never wanted to look at schnitzel again), before rising seven minutes later to start cleaning.
It took one and a half hours. And another glass of gin.
My husband can be a very easy man to please. But next time he wants pleasure in the kitchen, he’s going to have to bite the bullet, and damn well please himself.
*Okay, so it’s maybe not my greatest joy, but it’s certainly up there in my top fifty.