Heaven knows, I love my husband AND my molasses cookies (oh, you are on the outside of an inside joke? that one goes back aways but I will post the recipe at the bottom of this post. These cookies come highly endorsed by Babette and by Lu, who quit blogging to become a sex goddess, full time) He’s a good and loving man, a straight shooter, full of positive, uplifting energy and exceedingly hard working.
Still. He’s a guy. We’re coming up on our 4th wedding anniversary- newlyweds!- and now that I’ve really gotten to know him, he is SUCH a guy. He grew up in a herd of brothers, no sisters and they were close enough in age- four in four years-to nourish, egg on and reinforce every bit of guy behavior imaginable. I’m most likely to reflect on his upbringing when I see him gobbling dinner, standing at the kitchen counter, as it is still being served…
The other part of this post which, ah, we won’t call it a complaint- let’s call it an observation, shall we? The other part is he doesn’t know where anything is. Or goes. I know his head is full of loftier ideas about the 2016 Olympics, but he’s still asking where the cat food is stored. (enlarge the photo to see the top secret place where the cat food is stored.) He helps out by clearing the kitchen after I cook, which is a great deal- ask anyone who fantasizes about having their own cooking show. Except he doesn’t know where the pots and pans go. The bowls. The Cuisinart parts. Those come out of the dishwasher and get stacked on the counter and I put them away.
So, I guess it’s no surprise that we had a kitchen appliance he didn’t know about until last week. The kitchen, as you can see, is fairly small and somewhat dated but I keep it neat and it’s functional and there’s no budget for a redo. The appliance in question, a 1980s trash compactor, is my idea of an eyesore but for lack of anything better I’ve been putting the garbage bags in there, filling them up, and then hauling them out or handing them to Rich to haul out. I’m not sure what he thought- maybe that it was just a built-in garbage pail or something because that’s the way I’ve been using it- but it was only last week that he discovered it for the appliance that it really is: A very loud, very yucky machine that smashes things. Much to his delight, anything. With buttons and gears and a large weighted plate that comes down on top of garbage and grinds away and smashes things.
I don’t like this for any number of reasons. I don’t like loud noises. I don’t like the idea of wet nasty kitchen trash stuck to the underside of this massive metal plate that I can’t really get at since it retracts up into the underside of the counter. I don’t like things exploding in the kitchen. Believe me when I tell you that there is now the sound of things exploding in the kitchen constantly. He has been in the kitchen more in a week than the previous 8 months combined.
Here are Rich’s favorite things to smash, thus far:
-plastic tubs full of nasty french onion dip he never should have bought in the first place.
-a roasted chicken carcass
-egg shells, better if they are whole eggs that are "too old to use." (This from a man who had 3 year old eggs in his refrigerator when I met him.)
– crab leg shells
-a half full liter plastic bottle of Perrier ("Let’s see if it’s gone flat! Oh, tee-hee!")
-and the other day I caught him doing glass bottles. Recycling has temporarily gone out the window.
The worst offense thus far: I bought myself a three dollar cupcake at Swirlz and only ate half of it, carefully saving the rest for the next day. We don’t eat many sweets, other than molasses cookies, because I don’t have a sweet tooth and Rich isn’t supposed to eat much in the way of sugar, so this cupcake was a big, expensive deal. The next morning I woke up craving that half cupcake and headed downstairs but too late. They come housed in their own individual plastic dome cases and yes, Yoo-hoo was standing there making his coffee and punching buttons on the trash compactor.
"My cupcake!" I wailed as the monster snapped, crackled and popped. Rich opened it and peered in, grinning like a boy with a case of Black Cats, and said, "Oh, gee, I’m sorry." The latest twist on trash compacting is for him to see how much he can possibly get in, compact and then weigh the loaded bag before taking it out. This involves dragging the bag to the second story of the brickhouse and getting on the scale with it. He keeps trying for a new record. Yesterday, when I was complaining about McCloud shedding all over the sofa, there was a brief flicker of 7 year old impulsive mischief in Rich’s eyes as he mumbled, "the cat…"
This fellow keeps watch over my kitchen- he has for over a decade. But we live in a city where the real deal lurks in the alley from time to time. I’m not sure how all this obsessing over garbage could be linked, but it makes me nervous.
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
4-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water or milk
Your best homemade raspberry or strawberry jam for centers
Combine first 6 ingredients. Gradually blend in sugar and molasses.
Beat in egg. Add the flour alternately with the water or milk. Beat the
batter 1/2 minute. Drop teaspoonsful of dough, 2 inches apart, onto
greased cooky sheets, being careful to keep the cookies round. Bake 15 minutes or until
done in a preheated moderate oven (375 degrees F.). While still hot and soft, put 1/2 teaspoon jam in center of each cookie. Cool. Store
Yield: 5 dozen large cookies