Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Princes and the Peas

Please help us welcome Taryn Kincaid.

~ ~ ~

Be warned: Non-Thanksgiving rant coming.
First: The backstory so you know the characters we are dealing with.
           A million years ago, when I was young and unformed and starting out in the world with bright eyes and my first real apartment (we don’t count the studio where you had to pull a bamboo shade over the sink and stove to hide it from the living room), I thought it would be really cool to invite my brothers and male cousins over for dinner in the absence of their mothers. (But probably at the behest of those self-same mothers.)
           I cannot bake to save my life but I am a pretty decent cook when I have the time and inclination and wherewithal to do it. Especially if you can smoosh all the ingredients around in one big cauldron, er, pot. I made them a delectable  Four Citrus  chicken dish,  I’d gotten from New York magazine, when New York magazine used to do recipes for entertaining .  The recipe called for, among other things, the juice and zest of 1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime. Unfortunately, it also called for cumin. My youngest brother, who at that time  was  strictly a chicken drenched in Campbell’s mushroom soup over rice kinda guy, particularly thought he was being  poisoned. While the others just made rude remarks, he grabbed a chicken leg by the knob where the chicken foot once used to go, marched through the apartment with it, and held it under the kitchen sink, returned to the table and tucked in.
            That would be the first and last time any of the men in my family ever discovered the location of the kitchen on their own…at least while anyone else was there to watch. (Because they undoubtedly know how to find the fridge, drink the carton of milk or orange juice down, and return the empty to the shelf.)
            I guess I kind of blame their mothers, who made them all princes.  I am positive they do not act like this elsewhere. But let a holiday roll around and suddenly they are medieval kings banqueting in their Great Hall and expecting the serving wench to be waiting on them hand and foot.
            So this is how a holiday at chez Taryn usually goes:
            “Do we have any butter?”
            “Why, yes. You probably didn’t recognize it sitting right there in its butter dish next to the basket of rolls. I could call Fabio to bring out a plastic tub of ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ for you. Do you think that will help?”
            “Do we have any Coke?”
            “Why, yes. It’s in the refrigerator. You know where that is, don’t you? I didn’t realize you’d be wanting Coke, since you asked me to make a special trip to the apple farm for cider and then mentioned you would only be drinking club soda, since you were watching your weight. Hence, the apple cider and seltzer on the table.”
            “What are these things in the peas?”
            “Pearl onions.”
            (Sniffs.) “They look like eyeballs.”
            “I’m surprise you can see them since you couldn’t see the butter.”
            “Do we have any knives?”
            “Why, yes, do you mean that silvery-looking object on the right side of your plate that I will stab you with in two seconds, or were you looking for something fancier, like, say, Excalibur?”

Taryn is the author of Sleepy Hollow Dreams, Healing Hearts, and her two new 1Night Stand releases from Decadent Publishing, Lightning and Thunder


Anthology Authors said...


Why is it that the men go into the living room/den/wherever the TV is and plonk themselves down in front of it to await the arrival of the feast? How did that get to be the tradition? And why the hell are there football games on Thanksgiving? Is this to prevent the men from irritating the women so much that instead of a day of thanks, there is a massacre by the women who've had enough of their shenanigans? :D Just a thought.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Thanks for having me in today, Four Strong Women!

(And thanks for letting me vent.)

Krista said...

Totally loved your post Taryn !!! Definitely gave me laugh and pushed me right back to family dinners back in the day :) LOVE IT !!!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Thanks, Krista! Oh, the stories I could tell...

Jessica Subject said...

Um, yes, I remember days like that when I was younger, but my DH is not like that at all. His mother taught him well. ;)

Barbara Elsborg said...

The pearl onions thing reminded me of what my daughter did at a breakfast buffet in Whistler. Helped herself to a plate of them because she thought they were lychees! We had to eat them all to save her face. At the same meal, son cracked what he thought was a hard boiled egg on his plate of bacon, only to find it was raw egg intended for Japanese soup. Ahh - the humor of meals!! Fun post!!!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Priceless, Barbara!

Just got a call from one of the aforementioned princes. We are going out this year.

We tried this for the first time ever last year. (Well, one other time when my father was in a wheelchair, but that was a somewhat grimmer affair.) Last year was, perhaps not surprisingly, a resounding success in that there were actual people whose actual job was to wait on you. And, since I could actually sit down at the table instead of kitchen hop the whole time, actual conversation ensued.
Plus, no one had to clean up.
(And depending on whether you look at this as a good thing or a bad thing...there weren't any leftovers.)

Valerie Mann said...

We decided to go camping this weekend and I have a turkey thawing in the refrigerator. I told my husband we would have to bring the turkey and roaster with us and I'll roast it while we're camping (we have an RV, this is NOT roughing it by any means). His question: "Can't you get the kids to do that for you at home?"

Okay, let's think this through, all you cooks who have made a turkey. Do kids know how to prepare the bird for roasting? No. Do they know how long it really takes (and the thermometer popping out is not a good indicator). No. Do they know what do to with bird when done? No. Do they know what to do with the stock left over? No. Or the carcass? No. Bigger question - will they clean up afterward. HELL no.

So, he says without remorse, "Is it really that much work to make a turkey?"

Taryn - you just proved why men are asking questions like that. Because they're too busy watching football and scratching their a$$es and asking when dinner will be ready.

Faith said...

Four Citrus Chicken sounds delicious!