Got your attention with that title, didn’t I?
I got Gwynly’s attention recently, too, but not in the way I’d intended.
Earlier this month I embarked on a new adventure. I’ve been a member of Curves for over a year, but I was unaware of the diet plan they offer until they promoted it as a New Year’s special.
Some of you know I’ve often referred to myself as a lousy cook. When I heard about Curves Complete, a bell went off. OK, so it sounded more like a kitchen timer, but that’s appropriate given the fact that I decided to sign up for the plan, necessitating that I spend more time in a room I used to avoid.
Those of you who’ve met me might wonder why I was interested in a diet plan. What you don’t know is that when I turned forty, I packed on the weight. Yup. Middle-age spread had claimed another victim. I spent two l-o-n-g years taking those pesky pounds off. Not fun.
This time around, it’s not about the weight loss, although I have lost three pounds of that hard-to-combat belly fat in three weeks. Not too shabby, huh?
My goal is learning to eat right. I’d been exercising, but I knew all that junk I was putting in my body wasn’t good for me. I finally admitted I wasn’t so much a lousy cook as I was a lazy cook. I’d used my flimsy excuse as a way to avoid learning how to prepare nutritious, delicious meals.
Getting exercise was the first step I took in combating my osteoporosis, but I need to build strong muscles in order to support my little, brittle bones. That means putting the right kind of food in my body.
Each week I create a meal plan suited to my needs. The recipes are awesome. I’ve fixed so many great meals the past three weeks that Gwynly is grinning.
But back to my story. . .
One night, I set out to prepare chicken with lemon-garlic pasta. I was surprised to see that the recipe called for red pepper flakes to be added to the pasta dish. Since I really didn’t know much about cooking, I’ve been faithfully following the recipes. In went the red pepper.
Gwynly and I sat down to eat, both anticipating another delicious meal. He started in on the chicken, but I went right for the pasta. Why? Because I love pasta as much as Garfield loves his lasagne.
Was I ever in for a surprise.
The pasta was hot. Spicy hot. And how. As a long-time Taco Bell addict, I’m a fan of food with zing, but this dish set my mouth on fire. It was grab-the-glass-of-water-quick time.
I mentioned to Gwynly that I wasn’t sure he’d like the pasta dish, since it was on the hot side. Being the supportive husband he is, he said he was game.
Since I’m committed to following the diet to the letter, I ate my full portion. Let me tell you, my taste buds were seriously singed.
Afterward, I consulted the recipe. The others I’d used had resulted in awesome meals, so I found this fiery fiasco surprising.
Um, well, the mistake wasn’t in the recipe. It was the cook’s. I’d read the recipe wrong and mistakenly added one teaspoon of red pepper flakes per serving instead of the one-eighth teaspoon it called for. Eight times as much.
Now Gwynly isn’t a fan of spicy food. I’ve spent twenty-five years trying to convince him how great Taco Bell’s fare is, but he’s not buying it. He’ll eat the tacos I fix, but the amount of mild sauce he puts on them wouldn’t begin to satisfy me.
But what did my guy do when facing that plate of pasta? He ate it. An entire portion. I told him he didn’t have to, but in his effort to encourage me, he choked it down.
I was reminded of a newlywed husband eager to please his clueless-in-the-kitchen bride. Gwynly and I are by no means newlyweds, having celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary this past December. But the romance is still alive. And sometimes it’s red-hot!
Do you enjoy cooking?
What is one of your most memorable meal fails?
How does your special someone deal with your culinary catastrophes?