When I walked through the front door on Saturday afternoon, I was greeted by three things: the smell of something baking in the oven, a smiling almost four year old and the sight of a not-yet-two-year old sitting at the dining table playing with scissors [alone].
I’m pretty sure this is what I said. ‘Hi! Did you guys bake something? Hi! Why are you sitting at the table…PLAYING WITH SCISSORS?!’
Cue the professor sneaking guiltily out of the office (where he was tinkering with his four-letter-words itunes playlist). Doing his best to look like he knew exactly what was going on with his young charge.
‘What’s in the oven?’ I finally asked, trying to put a name on the strange, pie-like aroma.
‘Moose ribs,’ my better half announced. His words underscored by adventurous trepidation.
Someone in the ‘faculty’ had given the professor a selection of frozen moose meat. And it had languished in our freezer ever since. Neither of us being brave enough to actually thaw the meat….and cook it.
Minutes passed and the boys (thoroughly claustrophobic from yet another rainy day spent indoors) were driving us crazy and the professor and his playlist were driving me crazy and the house was a dump despite my spending most of the week trying to slay the laundry dragon etcetera.
‘Let’s go get doughnuts,’ I finally suggested.
A new, fancy doughnut shop had opened in town and I’d been eager to check it out. And two point five seconds later, we were all in the car headed to said shop. Nothing gets a pile of men out of a house faster than the word ‘doughnuts’.
At the shop we selected five sweets: maple-bacon, vanilla with sprinkles, marshmallow, smore and peanut butter cup. These were no ordinary, cheap American doughnuts. These pricey gems were made by ‘pastry chefs’ using ‘finest quality ingredients’. So it didn’t seem completely unreasonable to spend $12 on five doughnuts.
But then we tasted them. The maple-bacon, tasted of lighter fluid. The professor – who I’d expected to inhale the thing – barely touched it. The marshmallow was, well, laden with marshmallow which is a bit de trop where doughnuts are concerned. Ditto for the smore. And the peanut butter cup. The most palatable one was the vanilla with sprinkles which I barely got to sample because the boys kept insisting it was only for ‘kids’.
We returned to our casa, to face the meat. When I opened the front door, I found the smell had magnified in our absence. I nearly tossed my….doughnuts….in the dining room as I ran to open the windows. In fact, just thinking about the smell – two days later – brings on a wave of nausea.
I went upstairs and began the time-wasting process of cleaning the hovel. Again.
Meanwhile, the professor had apparently concluded his spawn may not be chomping at the bit to lay their teeth into….moose ribs. So he opted to make scrambled eggs for dinner instead. Which is great for the boys, but not great for me as I have some illogical aversion to scrambled eggs. Omelette? Yes. Fritatta? Yes. Scrambled eggs? NO! [Ditto for hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, fried, over-easy, whatever.]
‘You want some dinner?’ my betrothed asked when I came downstairs to tackle the living room. I fixed my eyes upon his. ‘A dinner of moose meat and scrambled eggs? No, thanks.’ And I walked off in a huff while he pretended to care that he’d assembled the worst dinner known to [wo]man. In the history of time.
‘I threw the moose meat in the trash,’ he explained to my back, in the off-chance it would help his case. Which, it did not.