"You've failed me."
Those were the first words I heard when I cracked open my eyes yesterday morning.
"What?" I croaked.
"Why don't I have bacon in my mouth yet?" he asked.
Patrick had decided to go into work early and I didn't hear him get up. I was still in bed sleeping when he hovered over me, ready to leave.
"I'm kidding. I didn't want to wake you up just because I'm having an early morning," he said.
Ugh, Day 2 and I was already failing at the 50s Housewife Experiment. According to the guides, old wifey is supposed to serve breakfast, even if it's early for her, and then go back to bed.
"Um, you want some cereal? I can do that," I suggested.
"Nah. I gotta go. I just wanted you to know that your breadwinner was going to work without knowing how much you care and support him," he grinned.
I got up, put the dumb bow in my hair and basically stared at him until he left, sure to give him his goodbye kiss at the door. Then it was onto my daily list of chores and the chore-of-the-day: cleaning the bedroom and handling all the laundry.
There were no real scandals there except one - when I removed our under-the-bed bins and started cleaning, I discovered two things:
- My asthma isn't entirely gone. Hello, dust!
- Our old pal Mickey (and possibly his wife and purse-loving baby) apparently used to have a gay old time under our bed: a lovely collection of mouse poop greeted me. Great. That's not disturbing or anything. The only silver lining was that they were old (some had turned green - I presume that means old, right?) and not fresh. That definitely would have been worse.
For lunch, I reheated the shepherd's pie. In the oven, not the microwave. It was at that moment that I realized I was already cheating at this experiment, as I've been sending Patrick off with leftovers (which he undoubtedly zaps in his office's microwave). A 50s husband wouldn't have had that luxury, so instead, the Mrs. would have had to pack a cold lunch for him (sandwich, soup in a thermos, etc.). Crap.
So - I have two options:
- Presume my husband lives in a Twilight Zone, where everyday he heads off to "The Future" with a microwave and such; OR
- Start cooking so that there's only enough for dinner, no major leftovers, and pack him a 50s-era brown bag lunch.
Since my poor husband was so cruelly denied his bacon this morning by his failure of a wife, I decided to incorporate it into dinner by preparing coq au vin. At first I thought maybe that was a tad "fancy" for the 50s housewife, but the recipe (in various forms) appears in nearly every cookbook I have from the era, so I considered it approved. Plus, the recipe's insistence of canned mushrooms over fresh ones brought the concept back to 50s earth. In the picture, the coq au vin looks a bit like sewage backup, but it was quite nice.
With the chicken, I prepared potatoes au gratin (which is more like potatoes au fatten - bring on that whole milk, butter and cheese, people!), glazed, minted carrots and heated the leftover biscuits.
The major thing I've learned thus far is that in the 50s, a vegetable couldn't just be a vegetable. It needed to have fat, sugar and / or flour dumped on it before it could be eaten. The glazed minted carrots were no exception. Here, too, I had to cheat a bit because the recipe called for half a CUP of butter and half a CUP of brown sugar for a simple bunch of carrots, supposedly enough for just two people. I halved those amounts, but as you can see, there was still plenty of diabetes and heart disease to go around. Look at that pool of sugar and (separating!) butter around those carrots!
I will say, though, that the carrots tasted really good with fresh mint. I'm thinking there's probably a good way to get that flavour without having to drown the veg so thoroughly.
Dessert was leftover angel food with berries, but I didn't bother to take a picture of it. Meh.
Patrick most definitely liked this meal more than the first, but he still delivered one of those snotty little nose scrunches when I revealed that the coq au vin contained a bit of celery - yet another thing on the list that he "hates." I actually knew that one already, which was why I didn't tell him celery was in it until he was chowing down and paying me the ultimate compliment of laboured breathing while eating.
While it's totally un-50s-wife of me, I'm a big ol' bitch that way; I believe half of his food phobias are in his head and that if he'd only try the stuff he claims to hate, he'll realize they're not that bad.
Did you know that before dating me, he thought he hated steak? Really. Maybe it's because I originally hail from Alberta, but I thought that was impossible.
Anyway, this week buddy boy is likely to enjoy all kinds of things he hates while the Mrs. stares at him from across the table with the smuggest of smug looks. I wonder if this is what women who poison their husbands' food feel like too?