Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk, raiding your pantry, ice cream cones and other frozen delights.
Homemade ice cream is headed my way and I won’t have to lift a finger. That’s because I gave my ice cream machine to a friend of mine and he has big plans.
It took me a while to dig it out of the appliance cemetery - also known as the tippy top shelves of the cupboards in my kitchen. It was buried there after I had used it twice, for a banana pudding ice cream and a strawberry sorbet.
But I just had to have the machine after watching Oprah Winfrey on her old show talking rapturously about all the low-cal treats that could be made in the easy-to-use thingy. It was sort of easy to make the frozen desserts. But it was also easy to eat the whole dessert - which sort of canceled out the low-cal part. And then there was the cleaning of all the parts.
So now the machine is taking up residence at my friend’s house, much to the dismay of his wife. She feels they have enough small kitchen appliances crowding their cupboards that they already fail to use more than once a year.
Some years ago, my family's dog Penny made off with a rump roast that had been left defrosting on a counter while we were all out running errands. My mother assumed the dog ate the entire thing because she couldn’t find even the tiniest scrap left of the meat.
But I found a big hunk of it - several days later when I did a headstand in the box of clothes my siblings and I used for playing dress-up. I screamed, then my mother screamed and Penny went into hiding while we disposed of the now quite ripe evidence.
Some people love to cook. I do not happen to be among their number. I cook so that I won’t starve, consume only processed foods or eat from take out menus too much.
I don’t cook for fun. However, many of my friends and family do cook for fun. And I am among their biggest fans. I love to get invited to a great home cooked meal.
My friend Carol makes a meatloaf that has made grown men weep with gratitude when they get to take the leftovers home– if there are any. Becky makes a simple salad of romaine, fresh veggies and homemade dressing that is almost a meal of its own. Tom’s gatherings always include pork loin and beer-can chicken. He seems to always invite women to bring all the labor intensive side dishes and desserts.
When you’re a child and you don’t like a certain vegetable there are ways to avoid it. Refuse to eat it - hide it in pockets or under plates or feed it to the dog. But when your spouse grows that vegetable with love and serves it up with their own two hands – you are stuck with gagging that ingredient down and smiling while you eat it.
However, one fellow I used to work with bragged about how he made certain that he never had to eat another one of his wife’s homegrown eggplants. Let’s call him "Max" so he doesn’t have to go into the Husband Protection Plan.
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