Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: The Nazi Cook
By Teresa Hollums
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“Hey, Mom,” my son called to me, “I sure would like to know how you make your good fried chicken. I’ve looked up a recipe that sounds like what you might have done, but I really don’t know. Want to help me in the kitchen?”
I couldn’t believe that my grown son was actually paying me a compliment by asking for my help with his meal that was going to be special for me and some friends he had invited over to his house. My son envisioned himself as a gourmet chef at times, and I must admit that often he did fix excellent meals. I should have noticed however, that somehow his wife had this deal with him that he could cook and she would clean the dishes. Without careful thought, I answered quickly, “sure, I’ll be happy to help.”
He had already bought a very big, fat chicken and had no idea how to cut one up. So I happily proceeded to cut the whole fryer into our normal pieces that we enjoy eating.
He carefully watched me and input, “Hey, Mom, isn’t that a little skimpy on the wishbone piece? I really like that piece.”
“O.k.,” I thought and proceeded to try to please him with cutting the last bit larger.
“Oh, that’s great,” he encouraged.
Then I went to the icebox and got the milk to soak the pieces in before I cooked it and I hunted quiet diligently for the salt in among all of his exotic spices. Down came the salt beside the milk and I was about to reach for the flour.
“Hey, Mom” came the now irritating sound of my son’s voice, “but this gourmet cook doesn’t say to put salt in just milk. He uses buttermilk. He also used sea salt with a touch of fresh squeezed garlic. Doesn’t that sound better?”
I quietly sighed and proceeded to hunt in the stacked refrigerator for the buttermilk that he had already bought to do the recipe and to also hunt for the more “gourmet” sea salt. It has never been my passion in life to try to find anything.
“Where do I find your garlic?” I asked in still patient tones,
“Oh, Mom it’s right there in the second cabinet on the right.” He answered in a now becoming condescending tone in my mind.
As I dutifully proceeded to try to squeeze the garlic with a grater, he quickly inserted another more specific garlic press into my hand and instructed me with “Here, Mom use this—it’s much better.”
“Hurry, Mom, my vegetables here are about ready to put onto to steam. You know, that’s so they will lose as little nutrition as possible.”
My day seemed to be closing in on me and my son seemed to loom as an impossible co-cook.
I quietly removed myself from the kitchen and sat in front of the television—which I hardly ever do. I overhead my kind daughter-in-law and my son in quiet conversation.
“Tiffany,” my son said after finally noticing my absence, “Why did mom leave? I thought we were working so well together.”
“D.G.,” she replied, “she left for the same reason I never am in the kitchen cooking with you either—you are the Nazi Cook!”
I quietly laughed to myself, but I did not return to the kitchen.
How often do we desperately ask for help and advice and direction from God and then we turn instead and become the Nazi Cooks—doing our own things out own way?
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