I’ve got to admit, I didn’t know what Yorkshire pudding was either until my wife made some for a fancy meal years ago. We were entertaining a real food snob and Alex wanted to impress. Well, impress she did, as this guy had never had Yorkshire pudding outside of a restaurant.
So yesterday we were shopping for our Christmas meal and we got a standing rib roast. Just watching the butcher carve this beautiful meat, we decided to have him set aside a small portion for us to cook that very evening.
My wife is the chef and I am almost her sous chef. I prep stuff and clean dishes like no one’s business, but apparently that doesn’t get me the title of sous chef. According to Alex, I have to learn to actually put something together without her guidance, but exactly the way she would do it, before I can claim any such title.
I know my way around a kitchen, waited tables in some fine restaurants, and can even order in French when I have to, but I do not have the cooking finesse of my wife. The first thing I ever cooked her was a hastily broiled pork chop (yes I said broiled– I didn’t have a grill at the time). My second attempt was a pan-fried salmon, to only find out afterward she doesn’t like salmon. Third time was not a charm, as I did chicken and onions and zucchini with a Dijon-mayo sauce wrapped in tinfoil to cook. Maybe it was the presentation on that one, as the chicken came out pretty moist.
But I have yet to master Alex’s nuances. And trying to help someone like that is like trying to help Van Gogh paint. I’ll just clean those brushes for you, okay Vince?
I watched as Alex whipped up a couple eggs in a bowl, added some flour, and some milk. Then she turned to her magical spice drawers and grabbed a pinch of this and a pinch of that to add to the bowl before putting it in the fridge. Later, she pulled out the roast and told me to place the empty cupcake-looking pan in the still hot oven. “It’s empty,” I said. “I know,” she answered, as she does when I say something stupid. A few minutes later she had taken the drippings from the roast and had me remove the empty cupcake-like vessel so she could add a little pan dripping to the bottom of each cup. She then grabbed the cold egg, milk, flour and magic spice mix from the fridge and filled each cup with this concoction.
I saw all of that happen right in front of me, and I still don’t know if I could execute it. I did, however, help eat those perfectly puffed “puddings.” All of them. They don’t save, I swear.