I don’t claim to be a master chef or anything, but I really enjoy cooking. It started with an obsession for baking, which I’m actually pretty horrible at. I just liked being in the kitchen. Once we had a wedding shower, I was gifted a few cool cookbooks. I started experimenting, and began cooking some good (mostly good) stuff. There’s a lot of really good cooks in my family and I felt like one of them.
This didn’t happen overnight. If you had asked me to cook something for dinner twelve years ago, I would have laughed at you.
I was a semi-sophmore/junior in college (five year plan baby, fiver year plan.), and met my future husband at a halloween party where he swept me off my feet.
That’s not exactly how it went. The cops showed up at our underage party in Logan Square, and I raced home like a bat out of hell. But…somehow he found me. He ran from the party too and ended up spending the night on our couch in my very first apartment. I’m sure my roommates were thrilled, but I think my dad would be even more thrilled to learn that I slept in my own bed alone, because I was a lady and he was a gentleman.
A few weeks later, I heard from him again. He wanted to take me out. I had just gotten out of some toxic ass shit, and was not looking for anyone at all. I thought I would try dating casually, because I was nineteen and in college and that’s what you’re supposed to do. He picked me up for our first date in his janky ass car. The muffler was so loud you could here it three miles away. In the city of Chicago. THREE MILES AWAY. Vroom, vroom.
We went to this swanky Lincoln Park pasta place on Halsted & Armitage. I love pasta. Seemed like a good idea. He was nervous as hell. I remeber thinking, “Jesus, this kid is really trying to make a good impression.”
We both ordered the same thing. A creamy pasta dish with spiral noodles and grilled chicken. I laughed, I couldn’t believe we ordered the same thing. As the night went on, I could tell something wasn’t right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but this guy was either REALLY nervous, or something was wrong with him. Hours passed, we watched a movie, hung out at my apartment, and then all of a sudden it all came to a head.
He remembered seeing some of the chicken in the pasta dish didn’t look quite right, but because he was trying hard to impress me, he just ate it. I didn’t notice anything wrong with mine.
Hours later as I clicked the channels on the tv back at my apartment, his face grew paler and paler. At one point he just couldn’t take it anymore. He ran to my bathroom and proceeded to throw up for the next twenty-four hours.
He got food poisoning on our first date.
It’s hilarious to think about now, but in the moment I was like, ” Crap… this is our first date and I have this extremley ill human being dying on my couch right now.” He mentioned his mom was a nurse, and I encourged him to call her ASAP.
He recovered eventually and spent the next thirteen years together after that incident. If I had barfed at someones house on a first date, I”d make sure to never see them again. I would have died from embarrasment.
So, let’s fast forward to this past week. I decided to defrost some beef. I do it all the time. I was sick of tacos, sick of meatballs, and sick of shepards pie. I decided to make meatloaf. I should have stopped myself right there, because meatloaf is never a good idea. Ever. As I was prepping the food and veggies, I realized the beef looked…strange.I said, “Whatever!” and went on my merry way finishing dinner up.
It just so happened that my children and I lost our appetites right before we were about to sit down. I don’t know what happened, but perhaps the memory of the weird beef got to me.
…Of course, he loved it. Said it was delicious. Had three helpings. I was rather pleased with myself, because he’s a damn picky eater. Next thing I knew, it was 4 am and the poor guy was praying for Jesus to take him home. The bathroom was a battle zone, his stomach vs the porcielen throne.
I’ll never make meatloaf ever again.
I’m going to add this to the list of horrifying and yet hilarious stories of our family. You never know how much you love someone, or how much they love you, as when they’re sick puking their brains out. Especially, if you’re the one who has served the poison. It’s safe to say he’ll never eat anything I cook ever again, but we had a good run, you know? Maybe he can survive on Mexican food and Chicago’s Portillos for the rest of his life.
I love you Ryan. Thanks for not divorcing me over my failed meatloaf.