A Dad Who Shops and a Husband Who Cooks
Is a Recipe for a Perfect Summer
awesome cook. He’s a wizard with a chef’s knife and a master with a frying pan. He grills, roasts, and applies a bunch of techniques I don’t even know the words for. He has a large repertoire of killer dishes, but I would say tacos are his specialty. Whenever I see him dicing tomatoes for fresh pico de gallo, I know we’re in for a treat. My dad, Guito, lives with us, and he’s also a big fan of Tim’s tacos. Given that he does the grocery shopping — I lovingly refer to him as our manny — he will often buy ingredients to gently nudge Tim into making tacos again. They really are a dream team. I’m happy to do the cleaning once we’ve eaten, but I am absolved from all shopping and cooking duties, thankfully. That’s the way I like it, and it’s better for everyone’s palates and stomachs. So, you can imagine my horror when both Dad and Tim broke bones a few years ago. Tim had just broken his collarbone skiing when Dad fell down and broke his arm and leg. Don’t worry, they are both fine now, but I had to do all of the cooking and shopping for an entire month. Even though I had a captive audience of diners, I think everyone lost weight during that month. You can only have so much instant soup and pasta with jarred sauce before you go insane, doubly so when you’re used to Tim’s culinary creations. As I think back to that terrifying month, I realize how grateful I am to live with these guys. We don’t take vacations in the summer; instead, we opt to hang at home and use our vacation time to escape the winter. That leaves summers free for plenty of grilling and enjoying the outdoors. Keep your fingers crossed that Tim doesn’t go down with a freak injury this summer, or it will be burnt burgers and soggy salad all summer long at the Ricca house. Thank you, Dad and Tim, for banning me from the kitchen until the meal is served. Happy Father’s Day to both of you and to all the dads reading this newsletter, especially those who cook!
The best word to describe my ability as a cook is “hopeless.” I have never been able to cook, I definitely can’t cook now, and I don’t expect I’ll ever be able to in the future. It’s just one of those things. In most situations, I feel confident and capable. But in the kitchen, I feel more likely to cut my hand off or start a fire than create something edible, let alone delicious. Even worse than cooking is shopping for ingredients. When people tell me they enjoy the grocery store, I am as bemused as most are when they hear their friend likes going to the dentist. How anyone on this earth could possibly enjoy the grocery store is beyond me. Long lines, inscrutable layouts, and cart traffic are my idea of a nightmare. Sure, I’ll poke around a farmers market for fun and pick up a few items that look tasty, but watching me attempt to cross all the items off a list is pure comedy. I do enough backtracking while looking for ingredients that I probably walk a mile before heading to the checkout.
Luckily, I happen to have two wonderful men in my household that take care of the shopping and cooking. My husband, Tim, is an
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