George cooks Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dinner, often inventing or improvising recipes in our own private enactment of Iron Chef. I rarely cook. I reheat his leftovers. I am happy with this situation, but both George and I have put on a bit of weight lately. Sunday night, George invented a meal which he intended to be light, but it ended up being floured catfish fried in butter and topped with spicy pecans that were also fried in butter with a huge side dish of spicy sweet potatoes fried in, you guessed it, butter.
In fairness, George insists that the proper term here is sautéed, not fried. Looked like frying to me. George said, “That’s because you don’t cook. You just reheat. You don’t know the difference.” He has a point, but sautéed is just fancy French for fried, as he confessed later. Here is an actual conversation after that buttery catfish meal to give you a taste of culinary life in the Raihala household.
Me: George, you are incapable of cooking light.
George: Yes, I can!
Me: No, you can NOT.
George: Nonsense. You’re only saying that because I never have. Name that movie I’m paraphrasing.
Me: Princess Bride, of course. And that’s my point. You’ve never done it because you’re not capable.
George: I’ve just never tried to cook light. I’ve tried to cook delicious. Besides, beans and rice was my idea.
Me: That’s not cooking. That’s making rice, heating up canned beans, and mixing them together. The recipes you invent are never light. Besides, I’m always the one fixing beans and rice, not you.
George: I made light oatmeal cookies when we lived in Boise.
Me: Yes, I suppose you did. [Note: We left Boise in 2000.] But you are not capable of cooking a light meal.
George: You are trying to use reverse psychology on me. You’re challenging me.
Me: No. I truly believe you are simply incapable of cooking light.
George: I made you a delicious salad a few months back.
Me: It was wilted with bacon fat, had a pound of crumbled bacon on it, and an egg fried in bacon fat. NOT light.
George: You are evil. I’m going to make you eat turkey. Next weekend, you’re eating light. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do it.
Me: No, you won’t.
George: Yes, I will. How many meals have to be light? Just one? Surely just one. One would prove you wrong.
Me: True. But you can’t do it.
George: Yes, I will. But just once, to prove you wrong.
Ever since this conversation, George has asked questions like a lawyer looking for a loophole. Who decides what’s light? Do you mean light in calories or just taste and texture? Is bacon light? How about goat cheese?
We shall see.