Yep. Did it again. Went right into that kitchen, dizzy with delusions.
“What’s that smell?” the farmer asked as he walked into the house.
It might sound innocent enough. But actually, that was a loaded question.
It could be negative or positive, especially since the person asking the question knows and fears my cooking disabilities.
“What’s that smell?” he asked again.
“Why?” I asked defensively.
“Because it smells really good,” he said.
And so, I puffed up with pride and popped right back into my delusions of domesticity.
“I’m making meatloaf,” I said with a happy smile.
I watched the color drain from the farmer’s face.
Even though he was trying like heck to keep that fake grin pasted into place, terror danced in his eyes.
“Meatloaf, huh?” he leaned against the table, subconsciously grabbing his stomach. “Well, how about that?”
By the way, “How about that?” is code for “Oh Lord, why me?”
The farmer is known for saying, “How about that?” in the midst of every single one of my mishaps.
The day I made yeast rolls that ended up weighing seven pounds each, he merely stood there and said, “How about that?”
When I accidentally super-glued a pot holder to one of the burners on top of the stove, he again rubbed his chin and said, “How about that?”
He was obviously way too kind to ask me to take a walk down meatloaf memory lane.
As in…”Remember when you poisoned us with meatloaf? How about that?”
Two hours after that particular tasting, we were both hollering into the porcelain throne.
He was way too nice, of course, to blame my meatloaf for his rotted stomach lining.
“You don’t have to eat it,” I said.
“Well now why wouldn’t I want to eat it?” he said, as if he could not recall barfing for days the last time meatloaf was on the menu. “Did you, uh, did you find a new recipe or something?”
I nodded and he quietly exhaled.
“We’ll try it again,” he said lightly, and then tried to nonchalantly grab the Pepto-Bismol, like I wouldn’t notice.
We’ve had the discussion more than a few times. I have this inherent need to make meatloaf. It should be fairly stress-free. It should be practically foolproof.
I shame myself like crazy because I can’t seem to master the mound of meat.
But once again, I managed to mess it up … as in the fact that it resembled a ketchupy stew for a spoon.
“When my mother made meatloaf, she packed it into place like a brick,” the farmer said. “She packed it from one hand to the other for a good 20 minutes.”
“Good for her,” I snapped.
“I’m just suggesting that maybe you aren’t patient enough to make meatloaf,” he said. “Maybe you shouldn’t keep trying to master meatloaf. Maybe we should order it off a menu when you get a hankering for it.”
“Just stop talking,” I said as I spooned the meat chunks out of the pan and into the trash can.
“Not until you make a commitment,” the farmer said. “Let’s agree that you’re done with meatloaf mania.”
“Fine,” I said with an eye roll. “Now pass me the Pepto.”
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