Thursday, December 30th 2010
Pots, Pans, Chocolate, & Diamonds

Seth-5yr is the lone foodie in this house. Today I told him he could pick out some recipes from his new Christmas cookbooks (cookin’ books, as he says) and we would go to the store and get all the  ingredients.

He decided to make a chocolate cake with m&ms on top.

I should definitely let him pick recipes more often.

So we get to the store and he sees the bakery. In the bakery sit rows of chocolate cakes. And in a way that makes me SO inappropriately proud, he turned and said, “Hey…. wait. I have a better idea! Why don’t we just GET ONE OF THOSE?”

Exactly, my child. EXACTLY. Why are there cookbooks and recipes and not-until-after-your-naptime messy cooking sessions when you can walk into a store and RIGHT THERE is a cake already made, just like magic…? What was the point again of all that effort we were considering…? Because I saw a cake and YUM, TOTALLY FORGOT.

I was so tempted to just buy the cake and leave. But I said, no, this was a cake he would make and he would be very proud and it would be special and BLAH. BLAH. BLAH. Because that was the right thing to say, and my heart was NOT in it, but it didn’t matter. Motherhood.  Pffft.

He looked back over his shoulder and said, “maybe I don’t like to cook….”

I said, “Yeah, well, too bad, you’re going to. I don’t like to cook either.”

Caden-6yr said, “WHAT?! You don’t? But you cook for us ALL THE TIME.” And his face clearly said, “and pleeeeeease stop!”

Apparently he thinks that what I do is cooking. That is sad.

Mike and I bought new cookware the other day.

Is that even what you call it? Pots, pans, shiny. That stuff.

I broke it in today by making Kraft Toy Story mac and cheese with little alien shapes that taste squishy-gross. This is cooking. And only because my kids won’t eat the kind of mac and cheese that is already there like magic from the grocery store.

We were replacing the scraped up cookware (really? is that what it’s called? that sounds wrong) that Mike gave me a few Christmases ago. That was a weird gift.  For awhile, every few years or so I’d decide I wanted jewelry. Even though I don’t wear jewelry. But I’d forget and decide this was appropriate. And then Mike would get me some piece of jewelry that was way too expensive and I would try to remember to wear it and then forget and then feel guilty about it sitting in the drawer. But this one year, a few years back, I forgot the Jewelry Cycle, hinted for jewelry —   and instead Mike gave me pots and pans. Lots of expensive pots and pans that most people would be genuinely happy to receive.

I faked a smile and acted grateful, but was not.

They were all wrapped up and I opened and looked at some of them, said “thank you” a lot,  and set them aside to be put away later. I don’t cook. I had expressed no interest in changing this. We had not discussed pots and pans. They came in big, practical boxes and I wanted one little, impractical  box.

That night my face hurt from a whole Christmas day spent with a fake smile on it.  I went to find new homes in my cabinets for the stupid pots and pans I already deeply resented and found a little box inside one of the new pots. And another little box.

Diamond and sapphire ring and bracelet kind of little boxes.  I said thank you a lot and meant it.

They were gorgeous. (They still are. They’re in a drawer looking gorgeous right now, cue the guilt.)

I don’t know why Mike didn’t say something sooner. Or if I hadn’t put them away that night, how long he would have waited to tell me to look inside. Doesn’t matter I guess.

I told him to please not ever do that again.

He hasn’t.

This year he gave me jewelry that is really gorgeous and too expensive and sitting in a drawer, cue the guilt. (I did NOT hint. I remembered the Jewelry Cycle and wasn’t even tempted.)  And THEN we went shopping for pots and pans that were needed to replace the previous ones.

Later, we’ll even use some of the new ones to melt chocolate for Seth-5yr’s cake. Although it does seem like a lot of unnecessary trouble…

When there are perfectly good cakes, already made, just waiting….

But that’s ok.

It’ll be fun.


At least there will be chocolate.

On a totally unrelated note: $20.11 off $99 at right now. I replaced my Too-Tall, Feeling Fraudulent Boots.


15 Comments on “Pots, Pans, Chocolate, & Diamonds”

December 30th, 2010
9:26 pm

Regarding the melting chocolate in a pan. (And please don’t be offended if you already know this. It’s just that you talk about not knowing how to cook so I thought I’d save you some grief just in case you don’t.)

Don’t put the chocolate directly in the pan. It can scorch. If your set included a double boiler, use that. Otherwise, find a bowl that is big enough to set on top of the pan without falling in. Then bring water to a simmer in the pan, set the bowl on top, and put the chocolate in the bowl to melt over the simmering water.
Geekwif recently posted..Remember What I Said About Libraries

December 30th, 2010
11:03 pm

hey geekwif! thanks! nope, it takes much more than that to offend me. For Lala’s birthday, i went to visit for the day and we took a candy making class at a fancy cooking store. there was much use of double boilers that day. without that recent experience i don’t think i would have remembered to do it that way.

not that i did.

mike ended up on chocolate cake duty and i went to buy a lot of nice knives.

i have no idea if he used a double boiler, but i kinda doubt it. i left after hearing, “GET AWAY FROM THE HOT STOVE YOU ARE STRESSING ME OUT!”

isnt’ that the trouble with cooking with kids? sure, you can cook with me, but don’t even think of getting near anything hot or interesting or edible. better him than me.

December 31st, 2010
10:38 am

I love that you perservered. Sort of. I hope Seth enjoyed cookin’ something and that he was appropriately pleased with his cake. And did you taste it…?!

December 31st, 2010
10:46 am

yes…. self rising flour is different than all purpose, huh?

December 31st, 2010
7:44 pm

Ok…laughed so hard at the toy story mac and cheese part, my husband came running to see what would have me rolling. He really should have known it would be blogging stuff that would leave him feeling completely confused about why I am laughing…
funny post ;)
And love the jewelry idea. I never would have kept a secret that long! Wowza!
Betty recently posted..This Is What Happens

January 1st, 2011
7:13 pm

does Mike give gift-giving lessons? if so, can I sign Josh up, stat?!

i have a post in draft about how we haven’t exchanged Christmas gifts in five years and how my husband believes i like it this way when really it’s because he buys me dollar store presents and it hurts my heart and i’d as soon have nothing than be disappointed in the gifts he buys.

ew. i just re-read that and realize i am aw-ful!

oh well. he knew it when he married me.

but seriously, lessons on gift giving, willing to pay and send my husband to classes.
Sarah recently posted..Bad Wife

January 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

um…. no. you’re not, Sarah! It hurts because you know Josh can do better than that, and you know he should!

Mike really is a pretty great gift giver. I’m a pretty bad gift receiver. That’s how things stand right now.

Years ago, he always told me there wasn’t enough $ for a gift for me, but there was always enough for everyone else. That went on for years before deciding what I just told you: he can do better than that and he SHOULD.

So I insisted.

And then I got a card with a $10 dollar bill in it. I protested. And there have been many, many years where he “forgot” my birthday or our anniversary completely. That’s the WORST.

But even when he’s really thoughtful, I’m awful. (Nice, huh?) For mother’s day he made this kickboxing thing. (Yes. MADE.) But he doesn’t kickbox, and I do… and he had no way of knowing it wasn’t exactly functional. It would have broken all my toes within 5 minutes of use. Good intentions… but I wasn’t having it. And it looked kinda morbid-scary like a gallows, and so I thoroughly rejected this handmade gift. I would have loved it if he’d talked to me and heard my input on the design and THEN done all of this…. listened, just a little…?

Then! Then on our last anniversary we were standing in World Market and he told me about how he’d given me a trip to a writers’ conference and when and where and he’d already talked to the writer people about me and he thought it was soooo nice of him to book me off to Florida. And you know what? maybe it was nice. But I stood there with the Big Eyes and was all “DON’T TOUCH ME.” Because WHAT?! Don’t book me on flights and plan things like that without talking to me and hearing me and listening and caring what my opinion and my schedule might be….! (I didn’t go)

I have tried so hard to explain that what I really want is not some huge gesture. Homemade, expensive, or otherwise, I’m just not interested. I’d love it if he paid attention to the calendar, remembered something I really wanted (and it’s never big or expensive, because I’m just not like that) that I’d mentioned, and he’d LISTENED…. and then did something meaningful to ME. Not grand. Not showy. Not look what I can do.

Something small and sweet that would genuinely bless ME.

That’s hard. THAT is asking a lot, and maybe it’s asking too much.

I do need to remember to act a bit more grateful when there are genuine attempts at gifts, and maybe he’ll stop ‘forgetting’ altogether. There just might be a link there, and surely some of that is my fault. I know.

January 1st, 2011
8:48 pm

Dave and I do lists. He gives me a list of what he wants and I give him a list of what I want. I make my list long with a nice variety of items and prices so he still can choose what to get me and how much to spend, but he doesn’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll like it. It works out well for us. He has surprised me a few times and mostly he does well, but we learned long ago that the list thing works best.
Geekwif recently posted..Remember What I Said About Libraries

January 1st, 2011
9:35 pm

For years he was The Geek…. I dont’ know if I can switch and think of him as Dave… but I shall try. Dave, who does well with gift lists. I like that idea. Particularly the ‘it works’ part. Because we have had 14 years of various things that do NOT work.

January 1st, 2011
9:58 pm

We’ve had 13 years of gifts that don’t work. Well, the paper cutter I got six years ago works but it doesn’t WORK. Next year, list. Fer sher.

He did tell me the other day that he considered getting me new cookware. I wonder if there would have been teeny tiny boxes in there filled will jewelry…from the dollar store. :)
Sarah recently posted..Bad Wife

January 1st, 2011
10:21 pm

Sarah, I hope you cook. And wear jewelry! And cut paper! (I try to do none of the above…)
HolyMama! recently posted..Forget Resolutions- Here’s a Moral Failure Confession

January 2nd, 2011
8:21 am

If you try the list thing, has a “Universal Wish List” which will let you put anything you want from any online store in their wish list. You just have to download their Amazon toolbar and it shows up on your browser. Then, no matter what online store you’re at, when you find something you like, just click the “add to wish list” button at the top of your browser window, and it let’s you save it to your Amazon wish list.

The beauty of this is that he can then go to one place to see a list of everything you want, without you having to write/type out a list with URLs and store names, etc. And it has a place to write notes where you can put in sizes, colors, etc.
Geekwif recently posted..Remember What I Said About Libraries

Jennifer Sullivan
January 2nd, 2011
3:45 pm

Kelsey, am glad you didn’t decide to return the cookware that had jewelry in them. I wish hubby had done that when he gave me pots and pans one year. He didn’t and I, as a truly grateful (yeah right) wife told him that never again is he allowed to buy me cooking stuff and call it a Christmas present unless he wants a new vaccum for Christmas (he said he wouldn’t mind – ughh). Hubby instead took my advice and filled my stocking for the first time in 8 years (with socks and chocolate, very thoughtful as I always have cold feet). He also got me a few other nice gifts based on my texted to him Christmas list the day he was out shopping.
Geekwif is right about Amazon wish list, it rocks. I got my leaf blower!
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..How to lost 15 pounds in fourteen days!

January 2nd, 2011
7:32 pm

you know… i’ve thought about it. mike doesn’t get me the stuff i say i want and i think it’s because then it wouldn’t be a surprise. (and he likes the whole grand gesture surprise thing) . it’s like it would be cheating, or taking the easy way out to just listen to me and well, just LISTEN. so… i’m guessing that a list would not work out after all.
socks and chocolate and leafblowers… yes to all 3. my stepmother actually BEGS my dad for whatever cookware she’s currently into and he tries to say ‘no, absolutely no cookware for gifts’ but he usually gives in because it’s what she really really really wants. i think she is an exception. as is he.
HolyMama! recently posted..Forget Resolutions- Here’s a Moral Failure Confession

January 2nd, 2011
10:32 pm

K – I LOVE my amazon wish list although as we’ve discussed for me it is as much about storing information as it is storing things that I might like (or might like to buy for others). So. It’s not a straightforward list that other people could look at and think “Oh, THAT’s what LaLa wants for her birthday.” Because stuff on there might be for other people. But that’s me. I think you could make great use of that list.

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