Maybe someone will ‘bake a potato’ for me
My two grown sons tell me how wonderful their various ipods and such are and I smile at them, but know in my heart that I’ll never spend even one cent for such a thing for myself. After all, what can an ipod do for me that I’m not already doing?
Then I recall a certain episode with my friend Merlin and my micro-wave oven, and wonder. Yeah, you see it really wasn’t too long ago when those kitchen necessities were actually ‘new on the market’ and every cook was torn between wanting one or not. After all, we’d been cooking for who knows how long without needing one.
But, what with TV programs and commercials, a few friends using one, and ads in the media, I weakened and within a month after the purchase, could not imagine not having one. After all . . . look at all the wondrous things it does.
Life went on, too, but Merlin was not only a friend, but farmed my vacant lot, was constantly in my yard and home, and just as often ate meals with me, at my table.
He saw the micro on my counter and was very vocal with his ideas of how useless the ‘thing’ was, and the waste of money I’d spent to get it. But finally, as long as it was there in my kitchen, we both kept our mouths shut about it (not an easy bit of discipline for me) and Merlin never ever knew how often the food he was eating at my table had either been cooked or at least heated in the micro. Why mess up a good friendship?
Then one evening I was late coming home and, as it was midsummer, he had been working all day long, like the proverbial dog, out in the garden and we both were bushed. We needed and wanted food, and we also wanted it fast. No time for long cooking, so I fried a couple of steaks, fixed a huge, nourishing salad with chunks of boiled eggs, tomatoes, green stuff from our garden, good pumpernickel bread and no one in their right mind could have complained.
Yet, right as the meal was coming all together, it came to me that a couple of baked potatoes would make it all better, and so, quick as a wink I brought out two nice Idaho’s and bang, right into the micro they went. Not a word was spoken, but I saw his eyes. He hadn’t missed one thing about those two potatoes that I was cooking. In that fool micro, too.
Neither of us said a word and as I dished up the rest of the meal, set the table and all that stuff, those potatoes were doing their thing, and when the steaks were done, and a bit of sauce (a thin gravy) made from the bits on the bottom of the fry pan was made. The potatoes were baked just right. I cut them open, put a pat of butter with in them, along with a spoonful or so of the sauce, and as such also went on the table. One on each of our plates.
Still no word was spoken, well at least about the potatoes, and I began eating just as usual. Cut a nice bite of steak, and just as openly dipped into the open potato, added a bit more salt and pepper to it and began eating.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Merlin looking at his plate. And the set of his chin was one that told me there would also be a baked potato sitting on his plate when the meal was over. But by then it was “Tough luck, Merlin”, eat it or not, at least you won’t go home hungry.
Again, as we both talked along about lots of things, I saw him gingerly take a bite of his potato. The sauce from the steak had seeped into it, the butter added to the bite and, by golly, he swallowed it, said not a word, but within a moment or two, the second, then the third and finally the entire micro-ed potato was eaten.
And not one word mentioned about it.
So when the meal was over, we tidied up the kitchen, tossed plates into the dishwasher, and with both of us worn out, we called it a day. Merlin went home and I went to bed. Neither of us hungry, either.
Funny, but I swore to myself that the incident of the potatoes would never be mentioned and it wasn’t, but danged if a month or so later, he off handedly mentioned that had picked some of ‘our’ string beans, added slices of ‘our’ carrots along with a few young onions, and that within five or so minutes in his micro he had cooked them, and created a perfect dish, too.
Oh, I prided myself greatly that I didn’t laugh, smirk, tease, or gibe him about his quick conversion to the now kitchen stand-by, but let it pass, and finally he quietly admitted that my Baked Potato was what had sold him on wanting one for himself. And he bought one.
And so . . . when I smirk about how much an ipod costs, and how life can go on smoothly and nicely without one . . . I now hold my breath. It just might be that one of these days, one of my sons will, in an emergency “bake a potato” for me and in not too long a time, I’ll be telling them that I simply must have one. How can I really live without one??? You tell me.
* See excerpt from “Our Road” by Ethel Ohlin Bradford, WWW.BradfordDesigns.com