Kitchen Notes & Memories

Posted Mon, 01/09/12


I'm in the midst of assembling the next cookbook for Food Fare. Some of the work has led me to dozens of archived blog posts, one of which brought back a humorous kitchen moment from the past.


Shenanchie O'Toole and Wilbert Alviso (pictured on their first date, February 2001).

(Above): Me and Wilbert Alviso (pictured on our first date, February 2001).


Let's set the scene. I was living in Washington with my husband Wilbert Alviso in March 2004. At the time, Wilbert worked the night shift at a local hospital (in the brain trauma unit, no less). I decided to be a good egg and prepare him a decent meal before he awakened from a well-deserved sleep.


My description of the process went as follows:


This was not a day to place myself in the kitchen. I decided to be kind to Wilbert and prepare dinner, but from the get-go trouble brewed instead. When I opened the freezer door to get a bag of vegetables, a frozen-solid package of hot dogs flew out and hit the floor, narrowly missing my foot. Let me first clarify that our freezer is the top half of our refrigerator, therefore the freezer door is half-sized as well. After bending over to pick up the cursed package of hot dogs, I stood back up and hit my head smack on the open freezer door, jolting the door off its hinges and crashing it to the floor while a loose screw went flying across the kitchen to the entrance of the pantry.


I was slightly dazed for a few minutes, rubbing the top of my noggin and swearing a blue streak. I developed a goose egg, of course, but trudged ahead and made dinner anyway. When Wilbert woke up from his sleep, he fixed the freezer door and kept looking at me in amazement. "You must have one tough skull," he said. "Either that or your Irish stubbornness has seeped into every fiber of your being."


Once in awhile Wilbert comes up with a zinger or a nicely turned phrase. Today was one of those occasions when the opportunity presented itself and he grabbed it running – at my expense. I can't begrudge his small and all-too-rare victory, so I let the comment slide…

Apparently, the meal was a success as the blog entry finished with:


I did continue with dinner, however. We finally sat down and dined on tender-baked chicken, steamed vegetables (kernel corn and chopped broccoli), and a side of sliced potatoes lightly coated and fried with breadcrumbs.

The memory is made all the more poignant because Wilbert passed away last September. He was one of my best friends, so reading about our life together is rather bittersweet.


Blog Tags: Cookbooks


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