by Jeanette Levellie
When we first married, I taught my husband how to create a meatloaf, from my mother’s recipe. Nothing fancy, but when it hits your tongue, you're happy to be alive.
I thought I was doing myself a favor by teaching him to cook more than pork chops and burgers. Aha.
Mr. makes his first meatloaf. We have friends over to share it. They mistakenly think it is his cooking expertise, not my teaching ability, that causes their taste buds to tango. Hmmpphh.
Next time I need a break from cooking, the new food guru locks himself in the kitchen while he adds soy sauce and other secret condiments to “HIS” recipe. More applause from misled tasters disguised as friends.
The final coffin nail for Mom’s meatloaf occurs when my hero gets up at 5 a.m. on the morning he’s scheduled to cook, and hand-crumbs the bread as fine as a high note on the violin. That night he grins to the sides of his chef’s hat as my ex-friends help him devour his masterpiece. When they get home, they rush to their computers and write stunning reviews for "Meatloaf for the Stars" magazine, and email Mr., suggesting he start a restaurant.
It’s not that I mind never cooking a meatloaf again. The shocked stare from Mr. when I suggest making Mom’s recipe, the guests wondering why the secret spices disappeared, the falling of the sky—I can handle all that.
It’s the demise of Mom’s family formula that I grieve. Now it’s lost in that huge recipe box in the sky, among 297,685 others from unsuspecting wives who taught their husbands to cook. I hope the angel chefs can keep from embellishing it.
If not, Mom is going to have a thing or two to say when she gets there.
A spunky, sometimes reluctant pastor’s wife of thirty-six years, Jeanette has published articles, greeting card verses, stories and calendar poems. She authors a bi-weekly humor/inspirational column in her local newspaper, and enjoys speaking to church and civic groups, offering hope and humor in every message. She is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress to several cats. Find her blog, On Wings of Mirth and Worth, at http://jeanettelevellie.