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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Surprise!

My wife has Lily at Speech and O.T.  It's a Tuesday ritual.  Or will be until next Tuesday when I take it over.  She swoops in to the summer program to pick up Emma.  She swoops home to pick up Lily.  She flies north to drop Emma off at my parents before zooming to the speech appointment. . . then the OT appointment. . . then she does it all in reverse and returns home.


Until next week, when I'll be taking over the swooping, scooping, zooming and returning.  While she's gone there's a tremendous amount of imagined guilt building up about what I should have done around the house before she gets back, and because she's got the lion's share of the work to do, the amount that should be done around the house to alleviate my stress is "a shit ton".  


So I read a chapter of "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" and let my time tick by, because I am almost useless unless I'm working against a clock.  


While that was going on, I was exchanging texts with Leslie in a little campaign I like to call, Operation "Lower Expectations".  Things like, "Ugh, I just got home, traffic was such a nightmare!"  and "God, I'm so tired I could just pass out in bed right now. . . remember how Lily got up so early this morning?  Yeah, getting up with her is totally dragging me to bed!"


Then I asked her what she wanted to eat for dinner and she said that was MY responsibility, and so I said, "In that case I'm thinking about making pretzels for dinner."


"I hope you didn't strain yourself with all that thinking."


"You want Doritos instead?  I can thaw some out."  She ignored this, so I did a search and found a chicken piccata recipe on Pinterest because, as Google continues telling me, apparently I'm a 25-34 year old woman, and I started thawing chicken and cooking angel hair pasta and mixing sauces and so forth.  This is the part of the operation called, Operation "Surprise!"


THIS was done before I blogged.
Only two things can ruin this surprise:  1)  Leslie reads this blog, so she will totally know I'm cooking chicken piccata and it will be done when she gets home CONTRARY to my campaign of misdirection, and 2)  I'm not positive she even likes chicken piccata.  Is it too late to say "LESLIE!  DON'T READ ABOUT THE SURPRISE CHICKEN PICCATA I'M MAKING YOU!!!"  so that the surprise isn't ruined?  Probably.  And I can't ask her whether she likes chicken piccata because she is a smart cookie and will see right through that ruse.  It's sorta how I ruined the surprise of buying her an iphone.  It went something like this:


"Hey Les, if you were to get an iphone someday. . . you know. . . not SOON or anything, but SOMEday. . . how much memory would you want on it?  Would you want 16G or 32?"


"I don't know, Jim, that's really sort of your area."  Fine. . . fine. . . it is.  So then a couple days later. . . 


"Hey Les, if you were to get an iphone someday TOTALLY not soon, would you want a black one or a white one?"


"Black.  Why do you keep asking me about iphones?"


"NOT BECAUSE I'M BUYING YOU ONE!  SHUT UP!" 


And then the next day I had to leave a note for the UPS guy to drop the phone off and leave it because otherwise I'd have to drive to UPS to pick it up, and Leslie was leaving the house and saw something on the door and drove back up the driveway, got out of the car, read the note, rolled her eyes, got back in the car and left, waving cheerfully to me as I got in my own car.  


I watched her go and said, "Well, fuck."


So anyway.  I have. . . well, HAD 20 minutes to write this blog post because I'm timing the chicken so that it's done and hot when she walks in the door, and she JUST LEFT my parents house.  So . . . nice timing for me!  Because this post is DONE!!


So then WHILE I was writing this post, she had Emma text me to say, "This is Emma, we are on our way home."  She does that because I swear when I text her.  So if she doesn't identify herself it would be like:


"We are on our way home."


"'Bout fuckin' time!"


"DADDY!!"


"um. . . wrong number."


Anyway, she got home and the chicken was done, and the pasta was done, but the sauce was still reducing and I hadn't added the cream or capers yet, so I ran about 10 minutes late.  And the sauce didn't thicken as much as I'd have liked. . . BUT. . . 


She liked it.  It was really good if I'm being fair.  She liked it and she cleaned her plate.  And then, because I had made enough to give us each lunchtime leftovers, she walked by the strainer filled with angel hair, and she nabbed a couple strands and dunked it in the sauce pan and ate it like a mama bird eating a worm (except no disgusting Alicia Silverstone regurgitation), and THEN, she got another fork or two of pasta and put it on her plate and ate THAT and THEN. . . and look. . . I don't want you to get the wrong idea about my wife, she's a LADY. . . but she tipped the plate up and drank the piccata sauce off the plate.  Slurped it up. . . um. . . like a princess.


Like a princess.


So. . . the pictures:
3-4 minutes per side in butter and olive oil. . . 

so it looked like this. . . 

End product!  Easy recipe too!


32 comments:

  1. Nice one Jim. A Father's work is really never done. And everyone in your houshold should be thankful that you make chicken picatta, because honestly, I can't spell chicken picatta. If it were up to me Kraft Dinner would be a holiday special. Which is why I order dinner when it's my turn to cook.

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    1. I like to cook. . . we just never seem to have time. I just happened to luck out and have everything I needed for this recipe, and nobody underfoot!

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  2. I hope the meal comes out yummy!!!! I would be thrilled if Kai surprised me with dinner. Last month he accidentally sent me an email he meant to send to himself, reminding him that I liked the fried scallop dinner at a local restaurant. SO, since he ruined the surprise, apparently he feels he doesn't need to actually follow through...ha. Man thinking...I tell ya.

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  3. Well I can't speak for your wife but I know that if anyone else is making me dinner I wouldn't care what is was, that thing would be THE MOST DELICIOUS THING EVER!! Because everyone knows that not having to make your own food ups the yummy quotient (or Y.Q.) by a factor of 1000.

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  4. Best husband ever; chicken piccata is delicious.

    I laughed with the out-loudness numerous times while reading this. I'd say "surprise!" but I'm pretty sure you imagine me either laughing or crying through everything good I read online anyway, so it's not so much "surprise!" as it is "which emotion does Amy feel today?"

    I hope Leslie loved dinner. (What do you think of the book? Liking it?)

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    1. So far so good. I'll give you my complete wrapup when I'm done! I added some to the story, btw.

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    2. It's 11:15 pm and I want chicken. That looks amazing! Good job, Jim!

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    3. Thank you, Amy. Super easy too! I pinned the recipe. The blog it came for has pictures every step of the way and the pictures are SO much better. Her sauce thickened nicely. Still, I would pour a cup of that piccata sauce and drink it. So yummy.

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  5. That looks delicious and also this post made me laugh a lot.

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    1. YAY! And it totally was delicious!

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  6. A meal that she didn't have to cook? That would be absolutely delectable in my book. Good job, Jim. Good job. The pics look great.

    I'm going to leave this post up on my pc for Hubz to just happen to walk past...

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    1. He'll walk past and go, "Hey, that looks good, hon, why don't you make me THAT for dinner?"

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  7. your food is pretty, and you should feel pretty too.

    nice, jim.

    tonight, we had local red wine sausages with bell peppers and zucchini from the farmers market all cooked up on the grill. i cooked some little red potatoes with parsley sage rosemary and thyme (easy to remember). when Lovely Wife biked home, I had prepped the greens, but she was on task to cook them because she's so freaking good at it. I don't know why, but they're just way better when she cooks them.

    some discussion later revealed that Lovely Wife is onto the "I will try to make this, but am not very good at it. You are soooo good at it."

    i did have at least one point to make here, but frankly, I am drunk and nothing is coming to the fore.

    goodnight then,
    j

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    1. ooooooh. . . local charcuterie!! I don't love zucchini, but I like the sound of what you cooked up.

      Maybe to her it tastes so much better when YOU cook them. . . relativity!

      Why drunk, Jon? It was Tuesday for godsake! We're not teenagers sloshed every night! Wait. . . or ARE we??

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  8. OMG!! That looks delicious!! And I *love* (love love love) when people make enough for the next day left overs!! You totally rocked this! **tummy rumbles**

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    1. I pinned it. You can totally find it on my "Things to Cook" board. Yeah. Google was right. I'm a 25-34 year old woman.

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  9. Well done, Jim! When my husband cooks, it's usually BW3 or Chipotle. LOL. I'm proud of you!

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    1. Thank you, thank you. I want your husband to cooks some Chipotle for me!

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  10. Yum, you could cook for me any time. Husband almost never cooks, and when he does he gets all grumpy about it so it's not worth it!

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    1. I actually LIKE cooking, but sort of in a mad scientist kind of way. I keep thinking a pinch of this or a dash of that will elicit some explosion of red smoke and I'll have a finished meal. I don't understand the whys and wherefores like I should in order to be good at it. Still, this one turned out really nicely!

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  11. Hey, that's looks delish! Leslie is lucky to have snagged such a great 25-34 year old female cook! I love chicken piccata! It's one of 3 dishes I cook decently. But that's 3 dishes more than hubs can cook. :(

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    1. I'll bet he makes a kickass frozen pizza.

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  12. You ... you COOK?!!!! AND you know "charcuterie?!!!!" You aren't real, are you.

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    1. I'm a real 25-34 year old woman. Did. . . did Google not tell you?

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  13. Seriously, having delicious food surprises is the best thing ever. Your wife is a lucky lady. Also, I am approximately equally terrible at surprises, but somehow, when dinner is being cooked for you, it's harder to mind.

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    1. I love surprising. . . like. . . to a fault. I'm constantly either misdirecting about how little I'm doing while she's away in order to surprise her with how much is done, or doing things she really doesn't want me to do or has plans to do other ways but I can't ask her about because asking would ruin the surprise of me having gotten them done.

      Then I get surly when she doesn't appreciate it.

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