Sunday, February 17, 2013

Whatever, Dude

”Could you please chop the eggplant, slice the onion and cut the carrots julienne style?”

I froze by the cutting board, knife in hand, apron on, and stared at Scott. He was trying to teach me how to cook and I was currently weighing the huge chef’s knife in my hand, trying to assess the damage it would make if I threw it at his julienne style ass.

Deciding to give him another chance, I put the knife down and took a deep breath.

“What exactly is julienne?” I asked. Then added as an afterthought, “And what the hell is the difference between chopping and slicing?”

Scott took a break from the important task of stirring something in a pan and stared at me. I could tell he was less than pleased with my lack off culinary skills, but hell, he’s the one who offered to teach me. It’s not like he didn’t know what he was getting himself into.

“Right, let’s start from the basics. Chop means to cut the food into large irregular pieces. Mince is the same thing as chop, only smaller. Cubes are uniform pieces, usually 1/2 inch on each side. To dice is the same thing as cube, only smaller. Slice means flat, thin pieces and julienne means thin, match like sticks about two inches long. Got it?”

Was he kidding? I had already forgotten half of what he said. “No problem.”

I grabbed the knife again and tried to remember what he had said about julienne. Finally I decided it couldn’t matter that much and chopped the lot. We were making vegetarian lasagna after all, and I’d never stopped to poke at my lasagna to see what form the vegetables were in.

The lasagna had been my idea – the vegetarian part was Scott’s idea. Personally I would’ve loved to add a little cow into the mix, but Scott refused to cook anything that used to have a tail. I never understood the moral code some people live by. Then again, I still understood Scott far better than I understood most other men. Many years ago we’d dated each other for a brief period of time, but eventually he realized women wasn’t really his thing, and I realized I preferred to date men whose testosterone level was actually higher than mine.

I handed him the chopped vegetables and walked over to the stove. I looked down at the sauce. It looked, well, vegetarian. Frowning at it, I grabbed the spoon and stirred a little. Nope, still vegetarian.

Scott was eyeing me with an amused look on his face. “It’s good you know. Try it.”

Skeptically I grabbed the smallest spoon I could find and dipped into the sauce, shaking the excess vegetables off. I brought the spoon up to my mouth and gingerly stuck my tongue out to taste it. It was good. Really good. Not that I was going to tell him that.



Scott sighed and muttered something that sounded vaguely rude. He turned away from the pan to cut the spinach and I quickly grabbed another spoonful of sauce while he wasn’t looking, savoring the taste.

“Do we really need the spinach?” I asked around a mouthful of the sinfully delicious sauce.

“Yes. You can’t make decent lasagna without spinach.”



“I’ll set you up with the cute guy at the office?”

Scott let out a snort, clearly disgusted with my pathetic blackmailing skills. “There will be spinach, suck it up.”

I watched as he added the offending leaves to the sauce, silently thinking it might actually not be so bad.

“So, do you think you’ll remember how to do this?”

“Not a chance.”

Scott let out a bark of laughter at that. “So if you’re not going to learn how to cook, why exactly did you want me to come over here and give you a cooking lesson?”

“I wanted lasagna, of course. Plus, you might be gay, but you’re still nice to look at.” I winked and then ducked as he threw a piece of eggplant my way.

Together we layered the pasta with the sauces and I decided maybe cooking wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, I was feeling pretty damn domestic as I sprinkled grated cheese on top. Of course, no one ever told me lasagna takes an eternity and a half in the oven. But when we finally got to sit down and taste it, it was worth it all. I couldn’t contain my moan of pleasure, and in a never-before-seen feat of quick thinking, I pretended it was a moan of disgust.

The laugh lines appearing around Scotts eyes told me I didn’t have him fooled, though.

“It’s good, isn’t it? Just admit it.”

I have him a dirty look and shoveled more lasagna into my mouth. “Whatever, dude.”

This post is part of Nicky and Mike’s 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge. Today’s prompt is Whatever, dude. Go check out We Work For Cheese for a list of the other participants. *


  1. Ooh, I like me some lasagna and I liked that story, too.

  2. Glad you're not going to give up on the cow, dufus, meat is a beautiful thing. ;)

  3. I hear Nicky's making lasagna. ;)

  4. I suddenly have an incredibly strong craving for lasagna. Mine will have a little cow in it though. This is a great piece, Lemmikki.

  5. Hey Ziva! This is a charming and gently funny; I love it. Your writing has been superb this week; thanks for treating us. Indigo x

  6. A little cow is a great thing. Mind if I come over?

  7. This is great work. And of course, I'm hungry again.

  8. An engaging story Z.
    My mom used to make a vegetarian lasagna. It was awesome. I tried making for my wife while we were dating. It was awful.

  9. Thank you so much, my friend. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me. :)

  10. I understand this one. But you haven't converted me to vegetarianism. Great writing, Ziva.

  11. Lasagna without meat? Blah! Good writing here, Ziva. So julienne style is cubing up and then mashing them with a hammer, right?

  12. Thanks, Reffie! Come on over, let's have some lasagna. :)

  13. This is great. I love food - talking about it, reading about it, eating it, and even cooking it. Now I'm getting hungry. The lasagna sounds tasty, but I still like a little cow in mine too.

  14. You and me both, Linda. ;) A little cow goes a long way in lasagna.

  15. I made lasagna this weekend and you know what my daughter said?!? "The edges are crunchy." As if that was BAD! I purposely PURPOSELY make the curly edges crunchy! That is the best part!

    So, MikeWJ, do you make your lasagne with soft edges, or crunchy?

  16. If I'm being completely honest, Katherine, I've never even made lasagna myself, so I have no idea if I make it crunchy or soft. ;) And I have even less of a clue about how MikeWJ makes his.

  17. Hi, Katherine, and thank you taking time to stop by Ziva's blog to ask me a cooking question. I'm always happy to respond to inquiries from fans of my cooking, even if they ask those questions on other people's blogs.

    So here we go.

    I don't make lasagna. It's too time-consuming, and gets eaten too quickly relative to the preparation time, which makes me very angry. I figure if people want lasagna, they can buy it at the Macaroni Grill.

    If, however, I did make lasagna, I would cook it until the edges were a bit crispy, just like you. Those crunchy, chewy bits are delicious.

    So if I were you, I'd continue cooking my lasagna with crunchy noodles. Also, I'd put my daughter up for adoption, or perhaps sell her to an Italian. Maybe then she'd finally stop whining, and you could get some free time to enjoy life without cooking.

  18. I suppose that if anybody could convert Scott into a heterosexual, it would be you, Ziva. Which is strange, given the googly eyes you constantly make at Nicky.

  19. Ok I suck. I was tired. My mind is spinning from this blog challenge and I call victim! ;D

  20. Vegetarian lasagna and flirting with a gay man...that sounds like my plans every Thursday night!

    This was a really cute story, ZIva. Very readable, and very amusing. :)

  21. Hahaha! I could use a great gay guy who cooks... send Scott over!

  22. Thank you, KZ! Readable and amusing was exactly what I was going for. I'm really trying to mix it up, it's not too often I actually try to be creative and write, so it's nice to try new things. :)

  23. "I’d never stopped to poke at my lasagna to see what form the vegetables were in."

    Really, who HAS?


    Thank goodness my father does most of the cooking around here. I am useless in the kitchen, until it's time to clean.

  24. Hah! Sadly, I do most of the cooking over here.. But I NEVER make lasagna.



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