Carol Preflatish

Author of  Mystery and Romance

"Masters & Disasters of Cooking" excerpt              


My First Marital Cooking Disaster

     I had only been married for about a month when I decided to fix my husband something new for dinner. I sat down and scoured some women's magazines until I found what I thought was a perfect dish to make. This was going to be a surprise for my husband when he got home from work and after a quick trip to the market; I had all the ingredients I needed to make chicken and rice.

     Having never made this before, I wasn't sure how it was supposed to turn out. The magazine had a photo included, so that was all I had to go by.

     I followed the recipe perfectly, or so I thought. It looked like the picture in the magazine. I was so proud as I set the table. When my husband got home, I led him to the dining room and brought in the chicken and rice. We both dug in. It wasn't bad; a little oily maybe, but that was just the vegetable oil. I probably didn't get it mixed well, I thought.

     My husband finished and sat his fork down. I asked if he wanted more and he quickly said, "No." He was full. Later in the evening, I never noticed him taking antacid pills.

     The next morning, in the nicest way possible, he told me he thought I had given him food poisoning. I think he spent most of the night in the bathroom. As a new wife, I felt terrible that something I had prepared made my husband sick. When he left for work, he assured me he was now fine. Although, I was positive I had seen him slip some Pepto-Bismol pills into his pocket before he left. Thank goodness he worked at a hospital, just in case he got sick.

     After looking over the recipe, the only thing I could figure out was that it called for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil when it should have been a smaller amount. Thinking back now, maybe the oil was supposed to have been used for frying the chicken instead of using it to coat everything afterward it was mixed together.

     I never used that recipe again and now when I mention I'm going to fix something new for dinner, my husband gives me one of "those" looks. Even after twenty years of marriage, he still reserves the right to look over and approve the ingredients any recipe before I start. And, in those twenty years since that first disaster, he has never stopped me from fixing something new.

     Below is a good recipe, not the one I used back then.

Chicken and Rice

1 C. uncooked rice

1 chicken, cut up

1/4 lb. butter or margarine

1 pkg. onion soup mix

2 C. boiling water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Spread rice over bottom of pan evenly. Arrange chicken on top of rice. Dot with butter or margarine; then sprinkle soup mix over everything. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, pour the boiling water into the pan. Bake for one hour.