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A glimpse in the life of utensily challenged mom.
Previously published online and print author with 5 titles currently archived online, as well as 3 magazine articles to her credit. Kathy lives on the shore of Tampa Bay in Clearwater FL. Artistic by career Ms LaFollett owns and operates Visionized.com. Her interests include extensive reading, digital art, raising 2 teenagers to be successful humans as well support and promote her husband of 6 years.
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
The Fine Art Of Nitzing (Short Stories) The rights of passage for both child and parent are numerous. This is one view of one right of one child on his way to the age of 16. I'm just trying to clean his room! [970 words] [Humor]
Zen And Zoom (Short Stories) When a husband and wife define their life, it's not always parallel, but it is entertaining! [2,437 words] [Relationships]
The pain didn’t show itself at first, slicing through the bread, the knife blade found my left pointer finger with ease and finished the job quickly.
At that moment, for a second, my brain registered a “not right” alarm. As in something isn’t right with my finger! Raising my left hand up to inspect that oh so not right area, the evidence was clear. Blood, and a gapping small wound clearly defining the area where the Chicago Cutlery had found its mark.
“Damn”, my first verbal reaction.
“Whoa, mom”, my son’s first verbal reaction.
“Honey!” My husband’s first verbal reaction said in a tone of dread but no surprise.
After 6 years of being together, Cali was well aware of my ability to slice and dice myself with sharp kitchen utensils.
And so the tradition continued as I hightailed it into my master bathroom, son in tow, to self-treat the bloody wound. Of course, another trait of my personality was brought to bear at that moment. We had no band-aids.
Why? Simple. I would shop at the local Target, standing in the band aid isle, staring at the myriad of proffered dressings, deciding what brand and what adhesive would be best to bring home. But ultimately scoffing at the price and walking away from the isle indignant at spending $3 proactively gambling on someone needing a “band aide” once in while.
And there you have it. I saved $3 but stood bleeding like a stuck pig in my master bath while my son stood by shaking his head in worry and dismay.
Hurrah! Fate played a part in solving the problem at hand. Earlier that year my husband had surgery that required dressings and tape to re bandage his surgery site. And there, under the sink were 2 boxes of heavy 6 X 6 dressing bandages and ˝ inch tape.
Chris took out the boxes and helped with the emergency master bathroom event. We cut the large swaths to size, wrapped my bleeding example of flightiness. And, around that, wrapped the ˝ tape to hold it in place.
I left the bathroom victorious at having bandaged myself without spending the $3 earlier!
Granted the bandage was the size of 2 fingers, a large lump of taped white mass hanging off the end of my pointer finger, but nonetheless covered.
Chris and I went back into the kitchen to help finish preparing the fine meal of steak and
restaurant bread which we had ordered out from a local steak joint. It was this very loaf of bread coupled with Cali’s favored Chicago Cutlery that has brought you, the reader, to this tale.
Yes, I must admit, I won’t spend $3 on bandages, but by god I’ll drop $40 to eliminate the need to cook! And quite frankly, I think the family appreciates the fact that I do not hold pretense as a cook. Betty Crocker I ain’t. It has been rumored and a favorite tale of our family that I make great dinners; spaghetti and chicken. So infamous is my talent at preparing these fine dishes that close friends of my children oft inquire, “What’s for dinner? Chicken or spaghetti?”
And yet, I challenge these inquiries with a counter inquiry. “Do you like watching me cut myself? I thought not. Any good cook knows knives are not necessary in preparing chicken and spaghetti dinners!” It wasn’t lack of talent at all, but rather self-preservation that kept the LaFollett menu at toothpick’s length.
It is the quiet unspoken understanding of family that allows self-preservation. It is the very acts upon that unspoken understanding that feed the laughter and personal familial jokes pervading every Thanksgiving Table in November. And so it is in the LaFollett house.
We have two sets of woodblock kitchen knives. The first set, old as the hills. A bent, dented wobbly no name set that sits proudly to the left of the stove. Proclaiming to all that understand “I am safe and dull, and a good friend to the matron of this house!”
The second set, spawn of Satan and dangerous to even ponder using, sits safely hidden away in the bottom cabinet to the left of the stove. As if placed in hell’s belly, below the kind and forgiving set. A Chicago Cutlery knife set so sharp and lethal, I dare not use it. The unspoken act of keeping the set stowed away, safe from my flighty quick grasp, only drawn out under supervision, validates its hellish roots.
The Cutlery set was a gift from my mother-in-law. A set that when unwrapped by my husband brought great joy and reveling to his heart. Cali, sharp as his new knives, had great uses planned for these knives! Cali, Betty Crocker’s male alter ego, would no doubt wield these satanic cutting instruments with great flair as he presided over his many bovine driven grilling events. And so, he sat with great pride admiring the cold, hard steel, while I quietly sat back in my chair thinking, “NO WAY am I touching those!”
I suspect now, that Cali agreed with me telepathically as he looked over to see my resolute unspoken thoughts preside over my facial expression. “NO WAY are you touching these!” he seemed to think back in my direction.
But alas, time passes, care and precaution fade with the passing of days and I arrive home with our preordered steak dinners and fresh loaves of restaurant bread.
I cannot with true belief admit that I chose to use that Cutlery knife. To this day, I believe fate stepped in to remind me of the dangers of sharp instruments in the kitchen. I believe fate mandated I wake up from the fog of forgetfulness.
“Safety First!” it screamed.
We entered the kitchen to find the counter prepared with dishes, napkins, a cutting board and…one shiny stainless steel Chicago Cutlery knife lying dormant on the cutting board. Cali had prepared the kitchen for our arrival from the steak joint.
Giddy with the thought of not cooking, but eating well, I set the bags on the counter, washed my hands and help unpack the delectable precooked bovine meals. Chris contentedly went about getting drinks, Cali unpacking the food to place on the plates, and I mindlessly laid out the loaves on the cutting board to slice evenly. A surreal Brady Bunch moment preceded fate’s message. We three, happily going about the kitchen together, were laughing and discussing the fine points of steak. It was a moment that captured a quiet family’s simple needs and pleasures. I don’t cook. They get steak. We live happily ever after on a Friday night.
And yet as I, both mother and wife, bathed in the moment of family bliss quickly grabbed the Chicago Cutlery knife a small voice softly spoke, “PUT THAT DOWN ARE YOU NUTS!”
I ignored the voice with a trite thought in response, “Shut up Jiminy Cricket, I know what I’m doing.”
With plates ringing, glasses filling, laughter, and the perfume of fine steak I didn’t have to cook I made the first slice successfully.
“HA!” I thought to Jiminy Cricket Small Voice, “Told you! NO PROBLEM.”
Pride cometh before a fall says the Bible. It also comes before a nice slice and dice on my own finger.
Our daughter lives out of town. I had called her later to tell her this story. Her advice was as sharp and lethal as a Chicago Cutlery knife.
“You really should stay out of the kitchen mom.”
|READER'S REVIEWS (1)
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"Love it! i liek to cok and I'm pretty safe, I work with the Pampered Chef helping people not cut themselves in the kitchen this was great; be careful with those things!" -- Shelley, Fullerton, Ca, USA.
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© 2003 Kathy Lafollett
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