So I watch the Neelys cook on the Food Network sometimes. Along with my girl Sunny, I just like to support the Black folks on there. To be honest, the Neelys kind of annoy me. They’re always on top of each other in the kitchen. Baby chop this up for me. Sweetheart, I like how you stir that gravy. Ooh big daddy, that barbecue smells good! My boy said he saw Pat Neely smack his wife’s ass one episode. That’s all good, but um, sometimes I wish they’d just cook the damn food. Another thing about them that annoys me is their utter lack of knife skills. If you watch either one of them try to cut up an onion, celery, peppers, or any other vegetable, and you have any knowledge whatsoever of how to properly chop/dice/julienne/etc, you’d be disgusted. As am I.
What do I know though? The Neelys appear to be a happily married couple with a successful Tennessee barbecue business, two shows on the Food Network and a loving family. They say their secret is cooking together. Hmm.
I like to cook. I think I cook pretty well and have left enough empty plates and full tummies in my wake to support that belief. However, I don’t particularly care for men to be all up in the kitchen while I’m cooking. No peeking into pots. No tasting. No picking shit up or asking what I’m doing. I always send them back to whatever they were doing until things are done. Maybe it’s because I get in a “zone” when I cook a good meal. Maybe because I try to hide my secrets. Or perhaps it’s because guys get in the way. I don’t know. I’d get annoyed if a guy asked to help in the kitchen and he started cutting up onions like Gina Neely. My last boyfriend and I had a deal: I cooked and he did the dishes/cleaned the kitchen. Now that’s the way a man can help out if he wants! Maybe things would be different if I came across a man who could really burn. See, both of the Neelys can cook.
I have one really good memory of cooking with a guy. It was the guy I dated for the majority of college. We decided to make a pizza together. Simple, yes, but it was the most fun I’ve ever had in the kitchen. We got dough from a local pizza place known for the good stuff. Brought it home, kneaded it out, and added our favorite sauce and toppings. I think we got a little carried away with the toppings. The pizza was totes yummy but kinda unwieldy. Had to use a fork (which is an affront to how I was raised as a NY pizza eater)! We had a lot of fun with it though. It was something easy to do and allowed us to be creative, to work together. It didn’t hurt that I was crazy about him. That memory brings me a lot of joy even today. Guess I just need to find someone who I enjoy kneading the dough with and, like the Neelys, get it cooking in and outside of the kitchen.