Klaus Hnilica
Thursday October 20th, 2011

Home-Made Tastes Better …

Carl and Gerlinde (XV)

No – when Carl did some cooking, there was not a dry eye in the house!

Let alone Gerlinde’s eyes! Because nobody could make so many small pieces out of an onion in less time than Carl. For Gerlinde, this was a ritual full of agony: and pain as she asphyxiated, shed rivers of tears and fled! And Carl was left alone in the kitchen!

But this was easy to put up with. After all, he certainly had the knack of cooking his well-loved “baked chicken á la Tuscany”. Had he not been praised for it by many people? And not just by himself …

To be sure, the shrew of an animal first had to be washed and dabbed dry, before it could be subjected to all that butchery with the poultry scissors and the special knives at a distance of three cutting boards. In fact, all the dead hen could counter with was that it boldly lolled there as an eight-part object – next to a hill of dripping fat and piles of bloody kitchen roll and the rubber gloves that had unfortunately suffered some collateral damage…

Then, at long last, the ghastly red chicken parts are sprinkled with salt and pepper, before being thoroughly immersed in flour on a low soup plate – after which procedure they glitter as lily-white as Carl’s floury lower arms.…

Stupid! Each time you have the same problem!


Now it is high time for the olive oil to be poured into the pan – God what a sputtering that was – and find a safe place for the water cooker, before it would turn into an example for Beuys Fat Sculpture. The coffee machine was already looked after, since he had covered it with the usual three kitchen towels in the manner of ‚Christo Camouflage’!

To be sure, it would have been better if he had used a plastic cover for the kitchen floor, but the paper towels he had spread were doing the job just as well! Two rolls of paper towels had made short shrift of the oil orgy on the floor!

But careful – this was slippery!

Being an excellent ice-skater, Carl certainly had no problem with that. Had he actually slipped, it would have been easy for him to perform some figure-scating while at the same time elegantly positioning the pasta pan onto the stove. After all, the home-made pasta nests made from eggs laid by free-running hens were absolutely obligatory when Carl cooked stewed dishes. And his supra-terrestrial sauces were the free-style element. Both taken together – absolutely fit to take part in the Olympic Games!

Incidentally, Hannelore agreed with this judgement – and she adored more about him than just his cooking …

The slightly tanned parts of the ill-treated hen’s upper legs, breast and side were now allowed to rest in another pan inside the oven. In the meantime, Carl fried the onions until they turned glassy in the remaining oil of the old pan, poured minced rosemary over them and packed four well-pressed anchovy filet pieces in between – since there was nothing else classy enough to be found in the fridge! The freshly pressed garlic and the two spoons of custard and creme were also absolutely essential. Finally, Carl sacrificially also added the last tiny drop from the freshly opened bottle of Soave  to the roasting tray into which he had, by way of precaution, transferred the entire dish for cooking …

Yet the dastardy pasta water, again, caused a problem. Just as last time, this extremely bold pot of water chose to overboil so often that the stupid pasta waters preferred meandering across the kitchen floor, instead of nicely boiling inside the pasta pot. For the fraction of a second, Carl – in his misery – actually considered fetching the not currently available rubber boat, before he gave his usual help signal to Gerlinde without false shame. When she came with bucket and washcloth, she not only dried the kitchen floor, but also saved her master cook’s life.…

But it really tasted delicious! Extremely delicious!  Even though the black olives still looked a bit lonely among all the kitchen chaos and the pasta cube in the water pot solidified rather quickly…

Carl was fascinated by the distinctly hot sauce and the truly individual taste! He was in a very good mood as he drank the second bottle of Soave and tried to again remember exactly how much of which ingredient he had used. He never noticed that Gerlinde, totally against her usual habit, cautiously peeled the sauce from her chicken leg before actually heroically letting a few bites disappear in her beautifully made-up mouth …

“Strange – today she did not feel hungry at all“, she was sorry to say. Instead of eating more, she started attacking the totally normal devastation of her kitchen with that all-too-familiar suffering expression of hers. After all, it was not all that easy to stow the 4 pots, 1 roasting tray, 2 frying pans and the pasta sieve, along with 4 plastic containers for waste, one plate with flour, 5 cutting boards of various sizes, the chicken scissors, one garlic presser, two measuring cups, 3 water glasses and one wine glass in the dishwasher. But she managed. There was even room left for the 2 knives, 5 spoons, 3 forks, 3 ladles and 2 stirring spoons.  Well, and the 3 great lumps of wet kitchen paper and pasta made from eggs laid by ecologically kept hens ended up in the biological bin, discreetly thrown in by himself. Except the rubber gloves. And less than an hour later, the kitchen furniture, including the upper part of the cupboard, was again resplendent as ever.…

But six weeks later, when Carl again started talking about his famous “baked chicken á la Tuscany”, his Gerlinde simply tricked him. Incidentally, she had not the slightest inclination to treat her kitchen to another total cleaning. Before he could so much as turn around, she actually put a baked chicken she had made herself onto the table. And it was prepared exactly according to his recipe, this time really with black olives and deliciously buttered pasta!
“Still, it all tastes a liitle shallow, doesn’t it?“, Carl thought to himself after having devoured both legs and one part of the breast.…

Well – and it would probably remain an unsolved riddle even a hundred years from now why an otherwise not lazy Gerlinde had smuggled those strange anchovies into his recipe?

Never mind – it probably was another one of those typical instances where ‚wife thought she can do it just as well’!

How charming…

KH
(Translated by EG)

2 Kommentare zu “Home-Made Tastes Better …”

  1. KH (Thursday October 27th, 2011)

    Thank you Evelyn! This is again a very lively translation! Carl, Gerlinde and me are really under a deep obligation to you.If you agree Carl would like to cook this marvellous baked chicken á la Tuscany just for recompense also for you in your kitchen…

  2. rd (Saturday October 29th, 2011)

    Vielen Dank an Klaus,

    dass er die Übersetzungleistung von Eveyln hier mal explizit würdigt. Evelyn ist phantastisch, wir sind alle sehr glücklich, dass sie dabei ist. Und dank Evelyn haben wir erstaunlich viele Leser aus USA, GB und weiteren Ländern.

    Also – einen ganz großen Dank an Evelyn (EG)!

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