Mad Scientist in the Kitchen

Damon often muses that he missed his calling to be a mad scientist.

Raiding the fridge for ingredients

Raiding the fridge for ingredients, with Oscar providing back-up.

I’m not sure he isn’t one. The man is unintimidated by pretty much anything, and I love this about him. No project is too big that it can’t be taken on with adequate research and preparation, as demonstrate by him tackling refinishing the upstairs floors of my house shortly after we met. No kidding. He’s always game for the concocting, experimenting, and hatching of various and sundry plots—he’s super fun. He’s got a detail-oriented, scientific mind and a can-do attitude about pretty much everything.

He’s also the man who told me on our first date that he thought worm burgers were a good idea. In theory, I get where he’s coming from. But actually doing it is a whole other can o’ worms. Heh.

And let’s not forget the most crucial trait of a mad scientist. You can have the brains, you can have the can-do and know-how, you can have the mad-cap ideas, but to truly be a mad scientist, you have to have the appropriate swagger (maniacal laugh is herein implied). And my man, he’s got the swagger down pat.

I do the lion’s share of the cooking and meal-planning at our house, but not exclusively. Damon makes hoecakes on the weekend, of course, and often he helps me out when he’s home early enough or when doing prep the night before by playing sous chef. And sometimes, he takes the reins altogether. This often means a simple and delicious meal of grilled sausage and vegetables. Other times, it means… well, a picture is worth a thousand words:

meat loaf

The meat loaf to end all meatloaves.

A few weeks ago, Damon said he would like to make dinner one night that weekend. I figured he probably meant picking up some meat and doing some grilling. The man is nuts for grilling. He gets pouty if we go too long between uses of our laughably tiny hibachi grill out back. No really, it’s ridiculous: Damon is 6’5”, the grill is about two feet high, I think? It’s a hilarious juxtaposition. But I digress.

Simple grilling of meats? Not so much. He took on this meat loaf (from Allagash: The Cookbook), the meat-loaf-to-end-all-meatloaves, a behemoth weighing in at about seven pounds (I’m guessing—it could be more). It’s actually spiral-rolled with cheese, spinach, and garlic filling, then wrapped in bacon (as you see it pictured, prior to baking), then glazed with a sriracha-based glaze. Yes, I died of a heart attack after eating it. And joy. My ghost is writing to you from the other side. At least I died happy.

The best part? Listening to him in the kitchen as he prepped the meat loaf monstrosity. Ordinarily, Damon’s modus operandi while working on, well, pretty much any task is to pepper the process with choice utterances and foul language. It’s a lo-fi staccato of curses, grumbles, and hand-wringing. It’s generally pretty good-natured grump, if that makes sense. He subscribes to the belief that swearing improves the quality of work.

Listening to him assembling this meat loaf, though… I wish I’d had the presence of mind to record audio of it. It’d be the normal low-grade buzz of expletives for a while, then out of nowhere, a maniacal laugh would come exploding from the kitchen, followed by a shouted epithet and something along the lines of, “This is insane!” only with much more linguistic color and characteristic gusto. He might as well have been saying, “It’s alive!

Mad scientist, indeed.

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  1. I think I’d like him a lot!

  2. Valerie

     /  March 30, 2013

    We need to see a pic of him with your grill! lol What a crazy, jam-packed meatloaf!


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