I knew it wasn’t right. But I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was wrong, so I called in an expert.
“Well? What do you think Mom?” I asked.
“It’s a little bland,” she said being polite. “What did you put in it?”
“MacKenzie’s seasoning—just like you always did. I followed the directions. I don’t understand why it tastes like wallpaper paste.”
“Oh Honey, I don’t follow the directions!”
“That little seasoning packet is just how you start out. This chili needs a doctor.”
“You know. Something to add some pizzazz. Let me see what you have here.”
She rummaged through my meager pantry.
“Here we go,” she said. “Oregano, chili powder... you don’t have any chipotle do you?”
“No,” I said sitting on the step stool feeling like I was five-years-old. I wanted to surprise Nick with his favorite meal of chili, but the results weren’t what I was hoping for.
“Don’t worry Sweetie. This may not win any chili cook-offs, but we’ll still make it tasty.”
“You always made this look easy,” I said.
“What looked easy?” she said looking astonished.
“Cooking! You just waved your magic spoon and there was this fabulous dinner on the table.”
“Sweetie, by the time you came along I had years of practice. I was a lousy cook when I was a newlywed. In the beginning, your poor father choked down more burnt dinners than I care to remember! Now,” she said as she stirred more spices into the pot. “I know you’ll have some good dark beer in the house. Pour in a bottle.”
“Won’t it thin it down to much.”
“Just turn the heat up, leave the cover off, and keep stirring. It will cook down. The flavor will be great.”
She began to put her coat on.
“You aren’t leaving, are you?”
“Of course Dear. Your young marriage will survive a bland meal or two, but a hovering mother-in-law is a different story!”
I’m linking up this week with the Trifecta Challenge. This week’s word was: DOCTOR (noun)
a : an eminent theologian declared a sound expounder of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church —called also doctor of the church
b : a learned or authoritative teacher
c : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university
d : a person awarded an honorary doctorate (as an LLD or Litt D) by a college or university
a : a person skilled or specializing in healing arts; especially :one (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice
b : medicine man
a : material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect
b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface
The challenge calls for us to use the third definition of the word. My own mother used to use “doctor” as a verb as in “This sauce is bland. I’ll doctor it up with a half cup of red wine.” But I had never heard it used as a noun.