The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Karl Terry
Local columnist 

I'm comfortable wearing the apron in my household


October 11, 2020

Over the last few years I’ve embraced the cooking duties in our house.

My wife can tell I’ve embraced it because now when she embraces me her arms don’t go all the way around her fellow.

Before we were married I treated her special one date night when I fixed Duck à l’Orange. I came across the recipe in an outdoor magazine and wild mallard ducks were easy for me to hunt and bag so I did it. She was impressed enough she told her family about me and still talks about it today.

That was to be the last fancy meal she got out of me for a long time. We both had careers and we never got home on time but bless her heart (that’s a Southern term that isn’t necessarily sincere) she tried to fix our supper. Mostly in the microwave, because the ovens were just becoming popular and she sold them at her store.

I famously told her and friends if I’d had a microwave and a color television set I might not have ever gotten married. She hasn’t let me forget that either. But I get back at her by telling folks she uses the smoke alarm as an oven timer. When it goes off, dinner was done 15 minutes ago.

She’s also famous for nearly setting the kitchen on fire while frying okra one night. She hasn’t fixed okra in any fashion since.

So if I was going to have the stuff I liked and not have it well done, it behooved me to start cooking. I was never taught how to cook growing up but my mother cooked a lot and did it well so I think some of it just rubbed off. I started cooking some on nights I had time and then over the last 15-20 years I had more time and slowly took over the kitchen duties.

I had always cooked on the grill from the time we were first married and we’ve gone through a lot of grills over the years from hibachi to charcoal kettle to water smoker and lots of gas grills. Propane allowed me to fire it up fast and have steaks or burgers done quickly, even if it was dark by the time I got home. We used the propane grill four seasons and it wasn’t unusual when we lived in Colorado for me to be grilling steaks in a blizzard.

Lately I’ve been cooking on a pellet smoker and I’m loving it because it’s ready as fast as a gas grill and allows you to do a lot more with a lot more control.

When I first started cooking I would follow recipes carefully and measure precisely. Now I might start with a recipe but I rarely follow it exactly. I’m adapting it to the ingredients I have or I’m figuring out how to do it on the smoker or in the electric pressure cooker. It’s not hard once you’re comfortable wearing the apron in the house.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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