Taquito Surprise: It’s what’s for dinner.

The year is 2010; the month is May. If I had to pick a day, I’d say it’s probably the 6th.  J and I are experiencing newlywed bliss in our cramped cozy cinder block house. Life is simple. Life is good. Jarrett comes home from work exhausted and sweaty, kicks off his boots, and collapses into the recliner. I’ve been waiting for this moment all day. My inner culinary genius has been brainstorming up something perfect for my man for dinner. I knew I wanted to combine all of his favorite foods for a unique and delicious meal. He would praise me for knowing exactly what he wanted. I would be in the Wifey Hall of Fame. This meal was going to be legendary. Clearly, I didn’t trust my own cooking because I made sure that I had already eaten dinner, but I digress. I saunter over to his recliner with a cold beer and a plate of hot food. Jarrett thanks me and accepts. I scurry back to the kitchen to finish the dishes and wait for the praises to echo through the room. They don’t. Instead, I hear a cautious “What is this called?” Crap. In all of my culinary brainstorming I had forgotten to think of a name. “Taquito Surprise,” I hear myself say. Taquito Surprise? Good save, Kelsey. I’m practically turning blue cleaning up the kitchen—holding my breath to hear his praise. “It’s good, babe,” he says. Good? I blew it. I’m a terrible wife. I just knew he was going to love it, but I was wrong. He’s probably wondering why he even married me! OK, maybe I am a bit dramatic.

What exactly is in Taquito Surprise, you might ask? Well, I don’t really remember. Maybe that’s part of the surprise element. I know it consisted of the obvious: taquitos from a box, along with some scrambled eggs, hot sauce, onions, cheese, jalapenos, etc. I have no idea what else I put in there. I’m not real sure why it seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe, because I didn’t know how to cook anything else. I could subsist solely on cereal for the rest of my days and be just fine. This wife stuff was going to take some serious getting used to. Jarrett could tell I was crushed and immediately began to tell me how good dinner was. I didn’t believe him, but I held my head high and said “I’m glad you like it!” To this day he still talks about Taquito Surprise. He still tells me he liked it. I know he’s lying, but if he really is telling the truth, then maybe I’ll make it for our anniversary dinner this year! :)

The point is: I’m glad those days are behind me. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to cook a decent meal. I’ve gotten over my fear of deboning a chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate touching any kind of food with bones in it, but I can get it done. I never really learned to cook until I had to because I came from a family of wonderful cooks. They made the food and I greedily ate. I didn’t hang around in the kitchen to see how it was done. Now, I actually enjoy cooking and baking. Sometimes, it’s discouraging just to head to the grocery store because REAL food can be so dang expensive; however, I get such a sense of pride when I can give my family great fuel for their bodies. I feel accomplished when I pack a good lunch for Remi to take to Mother’s Day Out or make a healthy dinner. I’ve realized the payoff is so much greater than taking the “easy” way out. Overly processed foods and junk just end up making you feel yucky! We still buy some things out of convenience, but for the most part we’re learning to cook and eat better food. This, along with our c25k adventure should yield some exciting results. I can’t wait!

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