DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Keith," and I are being married at the end of June. We met at a fraternity party last fall and knew right away we were meant for each other. We're both in college in Hawaii. We don't live together -- and that has been lucky for me because Keith doesn't realize how inexperienced I am in the kitchen.
He comes from the mainland. He is used to home-cooked meals and has often talked about family dinners and how good his mom is at entertaining. The only thing my mom is good at is making reservations. At our house if we didn't eat out, we ate takeout.
I know Keith will expect me to cook after our wedding -- at least sometimes. I have gone to the bookstore at the mall, but all the fancy cookbooks with elaborate recipes overwhelm me. All I want to do is learn to make a few simple dishes. Can you help me out here? -- COOKING IMPAIRED IN HONOLULU
DEAR COOKING IMPAIRED: I'll try. Where is it written that after your wedding, YOU must do all the cooking? These days many couples share that responsibility by taking turns or cooking together. If you raise the subject with your fiance, you may find that Keith not only enjoyed family dinners, but also spent time with his mother in the kitchen while she prepared them.
If that turns out not to be the case, then you and Keith should consider taking a basic cooking course together before -- or shortly after -- the wedding, so you don't starve to death.
Many brides-to-be are given "recipe showers" in which friends and relatives share favorite, easy-to-prepare family favorites to ease them on the path to domesticity. I'm sure if you asked your future mother-in-law, she would be pleased to contribute some of hers.
I publish a collection of more than 100 delicious recipes for soups, salads, main course and desserts. Not only are they time-tested and mouthwatering, they are also easy to prepare. They can be ordered by sending a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $12 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.
Summer is nearly here, and with it comes the promise of family reunions and visits. My cookbooklet set contains tips on entertaining, and lots of recipes to use when families get together to celebrate holidays and special occasions. Both my mother and I have used them with great success when entertaining friends and family.
DEAR ABBY: I was standing with a friend when another friend came over to us and said loudly, "You two are really short!" The friend I was standing with walked off offended, while I just stood there looking at the ignorant person and not knowing what to say. Let me explain, this isn't the first time the ignoramus has said this to me. What would you do in this situation? -- SPEECHLESS IN AUBURN, CALIF.
DEAR SPEECHLESS: Frankly, I'd probably say, "Life is short, and so is this conversation. Goodbye!" Then I'd rejoin the friend I had been standing with. I certainly wouldn't prolong the conversation.
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