It’s known as banan frit in Haitian Creole – platanos if you’re Dominican.
In the right hands, it tastes like a delicious piece of heaven sliced from a divine green banana. But when my friend cooks it, it tastes so bad, it makes you want to hop into a time machine, whiz back into the past, and make sure you never make the worst decision of your life again, which would be eating those god-awful fried plantains of hers!
Now, I consider myself to be a pretty understanding friend. One cooking mishap isn’t going to have me throwing her stove out the window for the good of humanity’s taste buds. But her kitchen disasters are a regular occurrence, and for some inexplicable reason, she’s always hot to host dinner parties like she’s the next Rachael Ray or somethin’.
I cannot tell you how far from celebrity chefdom she is, but it’s something like eons.
At her get-togethers, there’s always remnants of half-eaten appetizers – a clear sign that her guests have tasted the repulsive edibles she calls “food” and put ’em right back where they came from. I’d chuckle to myself watching newcomers discreetly spit the stuff into a napkin. I, on the other hand, always knew better: eat before going to her place.
You’d think that maybe, just maybe, she’d get the hint with all her guests grimacing at her “food” with repugnance like an old church lady at a wild dancehall party, but nope.
One time, she told me that her ultimate dream is to make a special pact with her future husband: he would do all the cleaning – she hates the thought of picking up a mop and broom – and she would do all the cooking.
I laughed. And I laughed hard.
All I could think of is that poor guy is going to sign himself up for the worst deal in history – scrubbing toilets and then running right back to it after consuming the slop that she brews in the kitchen.
“What’s so funny?” she demanded with a frown.
Look, I didn’t have the heart to go all “Chef Ramsay” and tell her that she shouldn’t be allowed near a kitchen – ever. But being hush-mouthed hasn’t done me any favors, either.
Whenever she screws up, like getting sloppy drunk, and I have the unfortunate role of babysitting her or she’s preposterously late and keeps me waiting for too long, she always says, “I’m sorry! I’ll make it up to you by cooking you dinner.”
Oh goody. The bubble guts as an apology gift? It’s what I’ve always wanted!
“Thanks but no thanks!” I always say.
She would shrug and say, “Whatever. You’re missing out!”
My thoughts would then flashback to that one atrocious moment when I ate her “fried chicken,” which is in quotes because – quite frankly – it tasted like a rubber tire dipped in bread crust.
I pulled it apart and saw that the meat was still pink in the middle. I watched her bite into it hoping she would realize the mishap, but there she was, digging into her rubbery cuisine like it was the best thing since sliced pizza.
I faked satiation, said that I was full, and pushed the abomination to the side.
As my mind rolled back to the present, I thought, I for damn sure I am not missing out on a damn thing!
How do you handle bad cooks who ironically love cooking for their friends?
Kimberly Gedeon, founder of The Melody of Melanin, is a content creator with nearly 2,000 professional articles published online about everything from beauty and business to politics and pop culture. You can say hello to her on Instagram or Twitter – she doesn’t bite!