It began at a cocktail party in Baltimore, at which three couples had a lively discussion about which of the husbands present was the laziest when it came to domestic work. None of the men cook, only two can handle a screwdriver, all are chore-phobic. After a few martinis, the guys offered to make up for years of slothfulness by preparing an elegant dinner for their long-suffering wives. They’d call it the dinner of Le Mari Paresseux—the slothful (or lazy ass) husband.
Calling themselves Chef Scott, Chef Paul and Chef Franque, the dudes pulled out all the stops. They printed a menu (with a lovely font choice), describing numeroous courses.
Champagne with assorted cheeses was followed by hors d’oeuvres (smoked salmon, shrimp and clams casino) and cocktails. Ssalade was next: Iceberg wedges with blue cheese dressing, bacon and cherry tomatoes.
Entrees and sides were served with a variety of wines, and included grilled lamb chops with mint jelly and “those funny little frayed hats.” Dessert followed with port, coffee and tea and ice cream balls.
Lingering over the balls, the group revived the topic of which husband was the laziest, and voted. Chef Scott (who —full disclosure—is my brother-in-law) actually has some cooking skill, although he rarely implements it. On this occasion, he released his inner Martha Stewart and did all the shopping and cooking, bought flowers that matched the linens and even purchased and wore a chef’s toque. (See goofy photo above.)
While Paul did all the serving, cleaning and zucchini sautéing, Chef Franque showed up late (as is his wont, I’m told) in a tuxedo and assumed the position of maitre d’, promptly breaking a champagne flute. While he won the prize (hands down) for most slothful, the wives gave him honorable mention in the category of eye candy. (Revisit goofy photo.)
But let’s think about this for a minute. Scott tells me that Chef Franque “doesn’t know how to do anything” and therefore does nothing (except dress well). Chefs Scott and Paul obviously do know how to do some things, but are “too lazy to do them ordinarily.” So who is really more slothful? The guy who’s a slacker due to ignorance, or the ones who are withholding a dazzling domestic skill set because they are just so damn paresseux?
While I consider demanding a re-vote, I encourage all lazy ass husbands to cook dinner for their wives more than once in a millennium. To make it easier, include Scott’s dessert recipe.
Scott’s Ice Cream Balls
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped roasted (unsalted) almonds
1 cup chopped toffee or Heath bars
1 cup chocolate sprinkles
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint chocolate ice cream
(Makes 8-10 ice cream balls.)
1. Take the ice cream from your freezer and allow it to thaw just until it is easily scooped. Meanwhile, place the coconut, almonds, toffee and sprinkles in separate bowls. Line a baking sheet (or other pan that will fit in your freezer) with wax paper or plastic wrap
2. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out some of the vanilla ice cream, using the scoop (and your hands if you need to) to form a ball. Roll the ball quickly in the coconut to coat it completely. Place the ice cream ball on the baking sheet. Make a few more balls in the same way, varying the coating and/or flavor of ice cream. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer.
3. Continue to make the balls until you have used all the ice cream, stopping after each two or three to place them in with the others in the freezer. When it’s time to serve, place the balls on a platter or on individual plates and serve immediately.
Variations: Use any kind of ice cream you like. (You might want to try Ben and Jerry’s new flavor, Schweddy Balls.)You can use other kinds of nuts as well. (Hazelnuts are great, or try chopped, salty cocktail peanuts with chocolate ice cream.) Add some chocolate or caramel sauce on the side.
Note: you can also make these and store them in Ziploc freezer bags for snacks.