Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Steak Um Fun

“You know how you’re always telling me that it would be nice if I made dinner for a change?” Tom asked as he came through the front door. I noticed he was holding a grocery bag.

“Yes,” I said. “Don’t tell me. You’re going to make frozen pizza?”

Sometimes Tom will tell me that he’s going to make dinner and then he’ll open the freezer and hold a Digorno box over his head. “Dinner!” he’ll bellow. And don’t get me wrong, I like frozen pizza but sometimes I wish he’d actually cook for me. As in, follow a recipe.

“Nope,” Tom said proudly. He waved the bag at me. “I’m making Steak Ums!”

I frowned. “What did you call me?”

Tom shook his head. “No. Steak Ums is what I’m making.”

“Is that some secret word that they used in the Avatar movie that you saw?” I asked tiredly. It had been a long day.

“No. Steak Ums!” Tom pulled a red box from the bag. Sure enough the words Steak Ums were scrawled across the front. So he didn’t make the word up.

“How do you make them?” I wondered.

Tom’s eyebrows furrowed. “You know…I’m not sure.” Then he turned the box around and tapped it. “Ahh. Here we go. You just stick the steak strips in the oven.”

“The steak strips?” I repeated.

“That’s what they are. Steak strips.”

“Then what?”

“You make a sandwich! I’m going to make us a kick ass Steak Um sandwich.”

Then Tom marched determinedly into the kitchen. I could hear the rustle of the bag as he took everything out.

I was tempted to ask if he needed help. But then I changed my mind. Does he help me when I’m in the kitchen? Not much. Plus, I deserved to rest. So I leaned back against the couch and closed my eyes.

“What’s for dinner?” Tommy said, shaking my arm.

“Steak Ums,” I answered without opening my eyes.

“What’s that?” Tommy sounded absolutely horrified.

“Steak strips. Apparently.”

“I’m not sure if I’ll like that.”

“Me either. But Daddy is trying so let’s be thankful.”

“Amber? Where is the pan?” Tom called out. “I wanted to cook some onions too but I can’t find the pan. I see a big pan and I see a small pan. Don’t we have a medium pan?”

Ugh. This is what stinks when Tom decides to venture into the kitchen. He asks me a billion questions so I can’t even rest.

“It’s with all the other pans, Tom!”

“I don’t see it. I see a big pan, I see a small pan but I don’t see—”

It’s with the other pans, Tom!”

“Okay! Geez. I thought one of your resolutions was to be nicer to me!”

“Ahh yes, but I put a stipulation with that. I’d be nicer to you if you didn’t aggravate me. Right now you’re aggravating me.”

“I just needed to know where the—wait, nevermind, I found it.”


A few minutes later went by and I decided to read.

“Are these onions cut up small enough?” Tom yelled.

Oh for—

“I trust your judgment!” I said.

“Okay...well...do you know what pan I should put these steak strips on?”

I snapped the book shut. “No, I don’t. I’ve never made Steak Ums before, Tom.”

“Me either! My Mom would make them and I can’t remember what she did!”

“Well Tom, you’re an educated man in the Air Force. I imagine you can figure it out.” I opened my book again.

I could hear the rumble of Tom opening the oven drawer. I imagine he was peering inside, trying to figure out what pan he should use for the strips.

“I just thought of something,” Tom said.

I assumed he meant that he figured out what pan to use so I went, “Fantastic!” as I continued to read.

“Do we have bread?”


“No?” I called back, confused.

“I just realized that I forgot the bread. Do we have any kind of bread?”

“Moldy bread in the cabinet, I think,” I responded. I really need to clean out the cabinets.

“How can we not have bread? Every family has bread! Don’t the kids want sandwiches for lunch?” Tom was absolutely in shock that we didn’t have bread.

“Not our kids. Our kids are weird. Tommy says sandwiches tastes like armpits and Natalie just takes hers apart and smears it all over the place. So to be on the safe side, I don’t bother making sandwiches. You’ll be lucky if the kids eat your Steak Um sandwiches,” I said and shut my book again. It’s nearly impossible to read in this house when everyone is awake. I usually have to do it when everyone is asleep.

“If there’s no bread, there’s no Steak Ums,” Tom fumed. “I’m not going back to that store. There were old people galore in there who walk like 2 miles per hour. I nearly picked up this old man and moved him to the side.” Tom walked out and sat down next to me on the couch with a sigh. “So now what do we eat?” He looked at me pointedly.

Oh great. So now it was my job again.

“I’m not cooking!” I said firmly. “You said you were cooking and I got used to the idea.”

Tom glanced at the clock. “Amber, I said I’d cook like fifteen minutes ago. How can you already be used to the idea? I’ll cook another day. When we have bread.”

“I’m not cooking.” I crossed my arms over my chest. “And we aren’t buying anything either,” I added when I saw Tom’s eyes brighten. He’ll use any excuse to go out.

Tom stood back up. “Fine!” He held his hands up, surrender style. “I’ll cook....how does frozen pizza sound to you?”


  1. Men! Even when they help out, we gotta help them help!

  2. Yeah, exactly-- MEN! "Honey, could you hand me a spoon?" "Honey, where's the cooking oil?" "Honey, could you just make this meal for us that I've been saying all day I would make?" Okay. It's easier that way anyhow... They just have NO RESOURCES!

  3. Thanks for the great laugh! I will never look at the steak um boxes the same! BTW there is a blog award for you on my blog!

  4. That's why no one else is allowed in my kitchen but me. I get so aggravated with the whole "where's this?" and "where's that?" . . .

  5. I think I've had Steak Ums before, or something similar. We didn't put them in the oven, though. They were good, if I'm thinking correctly. What I don't understand is, if I'm cooking I can do 5 different things at once. If my husband's cooking, he runs around like a maniac and I end up having to help chop something or else something else will burn.

  6. Wow. SteakUms. I've been cooking those since I was... about 12 years old (I was the first one home)...

    Mom would always have the "stuff" - I just had to prepare it. Tell Tom that he needs SteakUms, Steak Rolls (or Kaiser ones), a big onion, Ketchup (or tomato sauce) and maybe some mozarella cheese when he is ready to try again...


  7. anecdotes like this make me very grateful that my man cooks! granted - it was either cook or starve, with me being in school 3 nights a week. now he buys cookbooks and actually goes to the store to buy ingredients for the recipes. ((((gasp!!!!!)))
    but dont get me wrong - we still eat BBQ, meatloaf and fried chicken once a week. LOL

  8. You'll be nicer if he doesn't aggrivate you- love that!

  9. Fry your steak ums in a skillet. Then put them on wonder bread w/ ketchup! Extremely unhealthy, but tastey. My grandma used to make them a lot.

  10. Hahaha! Steakums are yummy :) when I was out of bread i would just roll the cheese up in them and eat them that way. (Don't ask how I could afford steakums but not bread);).

    Oh and not to rub it in or anything but I love that my SO can cook and does it with very few questions ;)

  11. I love this...I was sitting right there in your house watching it all play out. How was the pizza?

  12. Mmm.. but i do so love me some pizza!

  13. Oh! My! Stars! I didn't know you were a fly on the wall! Except my Tom is named Kiki... And she's REAL proud of her ol' friend DiGornio... And those horrendous breaded, frozen wads of faux frozen chicken whatever... Scares me. I am the housewife in this house - thank Heavens... Or we'd be eating the pizza BOX before long. Pass the ketchup.

    At least they haven't subjected us to "fish sticks" (lately?). I shudder to think how one makes a stick of fish...

  14. Oh, wow, I haven't had SteakUms in years. Not since I was a kid, living in Michigan.

    I don't think SteakUms are available 'round these parts...

  15. LOL! We call steak ums philly cheese steaks. I cook the onions with the meat.Pile it all on some hoagie rolls and top with cheese.

    Your conversations with Tom crack me up.

  16. lol! sounds just lk me and my husband. thanks for the laugh!

  17. It takes my husband 2 hours to make like a 15 min. meal, exactly why I don't even bother anymore.

    Frozen pizza is my favorite though!

  18. Haha! Tom sounds EXACTLY like me! Me, you ask? Yeah, me! Micko is the cook in this household... he is also my cleaner (well a bit of an exaggeration - I do my share). I picked a winner (just not out of my nose this time round!)

  19. Hahaha! Sticking a frozen pizza in the oven does NOT count as cooking!

  20. Did he at least shred some extra cheese and maybe add some veggies to the pizza? 'Cause then it's totally cooking.

  21. A sign that you are an amazing writer? That you can take that conversation and make it completely entertaining :)

    I always love you and your adventures of life!!

    And at least your husband attempts to cook. Mine? Let's say the fast food places know his name.

    Sorry for being so absent. Been down. But back up. :)

  22. Men are funny about things, aren't they?
    "helping" turns into "bugging the royal piss out of me" in my house.
    Go Away.
    I got it.

  23. I just bust out my side laughing at this. Steak-ums used to be a big treat in our house when we were growing up. I cannot even begin to imagine what he will do when he cooks them.

  24. And this is why I never let Paul in the kitchen. In the end I would end up doing more, alot more - than if I just did it myself.

    My usual response to his questions on where anything was would be, "Where it always is."

    "And where is that?"

    "I don't know if you ventured in the kitchen more often, you might know."

    The thing is with me being deaf, he can't shout from the other room. So either a)I have to get up and see what all the fuss is about, or b)He continues to come in the room I'm in and harasses me.

    Sigh. Like I said, easier if I just do it myself. (Hugs)Indigo

  25. I grew up on Steak Ums, LOL they're allright. Not YUM or YUCK. Just eh.

    Seriously, when he has a day off from work, he needs to do the cooking!! And cleaning! And childcare! When do YOU get a break?

  26. That's funny...My hubby makes Top Ramen and that's about all...he thinks he's being all gourmet on me when he does it!

    I have always heated up the Steakums up in fry pan...was he going to bake them?

  27. Hahahahaha! You're so funny! Hope it was a good pizza!

  28. You guys have the funniest exchanges! Steak-Umms...dear God.

  29. Be glad the Steak Ums didn't work out - those things are disgusting. My dad used to make them when I was a kid (I'm 31 so it was a long time ago) and I *still* remember how gross they were.

  30. Omg. You are always cracking me up!

  31. At least he tried, right? You'll have to let us know when he actually does make the steak um sandwiches. I'm curious if they are any good.

  32. Seriously how would men survive in this world without us?

  33. I was JUST thinking about Steak Ums the other day!! Seriously.

    I wondered if they still made them.

  34. I have to admit...I AM Tom. Hubby is the much better cook, & cleaner & activity planner...
    Crap now I feel all bad about myself again....

  35. I love your blog; you're quite the storyteller. :)

  36. I've learned that it's just easier to do it yourself. Lot less aggravation.

  37. Well, I guess I'm blessed because in an emergency, my man can whip up some hamburger helper all on his own! Except for that one time, when he made tuna helper and forgot to add the tuna. So it was pretty much just "helper". Not good. Very bland. He was fired from cooking for awhile....


  38. haha! I used to eat Steak Ums all the time as a kid! If I remember correctly, they were pretty tasty :)

    Stopping by from SITS!

  39. WOO! I love steak-ums. AWESOME STUFF!!

  40. Ha! This makes me think of the Honeymooners show that used to be on T.V.! Steak Ums. Hmm. It seems like I've heard of them. I'll have to go take a look around and see if I can find any!

  41. You just cracked me up with this whole thing! And boy, I know that feeling of them thinking they are really pitching in when it would be so much easier to just go in there and do it yourself!

  42. I think the reason your stories amuse me so greatly is that they sound almost exactly like my parents at any given moment in time.

    Also, sandwiches taste like armpit?

    That made me snort.

  43. I almost teared up knowing that you have just discovered steak-ums. All these years you could have had been eating fried beef in slices! I don't eat them very often because they can be kind of greasy, BUT do fry them and toast your bread. Yum!

  44. I like as if I'm peeking inside your window spying on your family and listening to the conversation between all of you. It is too funny!

    My husband cooks once in awhile, too, and he never seems to find ANYTHING in the kitchen. He's constantly asking me, "Where's this?" "Where's that?" Sheesh!

  45. My husband has cooked one time in 16 + years. Fish sticks. And he put them on the broiler pan so the grease dripped out everywhere and caught on fire.


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