It seems like my life has been full of maintenance lately. Laundry, food, friends, guys, feeding the cat. There is just a lot of maintaining to be done in life. People tend to think of “High Maintenance” as meaning the same for men or women. Not true. Men have their own special maintenance issues. Personally, I liked this girls definition:
1.) Any man who expects more than he is willing to give. – examples: who drives to visit whom more often, who pays, who makes more sacrifices, who gets to choose how mutual time is spent (his activities vs. her activities), who has more limits (e.g., she has to call/be home by a certain time, but he can do whatever the hell he wants).
2.) A man who is easily threatened by a woman’s success, professionally or otherwise. – I can’t tell you how many men have gotten cranky over me having my own social circles (even when I invite them along), or get PISSED when I am succeeding at a sport THEY like.
3.) A man who wants a groupie MORE than he wants a partner
I would add a few of my own.
1.) A man who is afraid to grow up. Examples: Doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own feeling or actions (“you made me feel/do…”); can only tentatively commit as long as there is an easy escape route; and keeps track of who “owes” what to whom. This is how 6-9 year old’s think – a little outdated for someone in their 20’s or 30’s or 40′ etc.
2.) A man who wants you to lead them emotionally, give their life direction, but is never happy with where you choose to go. Usually this is a guy who harbors some sort of resentment against his own mother. You are just a substitute.
3.) A man who thinks you should be solely responsible for things you both enjoy. Examples: A clean house; birth control; your children. *blah*
4.) A man who professes overwhelming feelings on the first date and quickly begins to reassess (Example: Saying on day one, “you put on your glasses and I was smitten harder than every before”); believing that your relationship will magically follow a certain pattern from the moment you meet; already has names picked out for your children. All a bit much.
5.) A neurotic over-analyzer. i.e. “a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment.”
Gentlemen, are you a High Maintenance Man? Be honest. If more than two of the above descriptions are a strong part of your personality, you may be a High-Maintenance Man. I will freely admit that, although I am not necessarily the classic high-maintenance women, I would classify myself as a neurotic over-analyzer. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Like a high-maintenance meal, you just have to be worth the effort. If you are the kind of guy who expects to get more than they give, then you can pretty much forget it. But, if you are just a neurotic mama’s boy who is overly sensitive and hates to admit it, there is hope for you.
If, like me, you have a lot of other maintenance in your life, the last thing you seek is a high-maintenance meal. You know the kind: requires lots of prep and timing; has a million ingredients; uses every pot you own as well as a few you had to borrow from your neighbor; you need to leave work two hours early to have it ready by 8:30pm or start the day before; and often involves a sauce. On second thought, maybe I should just cancel my date and make dinner for myself instead. Yes, I’m thinking maybe a complicated, time consuming and insanely good ham and cheese sandwich. It sounds easier.
Croque Monsieur: a high-maintenance man worth the effort
- Servings: 10-12
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
- 4 ounces (6 or more slices) thinly sliced smoked Black Forest ham
- 1 cup cream or milk
- 3 eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bamboo skewers
Butter an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and line with oiled parchment paper. Begin layering the croque monsieur by lining the bottom of the loaf pan with bread (use 2 slices for each layer). Dot the first layer with 1 generous tablespoon mascarpone cheese and spread as evenly as possible. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the chives over the cheese. Cover with 1/4 cup Fontina cheese and layer the ham over cheese. This is one complete layer. Build two more layers, ending with a row of bread.
Whisk together the cream or milk and eggs in a bowl to make a custard. Strain the custard through a sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the croque monsieur, cover with parchment paper, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before baking. The croque can be placed overnight in the refrigerator at this point if desired.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the loaf pan in a deep casserole and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan to create a bain-marie. Cover with a piece of buttered parchment paper. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the custard has set. Test with a toothpick — if it comes out clean, remove from the oven and the bain-marie and allow the croque monsieur to cool in the loaf pan.
When cool, place in the refrigerator to chill. Turn the croque out of the pan and cut into generous 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice in half across the layers and skewer the two halves together.
To Serve: Heat an 8-inch sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and gently place the croque monsieur skewers into the pan; sauté until golden brown on both sides. Serve with a green salad
Note: To make this even more high-calorie and “veggie”, you can substitute the Ham with a firm cheese like Paneer or Haloumi or put in faux meat.