Béchamel Sauce; Do unto others? Please… Don’t.

Bechamel SauceCauliflower_cheese

How do you like to be treated when you're sick?

Not seriously sick, just a little sick; like a cold, or the flu….

When one is under the weather, one normally also has a bad case of the 'poor, pitiful me's' as well, so how one is treated can become monumentally, if only fleetingly, important.

I have both a cold and the 'poor me's' this morning, so I have been pondering this….

One might say obsessing about this, but that would be a mean thing to say to a sick person, now wouldn't it?

It's only natural to assume that the rest of the known universe would like to be treated exactly like we would like to be treated. After all, we're at the center of said universe, aren't we? I mean, it's all about me, isn't it?

When mon mari has a cold he want's to crawl into a warm, quiet, dark place, armed with nothing more than his trusty remote, and be left alone.

He doesn't want cheerful inquiries into his health and well-being; he doesn't want chicken soup or orange juice; he doesn't want to be tucked in, cosseted or in any way tended to.

He wants to be: Left Alone!!!

He'll suffer in manly fashion: silent at first, getting excessively crosser the more concern I show.

Occasionally, say once, I might be allowed to bring an aspirin… But "just set it down!" is the most I get in return.

I, on the other hand, want my brow checked for fever every 30 seconds.

I want someone to bring me hot tea without asking; to tuck a warm blanket around me; to run miles to the store just in case hot chocolate might cheer me.

I once had a friend, who, when someone was sick, would go to their house and clean it from top to bottom. Her theory: People always feel better if they don't have to think about housework.

That's how I want to be treated: my every wish anticipated; overindulged at every opportunity.

You can see where the problem comes in, can't you?

He treats me exactly like he wants to be treated: he ignores me completely.

Which causes me to feel more and more pitiful.

I treat him exactly like I want to be treated: I fuss excessively.

Which causes him to feel more and more irritable.

Why, you may ask, after 30 years together, can't we get this sorted?

Because, idiot, when one is sick one doesn't always think clearly; and when one is concerned, one doesn't always either. And neither of us is sick very often, thankfully.

It's just the little dance we do…

So, yesterday, I dragged myself out of bed and scoured the walls, sink and floor of the laundry room. Today I'll give it 2 coats of paint and grout the tiles.

At best, mon mari will ask if I want heat (kerosene heater) in the room…

To help the paint dry.

Lest you think him totally unfeeling, when he got up at the crack of dawn this morning, in freezing cold weather, to fetch a trailer load of firewood, he told me he didn't need my help loading it.

After all, I had a cold.

I hadn't thought he noticed….

Now I have another question….


When was the last time you made a simple Béchamel Sauce?

One of the 'mother' sauces, it's the beginning of a good lasagne and any cheese sauce.

But, so often, recipes yield two or three cups of finished sauce.

Here is a basic sauce, yielding just over 1/2 cup:

Basic Béchamel Sauce

2 tsp butter
2 tsp flour
1/2 cup milk
pinch of nutmeg

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring with a whisk or fork. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until you have a thick sauce.  Stir in nutmeg. 

Wow!  That's complicated….

Now, you can play with it.

For the broccoli I added 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard and 3 tbs of Gruyère cheese.


For the cauliflower I added 1/4 tsp Coleman's Dry mustard and 3 tbs of Cheddar cheese.


For the 'Mac and Cheese' I doubled the Béchamel Sauce, added 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard, 1.5oz (45gr)  Cheddar and 3oz (90gr) of a creamy goat cheese.

Sere how simple life can be?

Speaking of simple…

I'd better get the firewood stacked.


Oh yeah…. 2 more nights at Vlad's….

11 thoughts on “Béchamel Sauce; Do unto others? Please… Don’t.”

  1. Had to laugh, Katie, as MB and I are the opposite of you two – he likes to fuss and be fussed, I like to hole up and tend to leave him alone when he’s sick. Nearly 10 years married and 13 together and we still haven’t gotten it right, either. 🙂

  2. A bad time to get a cold with a you preparing to move. Hope you feel a bit better. I think your husband is an exception on men, most of them moan like they’re dying and can’t lift a finger.

  3. I did make bechamel the other day, but forgot all about the nutmeg.
    Happy Valentine’s Day, feel better. I would dote on you if I could… but I am in Canada – well out of doting distance.
    I am a good nursemaid to hubby for a very short while – then I threaten him and insist I don’t like him until he gets better. Seems to work.
    He is a lot more gentle and generous to me, thank goodness.

  4. Mmm, bechamel!! I adore bechamel sauce. Especially when we infuse the milk with a fresh bay leaf first. Or onion. Or garlic.
    Thanks for the reminder to have macaroni and cheese. I knew there was something we’d forgotten to make in our new gratin dish!

  5. Oh, I sort of hate to admit it, but I am impossible to deal with when I’m sick. One minute I want to be coddled, and the next I want to be left alone, and I expect the people around me to figure out which mood I’m in at any given point in time… without me telling them, because then it doesn’t count! Sickness just puts everyone in a weird frame of mind, I think. I am so impressed that you still managed to work on the house while not feeling so great!
    Also, I made my very first bechamel last week, for some mac and cheese with cauliflower. I used goat cheese and smoked gouda, and it was delicious, but now you have me wishing I had added some mustard as well. Guess there’s always next time…

  6. Zoomie, maybe we can swap when we’re sick…
    Tanna, it’s never minor when it’s me either…
    Ulrike, great minds (and cooks) think alike!
    Lien, it was bad timing, and I should be grateful he’s not typical.
    Natashya, that’s a good scheme… nag into health… I could do that!
    Elizabeth, I always forget to do that!!! Thanks for the reminder.
    Karina, glad to be of help.
    Jude, it’s a challenge to make things in smaller quantities, isn’t it?
    Joanna, smoked gouda… yum!!! Of course they should read your mind, DUH!

  7. Like you Katie I am sick so rarely…(touch wood) that I like to be pampered but My beloved is not sure how to do that. Sigh

Comments are closed.

Share via
Copy link