The Ever-Changing Recipe for Marriage
In less than two weeks, Mister MA and I will celebrate two years as two wedded peas in a pod. Although no longer newlyweds, we’re definitely not old hat at this work-in-progress called marriage.
One would think that with the passage of time and accumulation of dirty socks on the floor, you’d know your partner even better than before, but a recent turn of events has given me cause for pause.
After nearly four years of sipping French-pressed coffee together, I recently discover – on Facebook of all places – that he’s not so crazy about my caffeinated method and much prefers the brown crayon brew made from an automatic drip. My question: Why put up with my coffee and keep silent? And what else are you going to spring on me, pal?
Lesson learned: You know what you know until it no longer applies.
In the two years since we said “We do,” we’ve experienced an enormous amount of change, including buying a new home and moving across the country. There have been three kitchens, at least one lost knife, the sudden death of an electric beater, a temporary oven coma and at least three broken mixing bowls.
For better or worse, for salty or sweet, we’re coming along just fine, and the recent coffee debacle aside, there’s constant learning taking place -- about one’s self, each other and the hearth we share. For lack of a more original expression, I’m taking it all with a grain of salt, and I think he is, too. As many of you know all too well, the kitchen can get pretty hot, and that’s not always a good thing.
With relatively few years under my wedding belt, I’m hardly in a position to dish out marriage advice, but I am confident about one (well, maybe two) thing(s): Food heals all wounds, both great and small, and is the all-powerful medium that says all the right things when words cannot be found.
A couple of examples come to mind:
When I am so in the dog house (which is rare, ahem) or when he’s had a bad day, I know I need to pull out all the stops and whip up some of his favorites, even if I’m not hankering them myself:
Potatoes, any way, but a special kind of love for roasted
A snack plate, complete with Kalamata olives, hummus, crudite, selection of cheeses, some kind of crackery thing and a few gherkins thrown in for good measure.
Pizza – if it were up to him, pizza would be on the menu at least three times a week. Although he loves my homemade dough, Mister MA will do cartwheels when I agree to go out and share a pie of tomato sauce and fixins.
I’ve not met a sweet that Mister MA doesn’t like, but his all-time, mood-altering favorites are chocolate chip cookies, hands down. My go-to version calls for half the amount of butter and eggs, and no one can tell what he’s missing.
Any of these will melt away the icicles and I’m either back in his good graces or helped turn his frown upside down. Note: these items are also good when you want to say “Let’s be friends again”.
When I want to remind him how smart he is for marrying me...
I make a roast chicken, butterflied and have it crackling away in the oven when he enters the front door. It’s my 50s housewife version of offering him a martini.
I take the time to make a proper breakfast. Blue corn pancakes garner extra points in the ain’t-she-great category.
I whip up a pot of soup. As elementary as it is for me, it mystifies my man, who is under the illusion that good soup is made by elves. Let him keep believing the hype.
We both work and are exhausted by seven. This is the most difficult – and frequent – scenario to master. We have had more than our share of tiffs around the issue of what’s for dinner and who’s making it. I’ve long proposed discussing dinner plans first thing in the morning, but who I am kidding? Needless to say, we’re still working out the kinks on meal prep. Here a few meal ideas that we can do together seamlessly at the last minute -- and which keep the peace:
Short pasta with roasted broccoli
Thin omelets and an ad hoc salad of whatever greens are in the fridge
If there's leftover cold rice in the larder, fried rice is always a welcome visitor.
I don't want to say when all else fails, let's make grilled cheese, but it's a good rule of thumb in our house, particularly when we add some roasted red peppers, leftover caramelized onions or a shmear of Dijon. Whatever we have on hand, the grilled cheese makes the residents of Casa Appetite smile wide.
Share your go-to recipes for keeping your marriage or committed relationship delicious in the comments area or today at 1 ET for this week's What's Cooking.
By Kim ODonnel |
February 17, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
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