I introduced my “boyfriend” to my Abuela (Grandmother) early in 2004. The first thing she asked him was, “can you cook?”!!!
Later that year our courtship was cut short because of that one word: orders. My bad ass boyfriend was going to be PCSing (moving) and it was now or never time!! He agreed- it was time!
He “proposed” in May and we got married on August of 2004 in my favorite place in the whole wide world: Shady Cove, OR.
The ceremony was quick, intimate and near the most gorgeous river of all times: the Rogue.
Last night, over dinner, my husband of 8 years and 364 days said to me, “you had me fooled”.
“What? When?” I asked.
“You even had your Abuela in on it. Saying you couldn’t cook. I knew better!” He answered.
I just smiled in reply. Thing is… Abuela knew I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t cook because I didn’t want to cook.
It was during our first year of marriage. We were living in a little village in East Anglia England called Thetford. I was about six months pregnant. And hungry. My husband was TDY (business trip). I had no friends. No family in the area. No cooking skills. Did I mention I was hungry. I don’t do hungry politely! What does a woman do? She calls her Mom.
My Moms advise was simple: honey, you need to learn to cook.
Next thing I knew- I received my first Rachel Ray cooking magazine. Say what you want about “Little Miss EVOO”, but I’m a fan! Simple girl, simple tools, tasty recipes- one cannot go wrong!
There I was. It was a drizzly and cold British night. I found the perfect recipe that would keep my husband and I nice and toasty: Carrot Ginger Soup. Four ingredients and the recipe came with pictures. One of said ingredients was ginger; the picture looked like this:
I went to Tesco where I bought my carrots, box of chicken broth and ginger. Came home and went to work and quickly learned it’s a royal pain in the ass to “peel and grate ginger”.
After the chopping, steaming and blending, I ladled the deep-orange soup into my hand made pottery soup cups. I served my husband my pride and joy.
He took a sip. Swallowed. With big eyes he looked at me, smiled and said, “mmm, gingery”.
Proud of my culinary accomplishment, I spooned a substantial amount of velvety-orange ginger soup and waited for the taste of pride….
“A little heavy on the ginger, but it’s ok, honey. I can eat it,” as he continued to enjoy his soup.
That was it. The fact that he “can” eat the, what I know call, ginger soup- was a testament to my partner in the kitchen! When he said, he’ll eat anything- he meant it!
I couldn’t imagine being married to a picky eater. I’m pretty sure I would have never began to cook and would have starved… to death!
But, times have changed!!
Last night as we prepared for dinner I warned my husband, “this is eggplant. I’ve never cooked it before, but the recipe is by one of my favorite chef/bloggers“.
Dinner was pork ribs I had cooked a few days ago , a simple can of beets and a new recipe: roasted eggplant. Since my timing still sucks, the kids had already eaten the beets and were starving to death.
I plated the eggplant and quickly went back to the kitchen to avoid the “ew, what is this? Gross!! I don’t liiiiike this”.
I flipped the ribs. In complete silence. I popped my head up over the stove and looked at the table. All four of them chowing down on eggplant!
When I sat down they all agreed, roasted eggplant is now their favorite side!
9 years of marriage, 4 children between us, 3 PCS’s and only a handful of disastrous meals, I look forward to many more years of marriage, meals (disastrous or not)… but, no more kids, thank you!