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Day 79: I Do Try...

If nothing else, I’m reminded so very clearly of just who is the chef in my household.

I smiled to myself tonight, eating my almond-flour-encrusted tilapia, sauteed in butter and lemon, side of roasted brussels sprouts, almond-flour bread with some Kerrygold Irish butter on it. It was tasty enough. It was ‘on plan’ for my Dedication Health learnings.

It is not a meal that Brian would have cooked, or enjoyed.

I miss his beautifully seared salmon, with a plate of grilled asparagus.

I miss his tilapia filets, sauteed in pan-searing flour, just a hint of lemon.

I miss lots more, of course, but those are the meals I've attempted with less than flattering results.

Brian and I have long known our rhythms around mealtime, kitchens: he cooks/creates; I clean up. Don’t misunderstand me…I can cook, and I love to cook. I am a recipe-girl at heart, and can pretty much follow any recipe to satisfying results. I’ve baked long enough to have the felt-sense of the dough amidst bread-baking in particular. I’m pleased with my culinary arts, and I enjoy sharing the fruit of my labor.

But Brian plays in the kitchen. He creates and tries this, tries that. Very rarely has it ‘gone astray’ for him. I think I can count on one hand the meals that didn’t turn out quite right? Pretty good odds for over twenty years.

We had a galley kitchen in our first apartment, so basically a hallway going from the front hallway to the dining room. Early in our marriage, we took turns cooking. And we began to learn our differences. He could simply not leave enough alone while I was cooking. He’d come in and comment, or ask leading questions that suggested I was doing something not quite as he would do it. I finally went to Target and got curtains. I informed him: “When the curtains are drawn, you are not welcome in the kitchen!” We both laughed, and he’d peer through the curtain anyway, unable to help himself.

Which after twenty years of living with this man I’d admit is warranted. He sucks at clean-up, however. On the rare occasion I do cook, it’s his turn to clean up…and it always amazes me what he simply does not see. So these decades into it all, our usual rhythm is a good one. He plays and creates in the kitchen. We both benefit from his artistry. I clean up.

I’ve made our traditional meals while he’s been away, but I’d give me a B- for presentation and skill. They were not the same meals, that’s for sure, nor did they look like this. I did find a tasty Chipotle Chicken dish I'll make for him sometime soon, with a homemade ranch dressing to accompany it.

I’m a recipe girl…what can I say? As usually happens, I'm reminded how blessed and thankful I am! And yes, I'm ready for him to come home already.

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