It was 9/11. Italian neighbors pounded on the door shouting CNN! CNN! We invited them in with electricians and appliance movers and watched as the towers went down. So sad.
Neither Continental nor the American Consulate would allow me to come home. Continental because there were no overseas flights. The Consulate simply said that my sleeveless summer dresses would not keep me warm enough in Newfoundland, the furthest I could be flown. I must say that the Customs Agent in Newark said “Welcome Home.” I shed a few tears, of course, but knew better than to kiss that floor.
Two weeks later I met a guy at a local restaurant over lunch. We were all talking about 9/11, of course. We talked for hours and shook hands and exchanged phone numbers in the parking lot. I threw away his number. He called the next evening, we lived 1/2 mile apart. We went to a movie and dinner. He opened the car door, took my hand and hasn’t let go for over 14 years.
He was laid off in dot.bomb era before we met, moved home with his parents and got another job back near me in two weeks. I consulted as my profession, worked with neighborhood pets as a side job/hobby and shelter pets/ferals as a volunteer. Through the dogs I found him a home 1,000 steps from mine. He could not visit me at home because he is deathly allergic to cats. Once he bought a gas mask and came over for dinner. Really, Darth Vader? Luke, I am your father. It lasted less than ten minutes, I think I was laughing too hard. We went out for dinner.
In the interest of spending time together I had a lot of kitchen equipment and moved some of it to his place. He brought one ugly blue plastic colander that we still have, and I brought utensils, plates, pots and pans. One day he came home for lunch from work and I was finishing up grilled cheese sandwiches (and tomato soup, of course) and he remarked “Oh, so that’s how you do it!””Hello? What planet?”
Later I got to meet his family before we eloped and his mother gave me a photo of him at age four making toast. The photo has been on our frig for years, and it only took him 30 more years to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and he likes mine better. Better choice of bread and type of cheese, I’d surmise. He’s a physicist so is methodical.
I graduated from two cooking schools, one professional in NYC and another in Italy.
My husband heard but did not listen to my cooking adventures even after he created this blog for me years ago. He is a keen critic of my food, which is well-prepared and tasty. Of late he’s taken to making fresh pasta and pancakes (not together) but only reads me recipes and I do the shopping, prep, cooking and clean-up. I’ve learned not to let him make spaghetti and meatballs (bottled sauce and dried pasta) because if I’m sick and cannot eat, none of the cleanup will be done. Oh, he also can make oatmeal with milk, topped with yogurt and berries. The walls tell stories and not about me, dear friend.
Once again, the human tornado is here in force. Oatmeal “glue” on a pot. An oatmeal bowl un-rinsed. He tells guests I have to do a newly imagined or read recipe three times before it’s right. I’ve a good palate, shop and do mis en place, cook and clean up.
Do you know what he tells me now? “Dear, you have created a food snob.” I agree. Since our old dog ate dinner off my plate while I was eating the other day, I do my thing in the kitchen, and once it is clean I tell husband and dog that The Kitchen Is Closed. Water and Dr. Pepper only. Cheers! Dee