Monday, October 04, 2010

Food And Love ...

I've been blogging for more than five years. Surely, I've written about food and love before.

But earlier today, I read David Leite's post about cooking for someone you love, and here I am, inspired.

Of course, everyone I cook for is someone I love, and that includes myself. But David's point, and my point, too, is about cooking for The One: husband, wife, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other or moniker of choice.

David has a The One. I do not.

But many of my fondest memories of relationships past center on food.

There was the guy who proudly proclaimed, "I'm going to make you waffles!" Waffles as in "L'eggo my Eggo," not waffles from scratch, but as with so many things, what counted was the thought.

So I sat at the table and he padded about the kitchen, from the freezer to the toaster, to the pantry to retrieve the syrup to the microwave to warm it up. (I cringed at the thought of nuking a plastic bottle containing syrup, but later noticed that the label prominently proclaimed that that's exactly what one should do.)

I didn't tell him that I was trying to avoid carbohydrates. That would have left him deflated.

So I topped my waffle with syrup – a carb patty soaked with sugar – and drank the orange juice he poured for me so happily.

And then there was G. I haven't written about G for years, as it's been years since we split up. But I remember nearly fainting the night that he filled a bowl with hot water and set it aside to warm.

G could cook. Spontaneously. He didn't have to hover over a cookbook and run his finger along each step. He could compose a sauce on the fly. He shopped at Potash Bros. and Whole Foods. His refrigerator never lacked for a hunk of Gruyere cheese.

He didn't drink coffee in the morning – I never did understand why – but he would make coffee for me, add just the right splash of hazelnut goo, and bring it to me on the couch.

Whatever he prepared was delightful, partly because he could cook but mostly because he simply did.

Sometimes we would cook together, but inevitably he would shoo me out of the kitchen to take my place at the dining table while he finished up, and then appear at the table to set down my plate, then his.

And I would take a bite, and stand up, and walk around to his side of the table, touch my fingertips underneath his chin, tilt back his head, lean over, kiss him, and then return to my chair.

It was the least I could do.

One day, we were watching a movie and found ourselves in need of a snack. He had an idea, got up from the couch, went into the kitchen, and busied himself with the task.

"Can I help?" I called out.

"No," he called back. And then appeared with a glass of wine for me before retreating back to the prep.

See what I mean?

Guys, learn how to cook something. One thing. Anything. Guys who know how to cook earn so, so, so many points.

It's more expected of women to know how to cook, domestically, anyway, so I don't know that the men I've dated have been equally wowed with my cooking skills as I've been with theirs.

But I love cooking for everyone, platonic, romantic, either way.

Though making lasagna for the Italian guy wasn't my brightest moment. It turned out good, but as I was preparing it, I thought, "Beth, you're making lasagna. For an Italian guy. Whose mother probably makes the best lasagna on the planet."

But I'm happy to plan a menu and shop and prep and welcome people into my home.

Or whip up something that someone's been wanting, something as simple, even, as butterscotch pudding.

Because there's nothing more loving than feeding the people I love.


Anonymous David Leite said...

Besides being flabbergasted that I inspired you, I thoroughly enjoyed the post. Food and love, love and food. So intertwined. Lovely.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous David Leite said...

Besides being flabbergasted that I inspired you, I thoroughly enjoyed the post. Food and love, love and food. So intertwined. Lovely.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Food will always inspire me. Good writing will always inspire me. So there was no way your post couldn't have inspired me.

Love and food, intertwined, indeed.

Thanks, David.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Jean at The Delightful Repast said...

I love cooking with love for people I love, especially "The One." My "The One"--my husband--does some of the basic cooking these days, freeing me up to meet deadlines. I don't have to worry about cooking anything for him that his mother made better--she was not, shall we say, known for her cooking!

10:48 AM  

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