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19 October 2009

Mark THAT on the Calendar

Once in a blue moon, my wonderful husband will adore a dish I randomly cook for dinner. Now check this out. He is the worlds MOST pickiest eater. If it's not traditional bland american, he is quite skeptical and will not usually even taste it just to see if he might miraculously like it. Even if he does taste it, he won't like it because he has already convinced himself otherwise.

We've been together about 11 years and he honors me with at least one dish annually that he absolutely loves. He raves about how good it is, takes seconds and calls his mom to tell her to try this recipe. He tells me I can cook this any night of the week, every week. The problem is, I can't recreate the dish. For it is an anomole. Yeah so I had a recipe and I can give you the recipe. But it will never taste like it did tonight. Why, do you ask. I have a little bit of a hard time following the actual recipe. Like a pianiast who plays by ear, I cook by taste. And not to sugar coat it, I just cannot follow a recipe. Try as I might (and I do try), I always have to add just a little bit of that, a little less of this and oooh, just a touch of something that cannot be found in the recipe ingredients list - all of this making the dish intrigingly unique.

When the meal is prepared, cooked and ready to be tasted, I always wonder, will he like it? If his particular tastes do not approve, he will still eat it but I will see he's not pleased by every blink of his eye, every hesitant bite he takes and the careful avoidance of the phrase 'Mmm, this is good' for fear I may cook it again. But when he likes it, and I mean really likes it, I mark THAT recipe on the calendar and I run to a corner in my mind and try to recall each and every little thing I put in that dish. I say a silent prayer to the gods of dinnertime that my cooking karma stays on the good side. And no matter what, I stand up straight and tall with my head held high, proud of my wondrous culinary moment in time. Because as Harriet van Horn says "Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all".

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