I got kicked out of the kitchen. He said it was his turn.
I pouted a bit at first, but quickly relented. I enjoy the privilege of food prep more often than he does. On our nights together, my classes end sooner than his work. So I usually cook.
Last Saturday night he went to the store alone, secret ingredients carefully scribbled on his list. When he came back to the house, I made an attempt to help but was shooed away. For awhile I stood on the other side of the wall, trying to hold a conversation. He eventually begged, "If I make you a drink, will you go sit down? Please." So I sat. He brought me a cocktail and I quietly realized that I had found my own special version of heaven. Drink in hand. Catching up on homework. Dinner being prepared for me by the man I love. Heck, there was even a dog at my feet. This was some kind of fabulous feminist version of Norman Rockwell's idyllic illustrations.
A few pages into my microbiology studying, he presented to me the appetizer. Sauteed Brussels sprouts with pistachios and bacon. Absolutely amazing. Back to the kitchen for him, and back to the books for me. Awhile later he emerged holding two plates. "What's for dinner?" he asked.
I hadn't even bothered to try to decode the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen. I was just enjoying the love he was expressing for me, and the time to study and get ahead of the curve was a bonus. Plus surprises are fun to boot.
He then presented to me a goat cheese, caramelized onion and basil flatbread. I don't think there is any meal that could have pleased me more. Bread has become such a rarity to my gluten-free world, that even rice cakes are a delight nowadays. This bread, however, was nothing shy of phenomenal. The texture was magnificent and the flavor, complex. Top it with all of the things I adore, and well, that's a meal I won't soon forget.
I offered abundant praise and thanks for the treat that tickled me to no end. He admitted that he had put a lot of thought into it and wanted the menu to convey his love for me.
So I [foolishly] asked what a meal that did not convey love for me might include.
"Wheat," he replied. "And lots of meat."
He knows me pretty well...