Reverb10.26: The Way To This Woman’s Heart

This Reverb10 post will be very quick. Not because it’s boring. Actually it’s lovely. But it just will be quick.

December 26 – Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

(Author: Elise Marie Collins)

It was nearing the end of the monsoon. Weeks had passed and the ‘OMG really?’ feeling that I woke up to each morning, had ceased a bit. It was still early enough that we tiptoed around each other but not so much that we stopped at that.

We had done the fancy romantic dinner, complete with wine and fine dining in our first month. And a new house had just occupied much time and attention in both our lives. I hadn’t gotten around to thinking about what we were going to do on our second. Then he made a suggestion. In a hesitant, halting voice, peppered with ‘If you don’t mind’ and ‘Only if you think it’s a good idea’, he suggested a home-cooked meal. Did I mind? Did I?

It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever proposed to do for me, let alone actually done. The kitchen was foreign territory to him and utensils were like alien weapons. But he went online. He asked a female friend for advice. He visited a bookshop and bought a book. And he narrowed it down to something he thought I’d like and that he’d be able to manage – pasta.

On the 17th of September, we went shopping together for the ingredients (I insisted). I couldn’t help hovering around to watch him. He looked at bottles and packets and scratched his head. He popped down to the store for a bottle-opener and returned an hour later with a mysterious (dangerous-looking) contraption that neither of us has been able to figure out yet. We ended up breaking open the olive oil can with a kitchen knife. I showed him how to chop the tomatoes. He improvised (on his first cooking attempt!) and grated some cheese after the pasta was almost cooked.

An hour later we spooned the reddish sauce onto the white pasta on plastic plates. It was delicious. It was the best meal I’ve ever had. Call me corny, call me old-fashioned but what could possibly touch this cynical ol’ feminist heart more than a man who – against all odds – cooks a nice meal for her?

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