Most of our friends have a good list of dining out adventures. We seem to have a lot of dining-in adventures.
Dane’s been gone for a little over a week, so I have been starving to death. I kid, I kid. I can whip up macaroni and cheese with the best of them. (Still kind of kidding… but really- I do make a mean Kraft mac and cheese.)
I can hold my own in the kitchen. I have a few signature dishes (most involve seafood, tomatoes and feta) that I make on a semi-regular basis. I can follow most any recipe and feel confident that it will to turn out well, but leave me in the kitchen without a plan or recipe to follow, and I can guarantee: You. Will. Get. Pasta. (possibly Kraft). Maybe a salad if a tomato inspires me.
Dane on the other hand, never measures anything and never follows a recipe yet everything he touches is delicious. He’s like a genie. It’s made his status within our circle of friends legendary. Everyone has their favorite “Dane-dish”. We’ve had people give requests a week in advance of a dinner date. We’ve gotten text messages from people offering to throw themed parties- and the “themes” revolve around the dishes they want Dane to bring. I think some people befriend me just so they will have more opportunity to come over for dinner. People obsess over his food. (I like to think they also really appreciate how well I can open a bottle of wine.)
Since he’s been gone, I find myself obsessing over his food too. I’ve noticed that I miss him the most right around dinner time. I love chopping the garlic, preparing the salad, and keeping his wine glass full while he creates magic in the kitchen. That’s my role and I am more than comfortable with it.
When we found out we were moving to Japan, one of the things we were most excited about were the fish markets in Okinawa. Kansas has a lot of things going for it, but the availability of fresh fish is not one of them. Now, as I stated earlier, I am not particularly adventurous in the kitchen. I wouldn’t even know where to start if you handed me a squid. But luckily for me, Dane is not so easily intimidated. We walk into that market (almost weekly) and he picks something new every time. Sometimes I recognize it, sometimes I don’t.
I see a rainbow fish and think, “Pretty! I should instagram this.” Dane thinks, “This would be good with a lemon garlic sauce.” I see the Japanese fishermen across the street reel in a giant squid and think, “What a very funny-looking head.” He walks over to find out what kind of bait they are using so he can catch one of his own.
I’m really grateful for these differences… Especially when he’s gone and I remember exactly how boring my routine was before him. So until I can eat his food again, I will just reminisce over a few of the iphone shots I’ve taken while I sit back, sipping wine, admiring his kitchen skills.
If he’s gone much longer, maybe I’ll write a post that reveals the real secret behind “slurpable” macaroni and cheese (more milk and less butter). Or maybe I’ll write a post declaring that salt, pepper and olive oil are the only ingredients you actually need in order to make the best seared salmon of your life. I might even add that that same salmon can be served with a side of wilted spinach, served over a salad, mixed with pasta in a red sauce or a white sauce, eaten cold and alone out of tupperware on your way to work… I mean, really… the salmon possibilities are endless! But don’t worry… You will be spared my cooking posts. He’ll be home next week.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.