John got back last night after 5 months in an undisclosed location in southwest Asia. I got to meet him on the flight line. It’s funny how I have been used to being completely alone in my home for 5 months and then all of a sudden there’s this other person there, which is kind of strange, and yet it feels like he never left. It’s great.
It was a hot and sweaty day, odd since last week was chilly with sideways rain. And just as I type this I hear the thunder and pitter patter on the roof. Man, i love weather.
For some reason John’s homecoming triggered in me a kind of Julia Child madness and I spent the last 4 hours making (and simultaneously eating) some serious food. No wonder the chef never eats with the table - by the time the food is done they are completely stuffed!
My mom is a great cook, and very frequently we’d come home to a steaming hot bowl of Leek & Watercress Soup, or powdered sugar-crusted Pound Cake, or individual shells with creamy Coquille St. Jacque. Not a pot or pan in the sink - just the end result, ready for our greedy bellies. As we scarfed down the goods, she’d tell us with pride about how the recipe called for such and such, but she thought such and such would taste better, and doesn’t it? Can you taste it Jenny? It’s easy when all you see is one pot of soup to dismiss the hours that went into making it perfect. She used to do that with other things to. Like hand-scrub the entire white carpet, and “doesn’t it look good Jenny? I just used a little bleach and voila! like new!”
"Sure does" I’d mumble, swallowing a slice of pound cake whole. Why she put so much time into hand-scrubbing a carpet, I’d never understand.
But, after spending all day in the kitchen, making the first meal for my husband in 5 months. I finally get it. Every detail is done with love. Every precise measurement and impromptu ingredient swaperoo makes the dish taste that much better. The rug that much whiter. And after using every pot in the house to make one soup, and washing them all before we sit down to dinner, I finally get it. And it was worth every minute.