Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sunday Supper

On Sunday night I cooked for M. This was a first -- actually it was a second. In the entire eighteen months of our relationship I have never made a meal for him. I've baked oodles of sweets, but he doesn't care for cookies, brownies or other sugary delights. I've composed meals for him, sliced fruit and put cereal on top of granola or jam on the toast. But only once have I made a meal. That was last March. I whipped up goat cheese quesadillas and homemade mango salsa for a Saturday lunch. It went over well, for the most part.
My apartment is so small it was nearly physically imposible for M to not hover. I suggested he lie down or hide in the closet. Instead he made a phone call. When we finally ate he deemed it a success, and said he liked it when someone else did the cooking.
Nearly a year later, I decided to try again. I was saved in part by the fact that we ate a late brunch and were not ravenously hungry. All I had to do was make a simple pasta. No meat required, no salad even. I decided on fresh pasta in a truly simple sauce -- fresh Meyer lemon juice and zest, creme fresh, good salt and pepper and parm. The recipe called for arugula to be tossed in and wilted but the store was out. Instead I bought baby asparagus, brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. I roasted it in the oven for 5 minutes, about as long as the pasta took to cook.
M was more calm this time, sort of. He found a project (a leaky toilet) and in the few minutes I spent making dinner he fixed the toilet and drove to the store for supplies. He's a busy guy. Apparently he was also scared.
I served plates, he poured wine (a Heidi Shrock Muscat). He took a bite and said it was good. Eventually he asked for more, even though he swore off seconds in 2007. I thought he was being nice, or perhaps he was just plain hungry. He was quiet for a moment and then said, "This is good. Really good."
"Really?" I said.
"Really. Much better than the first meal you made me."
"So you were nervous?" I said. "Scared?"
"No. But now maybe I'll let you do it again sometime."
We'll see.

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