My husband thinks he’s living with a new woman. He isn’t sure who I am. Suddenly, I’m doing things and talking about subjects that are absolutely foreign to what he associates with me.
The fact is that we’ve been married long enough that he thinks he can predict what I like or dislike. Ask him and he’ll tell you that I love him, our children, books, eating out and theater (although he’s not sure what order, at any given time, those things fall in) and that sporting events, exercise, and cooking top my “forget it” list. Lately though, he thinks his wife has been replaced by a “foodie.”
Not only does he keep finding the television tuned to the Food Network, but he’s noticed that I keep coming home with cookbooks and new food gadgets. Even weirder, I’ve been turning down the option of going out to dinner to try a number of new recipes out on him. Of course, not all of them have been successful. For example, I made chicken soup from scratch for our Passover Seder, but I didn’t realize that the wide noodles I added a few minutes before the service would soak up all the soup during our short service. You can imagine my face when I peered into the pot to ladle out portions and could actually see my soup evaporating. The good thing, as we all agreed, was that the matzah balls, noodles, and chicken ended up being very well seasoned.
At least those things sans soup were edible. Recently, I made a fish dish that not only looked beautiful in the picture in the cookbook, but also on our plates. The only problem was that I got distracted when I was measuring some of the ingredients. Take it from me, 2 tablespoons of black pepper make a dish a lot spicier than ¼ of a teaspoon. Thank goodness we had plenty of water with that meal.
Last night, I dragged my husband to a new type of dinner experience - Dinner Lab. Young chefs come into town and serve a meal in a pop-up restaurant. Although the diner knows the chef and menu in advance, the location isn’t revealed until the day before dinner. The dinner itself is more like a tasting menu in that each course provides a different eating sensation. I liked the warehouse used, thought the menu novel, and enjoyed each course. My husband had the same reaction he had when he saw The Blue Men Group – “that was different.”
The reality is I haven’t changed. I still prefer to eat out. What has changed is that my newest work in progress (about 51,000 words so far) is a cozy with recipes. Writing accurately and interestingly requires research. Whether it is the voice, setting, or characterization, accuracy counts. So, I’ve become addicted to food shows, cookbooks, and cooking (okay, make that attempted cooking) for the sake of my craft. Can you possibly think of a more fun way to get the story right – even if it means my husband is living with a new woman?