What happens when people who used cooking to connect and blow off steam can’t find their way to the kitchen? The answer isn’t happy or delicious at all.
The Kitchen Genius and I are usually pretty easy going on each other and all other people in our life. Our theory has always been that most people are trying really hard and it’s better to be a helper person than a critic. But once in a while we become so overwhelmed by real life that we retreat into our private ways of coping and those ways aren’t necessarily complimentary.
I’m pretty sure this must be true of all marriages and the survival of a union is in the details – and how quickly you get over the petty things and get back to loving each other.
We were facing the end of the longest week of the longest month in memory in terms of stressful live events. And we had one day to catch up – Sunday. I had warned KG for days that I had to devote the whole day to writing. He had other ideas in mind.
Communication was at a minimum. We both retreat when we are stressed. It left us off balance all week, but hit a peak on Sunday. When we woke up, we took the time to read the newspaper over bowls of granola together. KG had his own list of things to do and so did I.
I got to work writing and KG ignored the big pile of leaves he planned to tackle and started rearranging the piles of story folders, magazines and everything else in our house that was mine. This is always his not-so-subtle way to persuade me to join his agenda. It usually works for him, but I resisted this week and things got tense.
When I get stuck on writing, I tend to pace. Each time that happened, I looked out the window and noticed that KG was either out of sight or in a different place. He was alternating between dealing with the big pile of compost that is now sitting in our front yard and the massive amount of leaves everywhere.
He also cleaned out the chicken coop.
That poor man was so flummoxed by all the pressing needs of our house and yard that he was alternately trying to chip away at the most obvious things.
I knew that home-cooked food would bring back peace. When I checked out the ingredients in the fridge and pantry that KG had already bought in our daily survival list, I saw where his mind was going.
Last month we had a fabulous dinner at the Ocean House in Dennis. We were both wowed by the butternut squash hummus. It was topped with kalamata olives sautéed with garlic and rosemary and served with warm naan bread.
KG made it for our daughter’s family when we were on vacation in San Francisco and it was such a hit that less than a week after we returned home she called me from Whole Foods to get the recipe. It was also the perfect dish to set aside petty annoyances and remember that life is both good and delicious.