Thursday, September 15, 2011

Strong on Plow

The last day we were in Paris it felt like Fall. We had been having phenomenal weather - clear blue skies, sun and more sun, highs in the mid-eighties. But on that Sunday in Paris, the temperatures dipped, the characteristic Parisian rain started dripping, and the changing leaves on the Sycamore trees that line the grand boulevards started falling with a little more conviction. The Parisian girls busted out their tights and fall boots, the couples sitting shoulder to shoulder at Les Deux Magots and Le Cafe de Flores snuggled a little closer, and our dinner that evening went from heavy to heavier.

We embraced it though. We put on our jeans and the only sweaters that we brought with us. We bought umbrellas, and marched through everything from a drizzle to a downpour, loving that we had our own Rainy Day in Paris.  
While flying home I envisioned that we would still be summering this week - that Fall may have touched down in Paris, but we were far from it. Yesterday it flew in though, it must have gotten the next flight out. Seemingly overnight, a chill came to town, the morning sun got a little sleepier, the light in the evening on the River Walk became a little more radiant, Centennial Beach became a ghost town, and the food that I craved became a little warmer.
Last night I made Smitten Kitchen's creamy tomato soup with grilled cheese. It was the perfect antidote to our first Fall day in Naperville. I had made this recipe for the first time about a year ago - a day that had a similar first Fall chill in the air. It was a hit, and since then I have made the classic combination several other times.

Last night it tasted better than ever though. Without taking away from the integrity of Deb's wonderful recipe, I improvised a bit. I added sage from our garden when I was roasting the tomatoes.
I added a couple cloves of garlic. I cooked the grilled cheese a little slower and lower. I let the soup simmer longer. And I added a (little) more brandy.
It was delicious.

But this morning, I'm thinking it wasn't just the minor adjustments to the recipe that made it taste so good. Perhaps it was just because life tastes a little bit better right now.

I had the same feeling yesterday morning while rapidly folding laundry before heading off to work. All of a sudden the dreaded chore of laundry was fun, because it wasn't his laundry, and it wasn't my laundry, it was our laundry. And I liked seeing our clothes, neatly folded on the bed, together. Last night I realized I wasn't cooking dinner in Peter's house anymore, I was cooking dinner in our house. And serving it at our dinner table. On our plates. And it felt really, really good.

Influenced by Borat and his friend, Bro_Cal, Peter keeps calling me "my wife." (And occasionally, he'll tag on "strong on plow.") While I don't like the visual comparison between Borat's beefy wife and me, I do love being Peter's wife. And being strong on cooking, cleaning, and making my husband happy, makes me very, very happy.


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