A division has opened up between my man and me, even after all these years of marriage: It seems what he really craves is pasta, something I have never heard him say once in all the years since we first met in the days when Old Tricky-Dick Nixon was still flashing his hunch-shouldered victory sign to a puzzled nation.
This son of an old Yankee mother apparently adores the stuff. News to me!
I myself meanwhile would be fine if I never saw a squiggle of pasta again. What I like is a potato, which, it further seems, he doesn’t even regard as food and would no more pull from the fridge to cook and eat than he would reach for that little yellow box of baking soda that’s supposed to keep the butter from smelling like onions.
All these years into the marriage and I’m just hearing all this. Plus there’s more: it doesn’t end with the starches:
I no longer cook a whole lot of your red meats like beef and lamb, or even your pink ones like pork, but when I do prepare these meats I roast them. I figured what man doesn’t like a big thud of meat on the platter?
But I figured wrong, because last week I bought this nice pork tenderloin. I rubbed it with a freshly quartered onion and sea salt, then roasted it at what I regarded as the perfect temperature so that when it was done the outside had that lovely caramel color and the inside was still juicy.
And what did the man say on seeing the leftover portion in the fridge the next night? “Well that tasted kind of blah. You need to do something else with these meats that you roast.”
Can you imagine? Then he added insult to injury by telling me it’s because my ancestry is Irish and all the Irish know how to do is boil a piece of meat until it turns as grey as the fog over London. Fooey. He’s just not over the fact that my mother and aunt cooked a roast every single time we went there for a meal but it wasn’t GREY for heaven’s sake. It was kind of PINKY-grey, but with the frozen squash and frozen peas they always served with it, I sure thought the plate was sufficiently colorful.
Almost 25 years my mom has been gone and still he won’t eat either squash or peas. His idea of the five food groups? Pasta, tomato sauce, cheese any kind of cold cuts, even the kind that’s shot through with disks of solid fat and a giant bags of salty snacks. taken as a chaser. That’s what he would eat if left to his devices.
By contrast, my diet consists of fruits and vegetables, peppered with an occasional two-ounce rib chop of lamb; enough salad greens to stuff a sofa with; and so much broiled salmon it’s a wonder my hair isn’t pink.
Thus our common food ground is slipping out from under us.
Oh and here’s the real kicker: I’m the one with the high cholesterol.
“You’ll be burying me!” he always says. “Men die first.”
“I sure hope not,” I say back. “But if I’m the one to go first, just dig a hole and bury me in salad. (Dressing on the side, same as always.”)