I met someone who works with me in the kitchen. He cooks the chicken and cuts the celery. I cook the okra and cut the figs. He caramelizes the onions, I assemble the salad. I bake the ribs and the rosemary potatoes in the oven, he makes the ratatouille. I met someone who accepts my micromanaging, who is patient with me, who listens to me be bossy, and who cares to execute everything just the way I want it.
I met someone who lets me sleep in on a Saturday morning while he gets up and cooks for almost three hours by himself in my kitchen while I lay dreaming. I met someone who wakes me up with the smell of chicken and paella for brunch, who offers me crepes in the morning, and who makes me salmon carpaccio with smoked salmon because he knows I'm not a big fan of raw fish. I met someone who cooks for me.
I have found a partner.
He offers me a bite of his nectarine; he tries a piece of my pear. We make cheesecake. He crushes the graham crackers into crumbs; I mix together the butter and the sugar. He beats the cream cheese and the heavy cream; I pat the crusts into the buttered muffin tins. He combines the sugar, salt and vanilla; I pour the batter into the tins. We wait for the cheesecake to finish baking. We set the table together, we eat together, we laugh together. We clear the table and we both declare that it is our turn to wash the dishes. If I get to the sponge first, he wraps his arms around me and then puts away the food. If he gets to the sink before I do, I kiss his cheek and wipe down the counters. I have never known such sweet balance.
I met someone. And he cooks for me.
I have always said that food is love – that phrase is repeated throughout this blog – but it wasn't until recently that I discovered what it was like to be loved in this way. Though I often cook for other people, I had never really had someone cook for me. I had never had someone take care of me like that. And I know it sounds simple, but it is powerful beyond words. He cooks for me. I met someone who took the time to make me food, to nourish me, to feed me. And when he had to go, he left me with ratatouille, with paella, with sea salt caramels, and with cupcakes, so although he can't be here now, in a way he is still present, he is still taking care of me. There could not be anything more intimate.
Food is love. And I have never been loved like this.