Another Love Story (written live)
There are superhero action figures sunbathing on the island. My husband is properly dressed in a #1 Dad turmeric golden teeshirt. The air begins to smell of fresh cut produce. Everything is laid out, the scallion from the window, carrots, bean sprouts, red cabbage, bell peppers, basil, gochugaru seasoned shrimp and jerk roasted turkey breast.
Everything is washed in a vinegar solution, dried and laid d out. He julienne slices each vegetable by hand. We have a special tool for slicing with this technique, my vocal request coupled with his willingness to oblige, a very sharp tool we’ve had for 13 lucky years.
He allows me to photograph him peeling and cutting. None of the usual complaints about me getting in the way. He just invested a thousand dollars on my next goal becoming a publisher author. He want me to work at my craft. He told me have a talent. He’s on a mission to muse it out of me.
The slicing is done. He moves to the stove to cook the shrimp.
“Is it hot enough?”
He shoves a pot pan full of hot wild caught gulf shrimp smothered in a sauce of gochugaru pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic, paprika and parsley. Hold one shrimp on fork inches from my face. I touch a shrimp with the back of my index finger.
“Spice not temperature!” he demands.
He’s so rough with me outside of the bedroom. He’s a dom in the kitchen and I a disobedient sub. I grab the shrimp from the fork. I nibble at it slowly. The heat of the pepper slides onto my tongue. It is not sharp like hot sauce it is buttery melting slowly from the tip of my tongue to the back. The flavor spreads like a ripple on water slowly moving back and deepening. What an appetizer! If I wasn’t stuffed from picking the 28 pound watermelon I just picked from my zone 1 food forrest I’d want to gobble up more.
“Put this away, I want to use it but there is more than enough of shrimp here.”
He hands me the turkey. I don’t know what he was thinking to make turkey filled eggs rolls. He clears the island one item at a time tossing each in a bowl of pink salt, black pepper, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. There are two bowls a vegan bowl with green peas, bean sprouts, red cabbage, carrots bell peppers and scallion from the kitchen scrap garden. The other bowl with the shrimp tossed into the same medley sans peas.
He stops to ask, “We don’t have celery do we?”
I point out the sprouted kitchen scraps of celery 6 inches tall yet thin. He stops to contemplate cutting them at such aa fragile stage of regrowth. Like making the choice to end a pregnancy or not he mulls over the pros and cons with eyes. He did not choose the life of the celery, he chose the integrity of his egg roll filling and decided he’d hit his target.
He announces his decision. “We’ve got more than enough variety in the mix.” He proceeds to roll the vegan batch with a great deal of precision. “More cabbage. Add it to the vegan mix.” “More carrot!” He demands as he’s nearly done rolling the vegan rolls.
Bang! The bowl is tossed into our large farm sink. He grabs a spoon to taste the seafood mix, one spoon 2- 3- 4.
“You’re eating it now!” I yell. “That’s beyond tasting don’t ya think?” I caught him off guard.
Stunned out of mesmerizing food trance he states, “I am trying to see if it is enough heat. Here taste it what do you think?” He puts a spoonful in my mouth. I see why he got drawn in to continue dipping the spoon in the bowl and into his mouth.
“In my opinion,” I state, “it needs a little more gochugaru. The flavor was slightly diminished by the addition of the vegetables.” I grab it for him as his attentive assistant.
My contribution complete I watch him as he carefully he pulls each sheet away from the rest then lays the sheet down in a diamond in front of him. He monitors the amount of filling he places on the sheet and aligns the vegetables perfectly. He dips his fingers in a bowl of water and spreads the water along the edges of the egg roll sheet to help it seal like a food glue.
Gently he picks up the point closest to him, thumb and index finger rolling his remaining fingers around to pull and keep the stuffing tucked into the egg roll sheet. He pulls in the right point then the left as gently as he is with my body in the bedroom. Tucking the 3 corners in he rolls and tucks until reaching the 4 the corner point. Finally he spreads his thumb along the back of the roll sealing it like wiping the lip of a lover you just pulled away from french kissing.
The deed is done. The setup for another display of his love complete. All the rolls are placed in our commercial refrigerator to set before being fired and devoured by myself and the kids as he looks on in adoring satisfaction.
A pot of oil is set on the stove to heat. He begins pulling away the leaves of fresh picked basil from its stem to make vegan pesto from scratch.
“It’s not for today. I have all the ingredients and the basil was ready to be picked. I can make it now and store it for when we want pesto.” He declares just before the oil starts to crackle and pop.