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Ok…so I’ve been “happily married” for 17 years. We lived together for six years prior to that. So, in total, I have been living with this man for just about half of my life and nearly all of my adult life. Why the quotes, you ask? Because marriage is hard work, even the good ones. Marriage is about compromise and putting up with the bad stuff. Happy marriages seem rare these days, but they aren’t. Happy marriages are real relationships with all of the ups and downs of having to live with another person.

That said, this post (and many to follow because I think I am on to something here) is about my dear husband and his relationship with food. Oh, and how my relationship with food affects our relationship. And to make things even more interesting, I may throw in a few stories about our seven year old son’s relationship with food. Why? Because it is all pretty darn funny and I am so sure people of all stripes can relate to what I witness in my home.

I am the cook in my small family. Not because I am the woman/wife/mother, but because I enjoy cooking and pretty much everything involving food. The husband likes to eat and he wants the food to be plentiful and tasty (not necessarily in that order). I am the hunter AND the gatherer. He is largely the payer and the carrier of groceries. His taste have evolved over time, in a good way. I’d like to take some credit for that. When we met, he would eat just about anything that was affordable and plentiful…taste and nutrition be damned. Now he is a bit more particular. I’m guessing with age comes wisdom, so he may have done better without me, but not this much better. Sure, he still will scarf down nearly an ENTIRE package of Nutter Butter cookies, but at least he’ll feel some shame about it. And at least now he can tell a piece of fish from a pork chop (seriously, that happened).

I’ve spent years trying to convince my husband that cooking is not difficult. I mean, sure, it can be. Some dishes are complicated and take a lot of time and attention. Others, not so much. Even those of us who cook, don’t always feel like being bothered. Sometimes I want lasagna, but I settle for grilled cheese. (Note: I’ve started making what I call “pizza grilled cheese” for the kid and that is really satisfying!) Anyway, the husband isn’t buying it. He very often will quiet his hunger with several PB&J sandwiches…WHEN THERE IS PLENTY OF OTHER FOOD IN THE HOUSE. You can tell by the caps that this really vexes me. I get especially heated when there are delicious leftovers available that merely need to be heated (and before you go there, my husband will eat leftovers well past their prime. I’m talking stuff that I only left in the fridge because I didn’t want it to linger and stink up the trash.)

Just this week, he found himself hungry well past the hours that “the kitchen closed” in our house. Usually, I give him some suggestions (which he ignores) but this night I did not. I sometimes like to just let him go and see what he comes up with. He saunters into the kitchen and comes back to the living room. “I’m gonna make a breakfast burrito. You want one?” “No, thank you.” Good choice, I’m thinking. Eggs are a good late night choice and the breakfast burrito is an item he is learning to master. So he is in there, tinkering, and appears a few minutes later with what looks like a burrito with a generous cloud of sour cream on top. “Want some?”, he asks. “What kind of cheese did you use?” I say. “Oh, no cheese.” “And salsa?” I ask. “No salsa”, he says. “So…you’ve essentially got a scrambled egg wrapped in a tortilla blanket covered in sour cream?” I say. “Uh, yep…I guess so.” He laughs and shoves his egg snuggie into his mouth. It was funny and sad and cute all at the same time. He polished it off in moments.

And this is what marriage is sometimes. I didn’t have to cook for him. He managed to make something that only needed to satisfy him. He graciously offered to share. I sensibly turned down his offer. All is well.

Below are the two non-recipes mentioned. (Because it is nearly 2am, the CUBS just won the World Series, and  I’m too lazy right now to write out formal recipes.) If you can cook even just a little, you can make either of these. They are great for a quick bite.

Breakfast burrito: tortilla, eggs, cheese (grated), salsa, sour cream and whatever else you like in your burrito. That is the joy of the breakfast burrito. I often throw in leftover chicken, sausage, fajita veggies…whatever.

Pizza grilled cheese: spread a “schmear” of pizza sauce (or pasta sauce) on one side of two slices of bread, add a few slices of cheese (mozzarella, fontina, provolone, etc.) if you’ve got some pepperoni or salami around toss a bit in there too. Then make a grilled cheese…voila…or presto…pizza grilled cheese.

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