I have discovered the way to their hearts. Well okay, when I say “discovered”, I guess I mean finally discovered. And just for myself, not for everybody. It was kind of like “discovering” a breathtaking view in another part of the country. Just because I finally got there, explored it, and found it fascinating, doesn’t mean it magically appeared on the map upon my arrival. I have finally discovered the way to the hearts of my loved ones. Aside from the healthy communication of speech needed to maintain any relationship, I’ve found that the preparation of food, at least for me, bridges the gap that my words cannot. Even the gap that my words sometimes make wider.
At 37 years old, newly married and with a bouncing baby boy, our little family moved from Huntington Beach, CA, to beautiful northern AZ. It was a welcome change from the seemingly endless hustle and bustle. For myself, being born and raised in farm country in New England , I was able to relax again. I have learned that I am not a city girl. My husband, although he had always lived in Southern CA, was also able to breathe at last.
Well, so many changes in such a short period of time can wreak havoc on any relationship. Then, add to that a later-in-life beginning to the married-with-a-family life, there’s a pretty solid guarantee of rocky roads ahead. We were no exception. Instead of leaning on one another for the moral support we both so badly needed, we reverted to the self-preservation attitude we’d had for so many years as singles. The sweet, loving words and tones we’d used to communicate in the beginning, turned bitter, with little to no comfort or kindness behind them.
Busy adjusting to our new surroundings (and life!), we grew further and further apart. I focused on motherhood and settling our new home. My husband spent most of his time learning his new job and battling the landscaping elements of the high desert. It was more than a year before we were on friendly speaking terms again, and we have God, hard work and cooking to thank.
I’ve heard before that if you start smiling, even though you don’t feel like it, the good feelings that normally accompany that expression, will soon follow. Cooking always made us smile. The creative, therapeutic and often ritualistic preparation of food, bridged a gap in my marriage that words could not. From that delicious bridge, came the inspiration for this blog.
Food may not be the answer to all of our relationship problems, but when paired with loving preparation and a smile, it can be the icing on your cake of life.
In honor of our happier, more loving marriage, I decided to put some extra care into this years' Valentines Day dinner. As Paul and I are still going strong on our Atkins Blood Sugar Control Program, I wasn't sure I would be able to make a dinner that seemed like a treat without stepping off the healthy path we've been walking. I'm down 12 pounds, he's lost 15, and we both feel better than ever! Since we've decided to make a lifestyle change with Atkins rather than calling it a "diet", it has made "cheating" a thing of the past.
I decided to roast the goose we've had in the freezer since late last summer. One of two that we'd raised, and we ruined the first one with the bright idea of deep frying it. Without going in to detail, I'll just tell you; it was inedible. YuckO.
By the time I'd planned our 4 course meal around everything we could have, the end result was: Roasted Goose with Port Wine Black Cherry Sauce, a fresh garden salad with cherry tomatoes and my Agave/Ginger Vinaigrette, Spicy Red Chard, and for dessert, fresh sliced strawberries (they were enormous!) topped with homemade whipped cream (tinted pink with strawberry juice). I'd planned on taking pictures of each step, but forgot all about it. I only got as far as assembling the ingredients for the sauce. Oh well, I'll try to remember next time.
I cooked the goose and prepared the sauce according to my recipe I'd submitted. By the way, I was shocked that AR accepted the recipe for editing only a couple hours after I submitted it, then published it within 2 weeks. Wow! Anyway, here's the recipe link if you're interested...http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Roasted-Goose-with-Port-Wine-Cherry-Sauce/Detail.aspx. For the Red Chard, I simply rinsed it, heated up some olive oil infused with hot pepper (also in my Recipe Box), and cooked it covered over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or so. The meal was beautiful, with different shades of red throughout, rich and above all, very, VERY healthy! Everything, including dessert & 2 glasses of Pinot Noir, came in at about 18 net carbs.
Quest fulfilled again! Explosive flavor in our Healthy Kitchen..:-) I hope you have a healthy and delicious Valentines Day as well.