Last evening, I sat on our couch, next to the Chef, with tears rolling down my cheeks.
I looked up at him, honestly moved and unable to convey it fully with words, and said, “You made me pizza.”
In our hands were slices of gluten-free pizza, the crust from a mix by Mona’s with olive-oil embellishments from the Chef. On top, roasted orange and yellow peppers, carmelized onions, fresh mozzarella, rosemary, and a decadent treat — an heirloom tomato out of season. All day long, he had been looking at me and saying, “I’m going to make you pizza!” And then, he did. He mixed the dough and rolled it right and pushed it with his capable hands into the corners of the baking sheet. He would want you to know that we don’t have a proper pizza tray yet, or a cutter, or any of the other embellishments he would like to try next. That didn’t bother me.
Instead, I took a bite of the crust: chewy with a familiar bounce against the teeth; dense and yeasty; a willing sopper for the olive oil soaking into it. And on the bottom, an unexpected crunch. Only unexpected because no gluten-free pizza crust, in my experience, ever has that shattered-by-the-teeth bottom, the crisp and crackle of a truly great pizza. This one did. I mean — look at this crust. It tasted like pizza. No, it tasted like truly great pizza. It tasted like love.
When I thanked him, I saw his face, blurred through my tears, soften. And he said, “I don’t want you to feel any different because you have celiac. I want to be able to make you any food you want, and have it taste the way you want. It may take awhile to make some of them right, but I’m going to do it. Because I want to feed you.”
Oh, my lovely kumquat. (Thanks, Shuna.) Does anyone wonder why I am marrying him?
And then, today, there was leftover pizza for lunch.