Finding the Chef was enough. How could anything compare to waking up and seeing his fce next to mine in the morning, the sun coming through the windows? We have nothing to do for hours but read the newspaper, laugh and eat something scrumptious for breakfast. Really, this is enough.
But sometimes, there are also presents.
My dear friend Sherry she of the fierce passions and huge laughs, two daughters and one more on the way, eternal wonderings, and one of my favorite people in the world sent us a beautiful engagement present last week. One was dear and thoughtful, perfectly suited for two people who love food and each other. The other was this: a bacon press.
Guess which one we love best.
Ostensibly, this heavy metal pig is meant to be pressed down on bacon as it cooks. But the beautiful bacon from A & J’s cooks up wonderfully, equal parts crispy and chewy, every time. Besides, how could we besmirch this lovely pig?
So there it sits, next to the coffee pot, up against the mortar and pestle, reminding us every day how absurd and beautiful this world really is.
All winter long, the sky and trees and everything in between just beamed out bleakness. Most of the time, they barely murmured the muted colors. The cold wind along our cheeks, the lashes of wind tousling my hair, the unending grey that skimmed the surface of the sky but seemed to be all of it up there. This year, winter in Seattle seemed to last forever.
For the first three months, I wasn’t complaining. “Look, honey!” I shouted and tugged at his sleeve. “It’s snowing!” We walked in it, turned our faces toward, and shifted our bodies to warm each other up. Everything was new.
But by March, even the two least jaded people in the world looked out the window at morning snowflakes and said, “Again?”
Finally, it’s spring.
Do you know what I always notice about spring when it arrives? The earth has smells again. In winter, everything goes dormant, even the scent of itself. Driving along now, with the windows open, I notice the smell of the dirt as I drive by it. And the grass, just cut, feels like intoxication.
And the other noticing, day after day? A return to green. Driving through the arboretum, I see another tree with trembling new leaves upon its branches. “Look, sweetie!” I say, tugging on his sleeve. “That tree has leaves now!” They are almost all there now.
Spring, most of all? A return to green vegetables, besides kale. A few weeks ago, we turned the corner at the Market and came upon these the first spring onions we had seen.
Everything lets out a sigh of relief this time of year.
Look closely. Doesn’t it look like beach rock, something volcanic, craggy and ancient? We grind our pepper by hand, in the mortar and pestle. Result imperfection. I love that. Since the Chef moved in,…