Monday, August 22, 2011

To My Husband, With Love

I was so blown away by the outpouring of support for Jennifer Perillo after her husband, Mikey, died.  I was only one of literally thousands who made a peanut butter pie to honor their love and the love that so many others share.
The same day that people worldwide dug into a communal peanut butter pie, I decided to make a pie for Scott as well.  He isn't a huge sweets fan, so I wasn't sure that he'd enjoy the peanut butter pie.  But he does love fruit pies, so I picked up some strawberries and rhubarb to make one of his favorites.
The word favorite isn't exactly in Scott's vocabulary.  Any time I ask him what his favorite (fill in the blank) is, he just responds, "I don't like to have favorites."  HRH put him in a pickle the other day when she asked him, "What's your favorite color, Daddy?"  Thankfully, she decided it was blue for him, so the discomfort only lasted a moment (she also decided mine was red; it is, in fact, yellow).
A favorite color is one thing; a favorite meal is another.  I didn't even bother to ask him what his favorite pie was, but I did need some input on a meal.  Finally, after hemming and hawing and throwing around the "I don't have favorites," he did say that he'd always eat a good chicken fried steak.

Biscuits and gravy:
NOT photogenic
I'm not saying it was good (it needed to sit a little longer after being breaded, as most of the breading - the best part - came off while cooking), but it did end up being a chicken fried steak.  I was told that I was allowed to try my hand at this as many times as it takes, and at least the gravy didn't turn out like glue like the first time I attempted it some years ago (there were a lot of tears, plenty of swearing, and we ended up going to Cracker Barrel - a similar incident occurred when I tried to make pancakes once).  It was good enough to save for the next morning, when I made cream biscuits and cooked up some sausage for biscuits and sausage gravy, another favorite of Scott's (OK, and mine too).
The pie was pretty good.  True to my English major, I did not get enough strawberries OR rhubarb due to a slight miscalculation, but thankfully, I had some frozen raspberries that I threw in, so it was a strawberry-raspberry-rhubarb pie, the recipe for which I modified from this one.  This pie is another concession.  I am a two-crust girl.  Scott, on the other hand, would prefer as little crust as possible (the only acceptable amount is "just enough to hold it together, a similar theory to how he feels the blueberry-to-batter ratio should be in muffins).  So this one-crust-crumbly-topping pie was perfect.

Do you see how I added extra crust there for myself???
I know, I know - neither chicken fried steak nor biscuits and sausage gravy are healthy, and they certainly aren't in the "more vegan than not" category.  And if I truly love my husband, I should offer him slightly healthier fare.  But my husband deals with a LOT of mediocre experiments in the name of healthier living that I think I can take some time out of that effort to make something of a "treat."
And that's exactly why I am writing this post.  I appreciate the patience with which my husband sits down to a meal, knowing full well we may both have to choke it down, pretending that it's edible, in order not to hurt my feelings (him) or get pissed at wasting money on an ingredient combo that sucks (me).  I appreciate that he's more than willing to try more vegan/vegetarian meals than he may prefer ("Everything tastes better with bacon!").  I appreciate that if I've had a tough day, he'll stop and get In-N-Out or ice cream or wine or all three, just to make me feel a little better.  I appreciate that he lives amid so many My Little Pony® ponies and accessories that we might as well name our house Ponyville (although I'd honestly prefer Canterlot if it came to a vote) yet doesn't complain about the sea of pink and purple and tutus and dresses and skirts and sparkles and rhinestones and sequins and glitter, and he can even be sort of enthusiastic about Twilight Sparkle's hot air balloon.
And sometimes, or, um, a lot of the time, I kind of take all of that (and more) for granted.
To wit: I had planned to publish this post a week ago, but things "got busy."  Really?  Two working parents and a bossy two-year-old and a barky coonhound, and we're busy?  REALLY?  What a crappy excuse!
I need to stop doing that.  I can't take for granted that which truly is a blessing.  So this post is about how I can stop for a moment and reflect on the love that Mikey and Jennie had but also hope that I can exude that same affection for my husband.
But I ended up eating most of the pie myself.  Thank goodness Scott loves me back.

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