Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Pasta Bake, a Tom and a Little Grace

One night earlier this week bringing in our dirty dishes into the kitchen after dinner.

Foodie: I think that pasta bake was pretty successful. Don’t you?


Beast: It was very good. But I’d be curious to see how it would’ve turned out if you’d just followed the original recipe.

Foodie: I don’t think subbing in one cup of chicken stock for one cup of milk made that big of a difference. And I liked the addition of mint and peas because they go so nicely with prosciutto.

Beast: I just feel like the sauce didn’t really come together. (Pause) What did Tom do the gnocchi to make the sauce so good?

Foodie: Well sorry I’m no Tom!

Beast: That really was a spectacular meal he made.

The Beast and I could agree on that. My friend Tom is one of the most appealing cooks and charming hosts I know. In fact he’s so fine that his friends pooled their funds and presented him with a novelty cheque so that he could purchase a bigger dining room table–the better to serve us around. He prepares us meals that are both comforting yet extravagant, simple but classic. I’d characterize Tom’s hosting style as honest, sincere and loose. His friends know the drill so well that there’s never any need for discussion when it comes to us bringing wine, opening said wine (usually several bottles at a time), clearing the table and helping with the dishes. In short, Tom has entertaining down to a fine science.


I mean, who wouldn’t be enchanted by the sight of homemade chicken wings and panko-crusted zucchini sticks being fried to order as guests congregate in the kitchen?


They were both sublime. Tom had wanted to do mozzarella sticks too, but he didn’t have time. I guess he was too busy preparing braised beef short ribs, homemade gnocchi, brussel sprouts with bacon and maple glazed carrots with dijon.


And equally as enchanting as Tom’s menus are his friends–some of whom are so funny that the Beast and I are still recounting their good humour days after a dinner.

But back to the food: Tom is the kind of host that’ll put out a cheese course while we wait for chocolate chips cookies to bake. It’s this attention to detail that makes a dinner invitation to Tom’s tantamount to winning the lottery.


Back in our kitchen, washing dishes.

Beast: So, do you know what tomorrow is?

Foodie: No, what? Oh f—u——c——k. It’s our anniversary, isn’t it.

Beast: We should go out for dinner.

Foodie: That sounds like a nice idea. Wait a second though–you’re not mad that I forgot?

Beast: No.  And I got you something.  I bought you the domain a Foodie and the Beast domain.  The dot com one is taken but dot org wasn’t.  So you’re the proud owner of http://www.foodieandthebeast.org

Foodie: That’s probably the nicest thing anybody’s ever done for me.  I can’t believe it. Thank you so much. (Pause) And you still want to celebrate me stealing the best years of your youth?

Beast: I hate young people. They have nothing to offer me.

Foodie: You know you’re a young person, right? You’re 28.

Beast: I’m 27.

So the next night we decided to go to Grace Restaurant, a charming little spot on College Street that’s a real nice balance between elegant and homey.


We started out with some sort of cocktail featuring blood orange juice, lime and rum, I think. They were very festive-looking, and delicious.


Beast (raising his glass): Happy anniversary–to four more years.

Foodie (almost spitting out cocktail from mouth): Wow! That’s a really good joke, like, incredibly good. Where’s that from anyway? Arrested Development or something?

Beast: Ah no: like most of my jokes, it’s multi-layered. But if I had to explain it I guess you could say it’s in reference to a presidential election.

Foodie: Oh yeah, right. Oh boy–everything sounds so good here! What are you going to get?

Beast: I’m getting the Caesar salad to start and then beef cheeks.

Foodie: How would you feel about me ordering the octopus salad to start and we share it along with your Caesar salad?

Beast: Yes.

Foodie: Perfect! And then I’m going to have the gnudi in sage butter with porcini mushrooms. Oh and would you be opposed to us ordering a bottle of wine tonight?

Beast: No, actually I was going to suggest it.

Foodie: Well perfect again because their bottles are 50 per cent off tonight! Isn’t that incredible? I wonder if it’s just a Tuesday night thing.

I don’t know what it was but it made a $120 bottle of Burgundy a mere 60 bucks.


Our appetizers arrived and we devoured them quickly.


Foodie: I love octopus! It’s so much better than chicken. I think I might try to make it at home. Hey, what are you going to do on your day off tomorrow?

Beast: I have about 250 more pages to go in my book

Foodie: That Saul Bellow one? How many pages is it?

Beast: The Adventures of Augie March. It’s about 600 pages.

Foodie: I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that long.

Beast: Yes you have: Moby Dick.

Foodie: Oh right! Good ole’ Moby Dick. Christ, I loved that book. And it seems so ideal that I got to read it for the first time in Newfoundland, where I could hear the ocean at night. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it, and how I’ll never be able to duplicate that, you know?

Beast: Yes, I do know. Are you home tomorrow night?

Foodie: I think so. I’ve got a lot on this week: soccer on Wednesday, dinner with Gio and Sarah on Thursday, and then I have to do some work at the restaurant on Friday.

Beast: I’m going to starve. How many Dr. Oetker’s do we have left in the freezer? Are they bringing their babies?

Foodie: I don’t know. I think you have to bring them when they’re that little. (Laughing.)

Beast: What?

Foodie: Oh I was just thinking about an inappropriate joke.

Beast: What?

Foodie: Oh look, here comes more food.



Beast: Tell me your joke.

Foodie: Well, I was just thinking how funny it would be if I showed up to this dinner party with you in a Baby Bjorn attached to my chest and I was all like, “Hey ladies! I didn’t want to feel left out so I brought my little guy too!”

Beast: You’re sick and twisted.

Foodie: These gnudi are like clouds that explode in your mouth and then rain down heavenly butter. They’re obscenely good.

Beast: Do you want to try my beef cheeks? They’re amazing.

Foodie: I’m okay, but thank you.

Beast: Have you and Erinn booked your vacation yet?

Foodie: We’re still deciding between this deal to Cuba and one to Jamaica.

Beast: I can’t believe you’re taking a trip without me.

Foodie: Oh come on! You’d hate a beach vacation and you know it! And besides, you’ve decided to purchase a very expensive baritone saxophone this year. I’ve decided to take a cheap and cheerful vacation.

Beast: I would hate a beach vacation. Still, I can’t believe you’re going without me: it’s the beginning of the end. First, separate vacations and then next thing you know I’m living at home again. Give me your cell phone, I’m calling my parents to come pick me up.

Foodie: Make sure they take you to our place first though so you can pick up an overnight bag and fill it with a singular pair of clean underwear, and several books and CDs.

Beast: That was pretty funny.

Foodie: I thought so too. This has been a nice anniversary.

And that’s the truth. To top it all off, we each ordered dessert: the Beast opted for an apple tart made with fruit grown in the owner’s family’s orchards. I chose a lime and coconut cream tart. I can say in all honesty that it was one of the most satisfying desserts I’ve ever had at a restaurant.


It felt like we had the place to ourselves, save for another couple who sat in the window booth, while we enjoyed some espresso and our sweets.


And then when we left, the strangest thing happened.

Woman sitting in front booth: FOODIE! Ohmygodohmygod!!!! AND THE BEAST! Look at your two! (Hugging us repeatedly.) This lady (talking to her dinner companion) has the most amazing blog! You’ve got to read it! It’s hil-ar-ee-us! No, seriously! YOU’VE GOT TO READ IT!

Turns out the women in the booth was an old colleague of mine and she was out for dinner with a restaurant owner. Now, I know there’s nothing strange in that but both the Beast and I were ready to make a mad dash for the door because in a previous post some time ago the Beast has some critical things to say about this man’s restaurant and here was this lovely women going on and on about Foodie and the Beast and they we were sweating like mad thinking, what if this guy, who is incredibly handsome, tall and has large muscles, puts two and two together and clobbers us! If he did figure out that we were the two jack asses who’d bad-mouthed the service at his popular place, he was quite a gentleman about it. But to be honest, when you’re that good looking, I don’t think you care about stuff like that.

The Beast and I giggled the whole way home, which is quite a nice thing to still be able to do after seven years.

Pasta Bake: Foodie *1/2 Beast *1/2

Tom’s: Foodie ***1/2 Beast ***1/2

Grace: Foodie *** Beast **1/2

Gourmet Pierogies

When I was a university student at McMaster I would often make a dinner out of frozen supermarket pierogies topped with some diced tomatoes, green onion and sour cream. It was cheap, filling and easy to make. And somehow, the fresh produce on top made the meal more wholesome, or something.

On a recent weeknight I decided to pick up these toppings in order to use up some frozen pierogies we’ve had on hand for months and months. We get them in our neighbourhood at a Polish bakery/deli called Benna’s. I prefer the simple cheese and potato variety while the Beast opts for the slightly more exotic mushroom and sauerkraut version.

So, I cooked up two batches separately.


And because I didn’t feel like hearing the Beast go on about this not being a real dinner since there was no meat I took out a couple of Merguez sausages from Kensington Market’s Sanagan’s from the freezer that morning. Quite a bit of fat came out of those sausages. Not wanting it to go to waste, I fried the Beast’s pierogies in that sausage fat.

Here’s a fun game to play? Guess which plate belongs to whom.


Foodie: I think this is a pretty good dinner, when all is said and done. I mean, it’s not fancy but it was pretty easy to make for a weeknight meal.

Beast: It’s okay.

Foodie: Just okay? You have sausages and everything though!

Beast: It’s good. I just know I’m going to be starving.

Foodie: I cooked you a dozen pierogies!

Beast: Don’t get mad at me because I have a healthy appetite.

Foodie: Oh I almost forgot: I made dessert! Remember last night when I brought home those little store-bought cinnamon rolls and you asked me all those questions about how to make icing and how to make whipped cream because you wanted to top them with something? And I just told you not to bother because you’d only make a mess? Well I felt really bad about that today. I’m always asking you to come up with ideas for dinner and that’s kind of what you did, although it was a dessert idea, and I shot it down. And it was a good idea–a creative one. I wasn’t being very supportive. So we’ll heat up those cinnamon rolls and top them with the whipped cream I made earlier.

Beast: (Shock and Silence.)


I’ve decided to try out a new parenting relationship technique with the Beast: on top of being more open-minded to his mind-blowing dessert ideas, I also want to try to not be such a smug, manipulative, nag when it comes to household chores. Did you notice that I did all the laundry? Did you see how I took down the Christmas tree? I swept the stairs you know. I changed the bed sheets. I took out the contents of the green bin. The very idea of my own shrew-like, bossy-bitchy voice makes me cringe! And the one that really gets me: I cleaned the washroom. I hate cleaning the washroom but I hate having a washroom that’s dirty. The Beast always says he’ll do it but it’s never soon enough. This week though, I decided that if a disgusting washroom didn’t bother him, it wouldn’t bother me and I’d just wait it out–wait until he succumbed to the filth. (Funny thing is, he’s a much better cleaner than I am. I’m careless and sloppy and as long as everything looks clean from a distance, I’m fine with that. The Beast gets out brushes and tools and things to clean. It’s quite impressive.)

And then, after our gourmet pierogi dinner, which also happened to be about Day 15 of having a filthy washroom, an extraordinary thing happened.

Beast: I’ll clean the washroom tomorrow.

Foodie: Oh, okay. Thanks. I’d really appreciate that.

And that was it. I didn’t say, What do you want, a medal or something? Or It’s about fucking time. Or, I’m sure as shit not going to do it, AGAIN.

And sure enough, the next day he cleaned the washroom. He also washed the dinner dishes. Mind you, he washed them later the next day, which usually drives me bonkers because I hate waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes and just end up washing them in a big huff even though the Beast has promised that he’ll do them when he wakes up–which is usually later than me. Still, he did two chores without being asked and there were no white wine-fueled passive aggressive melt downs involved.

Shit got done–maybe not as quickly as I would have liked, but it got done. And I’m done with the above-mentioned style of meltdown because I’m too young to go mental over such average domestic squabbles, aren’t I? Right? Am I right? And I’m too young to be such an average pathetic cliché–you know, like I’m living the life of an Everybody Loves Raymond episode, or worse, an episode of Two and a Half Men.

Oh God I feel terribly depressed right now. Waiter, get me a Jameson’s please. (Sound of studio audience laughing.) Make it a double. (Sound of studio audience laughing AND clapping.  Freeze frame.  And roll credits.)

Foodie: **

Beast: *

Knock Out Pot Roast

The other day I got a hankering for a good old pot roast, of the beef variety. I can’t recall the last time I made a pot roast and I don’t have a go-to recipe for one so I turned to these two sources and constructed my own dish.


I made a dry rub of flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, crumbled up bay leaves, salt and pepper, and then I generously applied it to my blade roast.


After searing the meat I plunked it on top of some coarsely chopped carrots, potatoes and leeks that I’d arranged in the slow cooker. Then I poured a can of beef broth into the pan I seared the meat in so that all those crispy bits wouldn’t be washed down the drain. I also added a squirt each of Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. This was added to the slow-cooker pot and then I turned it to high and went on about my day.


Six hours later, the house was filled with the most wonderful smell.

Beast (getting home from work): What did you make? It smells amazing in here!

Foodie: It’s a pot roast! It was so easy to do! Why aren’t we eating pot roast every day? Or at least every Sunday. I see you’ve come around on the Nudie jeans I handed down to you.

Beast: They’re okay I guess. I still think they look girlie.

Foodie: They’re actually men’s jeans.

Beast: You wore men’s jeans?

Foodie: Yes. Oh shit–I forgot about the asparagus roasting in the oven!

Beast: Asparagus? That’s a little surprising coming from you.

Foodie: What’s that supposed to mean?

Beast: You won’t buy strawberries for me because they’re not in season but the last time I checked asparagus isn’t growing right now in Ontario.

Foodie: You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I just really wanted asparagus. Oh shit–I almost forgot something else! Look at this! (Starts pulling pants down.)

Beast: Why are you taking off your pants?

Foodie: Because I discovered something new today! Look! (Pointing to an incredibly faint line defining the mark between her rectus femoris muscle and vastus medialis muscle on her right thigh.)

Foodie: Do you see it?

Beast: Yes, I see it.

Foodie: Isn’t it amazing? I mean, I can’t find this line on my left leg yet but it’s not just in my head, is it? You can see it too, right?

Beast: Yes I can see it and it’s disgusting.

Foodie: What do you mean?

Beast: I don’t like muscular women.

Foodie: I’m not muscular but this is a fucking thigh let me tell you! (Banging fists on flexed thigh.)

Beast: I don’t like hanging out with hunters.

Foodie: What?

Beast: Hunters, or people with leg muscles like that.

Foodie: I think it’s awesome to find a new muscle.

Beast: The muscle has always been there–it’s just more defined now.

Foodie: That’s what I meant.

Beast: Can we eat now?

Foodie: Yes! I just have to slice the roast.

Beast: I’ll slice the roast thank you.

Foodie: Fine (handing the Beast the knife.) Why is it that men always seem to do the meat carving?

Beast:  I don’t know.  How’s this?

Foodie:  Um, those are pretty thick slices.   I think I would have sliced it thinner.

Beast:  No, you wouldn’t have because we don’t have one of those carving forks to stabilize the meat.  This is as thin as it gets.

Foodie:  I really think I could have sliced it thinner and I wouldn’t need a novelty size fork to do it either.

We each prepared our plates and made our way to the living room.

Beast: Is the movie all ready to go?

Foodie:  Yes it is.

Beast:  I’m really shocked you chose “Howl”.  You do know it’s about a gay Jewish poet who hung out with a bunch of beatniks, hippies and drug addicts, and who was middle-class, right?

Foodie:  (Pause) Yes.

(Five minutes pass.)

Beast:  I’m turning this shit off.  Is that okay?

Foodie:  Only if we can watch the end of Rocky III!  I was watching it before you got home and if we’re lucky it’s right at the part where Rocky hits rock bottom and Apollo and Adrian have to give him the talk and then it’s the training sequence part that is simply the best part of any Rocky movie.

Beast: (finding Rocky III on the television)  WOW.  Why don’t men wear athletic gear like this anymore?  I would work out if I could dress like that.

Foodie:  You would, wouldn’t you?  If you could wear little shorts like that and little tankini tops, you’d be an athlete.  You’re so odd.

Beast:  I’m odd because I like good fashion?  You’re the psycho taking off her pants in the kitchen!

Foodie:  Did I ever tell you that when I was a kid, my brother and I used to watch the Rocky movies quite frequently?  Even number IV with the Russian guy, Drago I think.  Anyway, after the inevitable training sequence, which was always set against an inspirational soundtrack, I’d be overwhelmed with the urge to just, you know, run.  So I’d go outside and run around the perimeter of our house over and over again.  Fuck it felt good.  Were the Rocky movies an important part of your youth too?

Beast:  Yeah, big time.

Foodie:  They were!?

Beast: Of course not dummy–I think they were before my time.

Foodie: That’s a shame.

Beast: This is one of the best dinners you’ve made.

Foodie:  Yes it is.  And if we play our cards right we can stretch it out over two nights.

Beast:  Great. There you go with your portion control again.

Foodie:  There’s over four pounds of meat!  It should serve a family of six, at least!  I’m asking that it serve us two for two consecutive dinners.  That’s not portion control–that’s just me not wanting to make dinner tomorrow night.

My plan worked: all I had to do the next night was make a batch of buttery mashed potatoes to soak up all the goodness of the leftover pot roast dinner.

Foodie: ***

Beast: ***

Is Ham Health Food?

Last night on the couch after dinner watching Northern Exposure on TV…

Beast: I was going through some of your older blog entries and your cooking has really changed a lot.

Foodie: That isn’t a compliment, is it.

Beast: You just used to cook better things. I mean, ever since you started on this
portion control and health kick thing your cooking has really taken a turn for the worse.

Foodie: You are unbelievable. Plus, you don’t have to control your portions. Plus
I would hardly call the food I prepare “health food”. We just ate ham and split pea soup, a ton of cheese and bread.

Beast: It was whole grain bread. (Pause) When you take the dirty dishes into the
kitchen will get me a vodka?

Foodie: Why do you presume that I’m taking the dishes into the kitchen?

Beast: Because I made dinner.

Foodie: Excuse me? You heated up the soup that I made yesterday and you took the cheese out of the fridge, unwrapped it and put it on a plate!

Beast: I bought the cheese though.

Foodie (walking away with the dishes into the kitchen and maniacally laughing): You want to do a breakdown of who buys what? Do not even attempt to go there because I will finish it and I will take you down!

Beast: (yelling from the living room) I’m done with whole grain bread! I’m done with buckwheat! I’m done with wheat germ!

Foodie: (yelling from the kitchen) I’VE NEVER MADE ANYTHING WITH BUCKWHEAT OR WHEAT GERM YOU JACK ASS!

Beast: (yelling from the living room) I want bleached enriched floor! I want white
rice–none of that brown stuff you snuck in the other night with your healthy meal.

Foodie: (yelling from the kitchen) The vegetable curry from my new Nigella cookbook that I made simultaneously with the ham and split pea soup?

Beast: (yelling from the living room) The curry was okay but I could tell how shitty the rice was in your shitty little healthy curry. Will you put a squeeze of lime in my vodka please?

Foodie: (yelling from the kitchen) Unbelievable! But the joke’s on you! That brown basmati rice was expired and I served it to you anyway!

Beast: Just look at your blog for the proof.

Foodie (back in the living room and handing the Beast his vodka with a squeeze of
lime): Proof? You’re nuts. And you need to cool your jets and you need to stop drinking my white wine! We just finished off a bottle and now you have your vodka and I got nothing!

Beast: That wine was too flowery and fruity and shitty tasting.

Foodie: THEN WHY DID YOU CONSUME TWO GLASSES OF IT?!? We each buy our own alcohol from now on.

Beast: Fine. Then stop eating that peanut brittle this instant because my mom gave that to us so it’s mine.

Foodie: Are you fucking kidding me?

Beast: You’re really eating a lot of sweets these days.

Foodie: No I’m not! What’s that supposed to mean?

Beast: That’s my peanut brittle and you’ve nearly eaten the whole bag!

Foodie: I ate one piece! And you and Nick Edwards ate most of it the other night WHEN I MADE YOU A HAM DINNER!!!!

Foodie: And I let you and Nick play upstairs in your music room while I
cooked.

Beast: You kicked me out of the kitchen man!

Foodie: Because you were making a fucking mess!

Beast: I bought that ham.

Foodie: (Silence)

Beast: Remember when Nick came over on New Year’s Day for the ham dinner that you cooked and I paid for and we still had our pajamas on so to make us feel better he took off his pants and spent the rest of the evening in his sweat top and thermal underwear?

Foodie: That was nice. And remember how the three of us curled up on the couch after eating the dinner that I made and we sipped on scotch and watched tv in front of the fire and ate the brittle that your mom gave you?

Beast: Maybe we should ask Nick Edwards to move in with us.

Foodie: We could probably order him around a lot. He was going on about what an amazing dish washer he is–he could wash all the dishes. (Pausing to watch a funny scene unfold in a Northern Exposure episode) Did you see that? That was hilarious.

Beast: I don’t need a “blogger” and a “humour expert” to point out the funny bits of a show that I’ve been watching longer than you’ve been watching. You were probably completing a “Masters degree” while I was watching this episode air
live as a child.

Foodie: Wow. You’re just on fire tonight. So much hostility.

Beast: You’re the one being hostile!

Foodie: Stop hitting me with your feet!

Beast: RUB THEM THEN!

Foodie: You hate it when I touch your feet.

Beast: Because you don’t do it right!

The Foodie tries to touch the Beast’s feet in the right way.

Beast: That’s enough. Thank you.

Foodie: That vegetable curry was pretty shitty.

Beast: It wasn’t bad. It was just that shitty brown rice.

Foodie: I’m sorry I fed you expired rice.

Beast: I’m sorry I told you couldn’t eat the brittle. Do you want some?

Foodie: No thanks. May I have some of your scotch though?

Beast: (Pause) Yes.

Foodie: Did you like the ham & split pea soup?

Beast: Yes.

Foodie: I think I should have added more water to it when we heated it up: it was too gloopy and gloppy.

Beast: I’ll eat the left overs tomorrow.

Foodie: You could ask Nick Edwards to come over and he could eat it with you and then you could make him wash the dishes and I bet he’d hold your feet just right too.

Beast: He probably would do it perfectly–have you seen the size of that guy’s hands? They’re huge!

Foodie: (smiling) Oh are they? I’d never noticed.

Nigella’s Vegetable Curry: Foodie ** Beast *1/2

Baked Ham & Scalloped Potatoes & Cabbage Salad:
Foodie *** Beast ***

Ham & Split Pea Soup: Foodie * Beast **

 

 

 

 

2010’s Last Supper

This morning in the kitchen.

Foodie:  Good morning!

Beast:  Are you making coffee?

Foodie:  Yes and it’ll be ready in four minutes.

Beast: Thank you.  And happy new year.

Foodie:  I think we fell asleep at 10 last night!

Beast:  You fell asleep at 9:30.  I stayed awake until midnight.

Foodie:  You did?  Why didn’t you wake me up?

Beast:  I did wake you up and made you go upstairs to bed.

Foodie: Oh.  Thanks.  I guess that means I got 12 hours of sleep under my belt. I had a really nice time last night.  Did you?

Beast: It was a perfect evening.

The Beast and I decided to stay in and have one of our favourite meals: a snack meal.  That’s where you get all your favourite snacks, lay them out and make a dinner out of it.

We had our favourite cheeses, including some grilled haloumi, and some sliced cacciatore, some bruschetta-style tomatoes, mashed up avocado, potato chips, grilled bread, beer, and a very good bottle of wine.

And it was almost more fun preparing our Snack Dinner than it was consuming it.

Last night in the kitchen.

Foodie (walking into the kitchen naked after having a shower):  You know, I think you were right all those years ago when you said my back looked like an old-time bodybuilder’s from the 1950s.  I thought it was an insult then, but now I’m not so sure.

Beast (chopping tomatoes): I meant it as a complement.

Foodie (flexing):  I mean, look at this.  Look at these lines.

Beast:  That’s exactly what I’m talking about man! Look at them!  You look like a male bodybuilder.  (Pause)  From the 1950s.

Foodie (holding breath while still flexing and grunting a bit):  Yeah!  From the 50s.  Like, sort of feminine because the muscles are soft around the edges.  Do you find it upsetting to be dating somebody who’s more muscular than you are?

Beast:  Do you mean is it hard for you?

Foodie: Do you want to have a flex-off tonight?

Beast:  No.  You’d win.  But that’s all going to change in 2011.  I’m going to start working out.

Foodie:  What kind of working out?

Beast:  Push-ups, sit-ups, and running.  I’m going to do everything.  Everything it takes to be the best.  Like Mark Walberg in The Fighter.

Foodie:  You’re kind of dressed like Mark Walberg in The Fighter right now, like a boxer in training.

Foodie:  Let me go get my pajamas on and then I’ll come downstairs and help with Snack Dinner prep.

Beast:  Pajamas?  It’s only 6:30!

Foodie:  So?  You’re wearing a grey jogging suit which is tantamount to wearing pajamas.

Beast:  I’ll tell you what–you go get your pajamas on and just relax while I take care of making dinner.

Foodie: Like, you’re going to do everything?

Beast:  Yes, everything.

Foodie:  Deal.

15 minutes later, in the kitchen.

Foodie:  Do you want me to open up the wine for you?

Beast:  Yes please.

Foodie:  Do you need help with those tomatoes?

Beast:  No.

Foodie:  Okay, but I find it easier if you use a serrated blade–

Beast: I’m doing it my way thank you.

Foodie:  Do you want me to slice the baguette and make it into crostini?

Beast:  I already did that but you could turn on the oven.

Foodie:  Wow!  I’m really impressed with you.  Can I do anything?  Want me to slice the haloumi and get the pan ready for grilling?

Beast:  That would be very helpful.

Together, the Beast and I put together our Snack Dinner, and together, we ate it in the living room with a fire blazing and old episodes of Northern Exposure playing on the TV.  He had a glass of wine but mostly stuck to beer, which forced me to finish said bottle of wine on my own.

This also explains why I fell asleep at 9:30.

Back to this morning, on the couch, reading papers and drinking coffee.

Beast (looking under pile of papers):  Hey!  When did the new New Yorker arrive?

Foodie:  Yesterday.  I forgot to tell you.

The Beast then did what he does whenever this magazine arrives: he turned right to the back where the cartoon caption contest page is.

Beast:  “No, You’re the ones acting like a bunch of pussies!”

Foodie:  Wow!  You’ve done it again!  You really are very good at this you know.

Beast:  I know!  Watch this!

Beast (pointing to the cartoon on the left):  “I said spaghetti carbonara not spaghetti carbonator!” (And then pointing–with great gusto–to the one on the right)  “I’m on a hive-to-table diet!”

Foodie:  I don’t know what to say.  You’re amazing.  It’s a skill I don’t possess–I wouldn’t even know where to begin with captioning these cartoons!

Seeing that the Beast was on a high note, I carefully slipped in a suggestion on how to spend the rest of our morning.

Foodie:  How about I make pancakes–

Beast:  From scratch!?

Foodie  No–from a mix.  And we watch a couple episodes from season four of Friday Night Lights.

Beast:  Sure, sounds good.  I love class consciousness and I love sports.

Foodie:  Really?!  I thought you’d hate this idea!

Beast: No, it’s actually not that bad of a show.  (Pause)  But don’t forget that I invited over Nick Edwards for dinner tonight.

Foodie:  Oh right.  But you’re making the dinner, correct?

Beast (looking at me like I’m crazy): I thought you knew I was joking when I said that I’d make the dinner.

Foodie (sighing):  Okay, but you’re helping me.

Beast:  I’ll take two pancakes please.

It was a perfectly relaxing morning–and a perfect way to start a new year.

Foodie: ***

Beast: ***1/2