I have a bit of a cold but I didn’t let that stop me from puttering about in the kitchen on Sunday. I decided to make a couple of dishes for dinners this week: one I can’t tell you about now because I’ll tell you about it later. I will say this though: it’s ethnic! The other was a pork tourtiere which I’ve made several times before. The recipe comes from a Canadian Living cookbook that my dear friend Michelle gave me for my birthday years ago. I edit out the mushrooms, add some carrot and crown the filling with a piece of store-bought puff pastry rather than homemade pastry, which makes the dish that much easier to make.
You’re looking at the puff pastry, aren’t you. And you’re thinking, “What in the hell did she do to it?” Well I was trying to make it look really special and glossy so I beat an egg yolk and applied it to the top. I guess I didn’t spread it around liberally enough. Plus I’m not Picasso. Plus I’m sick.
With dinner preparations completed, I made my way to the living room to get some work done. I’ve grown accustomed in these last few days of being in poor health to working in front of the Christmas tree.
(I prefer the old-fashioned sort, simply adorned with mult-coloured lights and multi-coloured vintage shiny balls.) And I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’ve also grown accustomed to wearing a particular outfit and drinking a particular drink while I work from home.
The Beast got home from work to a house filled with the savoury smell of the pork tourtiere fresh from the oven. After a brisk salutation, he noticed that I’d hauled out my collection of four Christmas CDs to the kitchen (I like to listen to choirs singing hymns and carols in Latin while I bake and cook during the holidays). More importantly, he noticed that I had moved his collection of CDs (which he plays while he does the dishes that one time a week) to the side of the CD player.
Beast: (holding up a CD to me and pointing to it.) You see this? This is where all the information is kept and I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you leave this side face down on a surface little scratches will collect and ruin the disc. I’ve asked you before not to touch my CDs and I’ve asked that if you do touch them, to not leave them face-down like this.
Foodie: Oh the tides have turned!
Beast: What do you mean?
Foodie: Listen to you scold me! Is this what you feel like when I get you in trouble? Like a child?
Beast: It’s demeaning, isn’t it.
(The Beast starts to pour himself a scotch.)
Foodie: May I have one of those too? I think it’ll help me feel better.
Beast: News flash: I’m old enough to have a little drink after work. I think your Italian friends call it an “aperitivo”. Guess what movie I rented for tonight?
Foodie: I give up.
Beast: The Other Guys!
Foodie: What?! That one with Matt Damon where he’s conjoined with that other guy?
Beast: That’s Stuck On You! The Other Guys is that cop movie with Will Ferrell and Mark Walberg.
Foodie: I can’t believe you rented that! That’s a movie I’d rent.
Beast: I fucking love Mark Walberg man!
We gathered our plates piled high with food and our glasses filled with red wine and made our way to the living room.
There’s some saying that says something about starving a fever and feeding a cold: whether it’s true or not, I have been operating diligently by it. My plate was cleaned within minutes. Wrapped warmly in my layers of flannel pajamas and pink housecoat, and slightly drunk from cold medication, scotch and wine, I managed to pull myself up onto the couch. With the sound of the Beast laughing and eating and with the glow of the Christmas tree softly illuminating my weary self, I had little choice but to fall into a deep, peaceful sleep.