The beast emailed me last Sunday with a link to this recipe saying that he really wanted to have it for dinner, along with some grilled sausages and rapini.
To be honest, I’ve never been interested in trying those yellow tubes of polenta that you see in the grocery store. But the Beast ended his email with one of the funniest jokes he’s ever made. He wrote:
This looks fucking delish.
So when I was out and about grocery shopping, I picked one up.
When he got home, we prepared our feast together. I must admit, there was something very enticing about the appearance–and the endless possibilities of adorable little “apps” we could devise–of that tubed polenta.
Foodie: Ohmygod, we could top them with roundels of other stuff, like tomatoes or grilled eggplant. They are so cute!
Beast: You need to trust me more when it comes to recipe ideas. This meal is going to change our lives. And you know what else? I’m grilling the rapini.
Foodie: Excuse me?
Beast: I looked it up on the Internet. You just soak the rapini in a few tablespoons of water for a bit and then you just put it right on the grill.
Foodie: I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Beast: TRUST ME.
He was right. It was an extraordinary meal.
We decided to watch the end of the movie Diner while we ate. We’d started the film the night before but fell asleep near the end. The Beast watched it once when he was young. I have never seen it, but the most recent issue of Lucky Peach had a few stories pegged to the film, so I rented it.
Foodie: There is not one redeemable character in this film. Not one. I couldn’t give a damn about a single one of them.
Beast: It’s that age between 18 and 24, kind of like Girls, when people go through monumental transitions and fail poorly and fall ass-backwards into adulthood. And most people are shitty adults. It’s just such a shitty time.
Foodie: Yeah, but you come to care about the characters in Girls, even when there’s that strange mix of being equally repulsed by and drawn to them.
Beast: Maybe. It’s just that time though. Think about it: those are the days when you end up at law school, working at a junk/antique shop, a restaurant. It’s just so funny: you’re just such a fucking prick and you’re ultimately still a kid but when you behave like a prick at that age, you’re not a kid. You’re an adult prick.
Foodie: Should I put on the other movie I rented? Erinn told me about it: it’s called The Paper Chase. It’s about a law student at Harvard. I think it’s from the 70s. Lindsay Wagner is in it.
Beast: Who the fuck is Lindsay Wagner?
Foodie: Uh, the Bionic Woman?
Beast: I WAS BORN IN THE ’80s. And you kill me. Erinn suggests all these wacky obscure movies and go right out and rent them. There are movies that I have begged you to watch with me for years and I’m still waiting. (Pause) Do you know that the same year Diner was set in, 1959, and the same city, Baltimore, Duke Ellington went into a bar to try and get served because a group of student protesters asked him to? They knew he wouldn’t get served and it would bring much-needed attention to segregation. They said it would mean a lot to them. And he did it, even though he never usually put himself in those situations. What a fucking guy.
Foodie: Did you just tell me that because you’re jealous of Erinn and you want me to know how smart you are?
I had to ask the Beast to stop at two sausages. I wanted some leftovers to make a strada using a recipe for a sausage, red pepper and fontina version that my friend Paula told me about. It’s a great way to use up vegetables and such in the fridge and a great brunch meal to serve to a crowd–and a great meal for two.
Foodie: I love this strada! Hey, can you not eat it all so I can have some for my lunch tomorrow?
Foodie: Oh hey, I meant to tell you that I saw this movie trailer the other day and I think you’d really like the outfits for your fall look.
Beast: You mean Lawless with Shia Lebeouf and Tom Hardy?
Foodie: HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Beast: Because I know everything that’s going to influence the future of fashion. The male fashion blogosphere has been going nuts with news of it.
Foodie: That’s a joke, right? (Pause) You know what? Nick Edwards has been dressing like that for years.
While eating our strada and trying to find something on the television, I stopped on Modern Family. Many friends, whose opinions I trust, have told me that I will love this show. After five minutes, I felt that the mother of one of the modern families was too thin and sinewy. She wasn’t modern at all. She must have been 100 lb. soaking wet. What kind of mother is that? How would it feel to hug that? I told the Beast as much. He agreed, and reminded me that he’s always preferred a healthier, more curvy, feminine aesthetic. “Like me?” I asked, proudly rubbing my rounded, protruding belly.
“Yes,” he said, “but you’re becoming too muscular.”
That’s a falsehood, however I don’t think our relationship has ever been stronger.