Friday, February 8, 2008

Marital strife and knives, or how a tart saves the day

So, a little while ago, my sister in law was going to come for dinner. I decided to make something that I've been wanting to try for a while -- pasta with Vodka sauce. Being, as we are, Russian, it was the one dish that loomed irresistibly on my horizon without ever materializing (why waste good product on pasta, as my uncle would say -- and, not to spoil the suspense, but he was right). I had clipped the recipe from some magazine or other, and I decided to get home early to make it. It took me about an hour of actual participatory cooking (i.e., not just throw it in the oven and wait), and in the end, it looked pretty enough, I suppose. I put the dishes on the table, my husband and SIL sat down and tasted it, and... all my husband could say was: you forgot to put the knives on the table. Nothing about the food, nothing about the presentation, nothing at all, in fact. Grr.

Of course, this provoked a full scale argument of the I've-been-standing-in-the-kitchen-for-an-hour-get-your-own-damn-knife variety, which as we all know doesn't get anyone anywhere good. As we are glaring at each other over cold pasta, my SIL coughs gently and breaks the deafening silence: "You know... I read recently that couples who fight actually live longer....." We both mumbled something about knives, stabbing and shorter lifespans, but we had to laugh. As a result, I decided that all the hassle of making the pasta was clearly not worth it if A. couldn't even appreciate it enough to forget about the knife. Since when did he become such a stickler for manners anyway?!

The next night, I tried the Leek and Swiss Chard Tart from the wonderful Smitten Kitchen (please visit her website; you will gain 5lbs just by looking at the food). It was the easiest thing in the world, requiring minimal prep time and effort. I cheated, however, by using a store-bought crust. I know, and I'm not even ashamed of it. Half way through the baking, A. came downstairs with a hungry look on his face. "What smells so good?" he asked. Haha! Victory shall be mine, I thought. While the tart was baking, I made a little salad with fresh greens, thinly sliced red onions, feta cheese and my own dressing (whisk 3 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar, a dash of mustard, a dash of honey, a sprinkle of lemon juice and salt/pepper). The tart came out of the oven golden and delicious smelling. That alone brought A. back down. In the end, we couldn't wait for it to cool, so we ate it piping hot with the salad and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. After the first bite, A. got up and brought us both knives (which I had forgotten to put on the table again). The moral of the story is? If the food is good enough, the men will get their own damn utensils! Thank you, Deb from SmittenKitchen.


Ellie said...

This story is even funnier the second time around...haha. I like the use of "A." to protect his identity. Who could that be? I have absolutely no idea. Wow, you're good. ;) Can't wait to read more!

Irene said...

I know, it's like the FBI Witness Protection Program around here. :) *tear* My first comment!