Fall and Get Up Again

hiverWhen I am serving a dish that requires garlic, I steep the smashed or chopped cloves in olive oil at low heat, then strain out the bits. I don’t do this because I am desperate to fill time; it’s a labor of love. When I married my husband, everything I cooked contained garlic, (raw even!) and I managed to eliminate his esophageal lining while rendering us both social outcasts.

Once he, and his gastroenterologist, made it clear that something needed to change, I began infusing the oil and everything went swimmingly, until now. Of late, my dearest has become increasingly sensitive to the garlic in even this homeopathic method.Then there are my daughters, who are sensitive to anything that isn’t tacos, and I ask you: what can I cook?

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I had noticed my husband occasionally making pained noises when he saw what I was serving, but I assumed those were the pangs of love. These utterances were, I thought, the kind emitted by a person who has been married for 16 years but is still dazzled by his spouse’s sparkling wit and coquettish charm.

This week, already a trying one for me, my youngest tumbled into a fit of dry weeping (much heaving but no actual water) over our snacks, (inadequate)meals, (dull) and fruit supply (too many apples). Apparently, she can’t abide one more minute of the swill that flows from my kitchen.

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With my husband’s audible wincing, my youngest’s dry weeping and my oldest’s refusal to eat anything that has an expiration date on it (in case it’s a misprint) it’s a challenge to sling any hash around here.

I decided to ignore them all and savor the autumnal beauty. Isn’t fall spectacular? I should be stirring something like squash and pumpkin soup but, BLECK! who would eat it? My uncle in British Columbia sent me this photo of his dog, Jackie, frolicking around the yearling maple tree my uncle planted last year. The hive picture I took with my girls on a day so perfect, I wanted to frame it.

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I believe I mentioned we have an abundance of apples. Everyone ate this pie with nary a wince, dry-weep or hand wring. I would have liked to include a photo of it after it was baked but there were too many faces and forks in the way. I have said that cake is love; perhaps pie is forgiveness.

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