One of us is a big fan of food. The other one views food as a valuable tool to sustain life, but in the grand scheme of things no more exciting than getting enough sleep. Guess who is who. If you guessed I was the ambivalent one, try again. If anything I am a borderline glutton seeking reform daily.
What does this have to do with our food choices you might ask? Well, food, being central to my life, has a lot to do with how I show love and I want to find a way to show love through food to a guy who doesn't give a hoot about it. Not an easy task, but for some reason it is a task that I have always enjoyed. One of the most satisfying things in life is seeing that man's face light up over a meal I have made. It's like panning for gold in a stream bed. Low odds, huge payout.
One of the biggest keys to my success has been a rating system that we implemented when we were dating. It's quick and dirty 1-5. It can be painful to get a 2, and boy where there a lot of them when we started out, but I got to learn things like pasta is not an every night starch, but instead a very rare visitor in our house.
A breakthrough happened when I thought about our different backgrounds. I grew up on the East Coast eating pretty standard fare with a very heavy nod to my Italian and Irish heritage. He grew up in Colorado eating beans with green chilies and making tortillas at home. I can't take credit for this breakthrough. A cousin of mine recently started cooking out of a Rick Bayless cookbook in order to accommodate her husband's tastes. What an idea!
Even though I grew up knowing how to cook Italian food, my mom wasn't born making braciole and beans & greens. She figured it out with the help of her husband and in-laws. Now it's my turn to figure out the world of the desert Southwest. I started simple with two different cheater crock-pot dishes, black bean chicken and corn chili and carnitas. Both were delicious and both were 5's on the old 1-5 scale. And the best part about both of them is they were easy. They both required no more than four ingredients. Recipes will follow in a pair of posts, though no pictures. Crock-pot cookery is not pretty.
And so, now I will leave you with a semi-unrelated anecdote. Yesterday was yoga and so I would be getting home around 7:30. I needed a break from the Southwestern fare and didn't really feel like 3 crock-pot meals in 7 days. I planned to make a meal in a bag. During HT double dollar coupons I picked up four or five quick meals for a buck fifty a piece. You know the ones that take 14 minutes to prepare? So. I asked. " Do you want orange chicken or shrimp alfredo?" The answer I got was almost immediate and decisive. "Pot roast." While I might normally object to being given a third option, when Phil does this it really makes me laugh, sometimes I wonder if he needs to get his hearing checked.