The moment I walked through the door, I knew I was in deep trouble.
I smelled beets.
Beets are not my favorite food.
Some say beets were designed by Satan himself. He needed something vile to fill the cauldrons of hell and many consider them his best work – but I disagree.
It is the boiling of beets that was Beelzebub’s most diabolical creation. Boiling them destroys any semblance of texture and reduces an already repugnant food to a gelatinous mass with the aftertaste of burnt chalk..
There is nothing on earth I hate more than beets.
So why was she cooking them?
What had I done to deserve this?
What had I failed to do?
Boiling beets as punishment for wrongdoing may sound passive aggressive – but I assure you it is not.
Every good marriage is founded on sound communication and deep trust but every loving relationship also rests upon a bedrock of annoyances.
It drives her crazy when I toss my sweaty ball cap onto the kitchen counter after walking Scooter. On the other hand, I fly into a rage when I find January’s power bill under the couch in June because she had scattered mail about the house.
But the war over these things was waged decades ago.
These are behaviors that neither of us is willing to give up. We each have given enough ground and the turf we stand on will be defended to the end.
So there is nothing left to do but tolerate each other.
But that only works for so long.
Over time, grievances piles upon grievance until the weight of forbearance overcomes the strength of tolerance. That is when forgiveness and forgetting fail us.
It is also when the beets come out.
So to restore balance to my marriage, I knew just what to do.
She loves pork chops.
The next day, I went to Nick’s meat market and selected their best cuts. I sprinkled the chops with YaYa spice and let them simmer slowly over the grill. After the meat turned to a golden brown, I sliced it into long thin strips. These I added to a sauce pan already sizzling over a low heat with carrots, asparagus and broccoli. As the vegetables softened and soaked up the taste of pork, I carefully sliced crisp red, green and yellow peppers into half moon shapes and layered them in the pan.
She cannot stand peppers.
She hates them.
About as much as I hate beets.
Note: Farming is a slow slog this year and I anticipate 14 hour days until well after Thanksgiving. Depending on the weather, we could be combining corn on Christmas, so to my blogging friends, I apologize for my inactivity. See you after harvest – or when it rains or snows.