He Composed Without Paper

My husband created a love letter. I didn’t realize it at first. Not until he was in the thick of composing it did I see how he expressed his affection. His artistry used sprouted grain flour and egg and magic.

When he told me his plan, I got overwhelmed. Making tortillas didn’t sound like making food. It sounded like a project, one requiring physical effort and time away from the couch. But he said it was no big deal; he wanted me to be able to have tortillas with our steak fajitas.

I’ve been consulting a new doctor who, in an effort to help me with my hormonal health, put me on a sugar control diet. I can have all the protein I want. I can eat all the fruits and veggies I want. But I can’t have grains or refined sugars. At first, this was mind numbing, since I have a habit of buying bagels and Triscuits in bulk, and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I can have toasted rice and Stevia and sprouted grain breads. These substitutes have helped solve my carb cravings a bit. The rice tastes okay, if I toast it correctly. (I tend to not be a patient toaster of small grains and often burn them.) The closest I’ve come to trying Stevia is in these $4.29 chocolate bars called Lilly’s. They are worth the expense and the stop at the local food co-op. I like the sprouted grain breads a lot, and as a bonus, Michael bought me sprouted grain flour, which he has used to make yummy and hearty homemade pasta.

guacamole avocado peperoncino pomodoro e cipolla I found him in the kitchen standing over the cooktop, frying tortillas in the pan. On the cutting board, garlic and onion and green pepper chopped into succinct little squares waited to be folded into the avocado. This made me smile.

Michael’s signature little squares remind me of the first time he cooked for me. He cut small squares of carrot and peppers and onion and mixed them all in with rice and sauce. I had never eaten stir-fry like that. My stir-fry is large chunks of veggies, sauteed with a sauce, and put onto a bed of rice. I found his interpretation endearing, evidence of being articulate and detailed. His stir-fry was completely different from mine.

And this, even today, is how things go between us. We agree on menus/parenting tactics/money matters but we go about them differently.

I watched him squeeze lime into the guacamole. He cut another wedge and squeezed the juice into a glass and handed it to me. He had made me a sugarless version of a mojito, another gesture that says he’s trying to be a gentleman. He knows I’ve missed my favorite drink of the summer.

He handed me the pan of marinating steak. He sent me out to grill while he tended to the rest of supper. I enjoyed being alone while he took care of the details, while he managed our daughters playing in the living room. I stood in our backyard, listening to the sizzle of the meat and the hum of lawns being mowed. I inhaled the sunshine. I took a sip of my drink. And felt lucky to be loved.

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