When John and I were dating and then engaged, I was in an accounting/business program in college, and John was in the hospitality/food management program. He had a job in the industry at a local resort, plus he had various internships through school. At one point, he was an apprentice cook for a 4-star restaurant.
Oh happy day! 😀
During John's apprenticeship, I'm pretty sure we were newly married because I can see the kitchen of our first college apartment in my mind. He would come home from school or work with a recipe and keep making it until he got it right.
My favorite multi-try recipe was for Dauphinoise Potatoes. (Very similar to this recipe, only John used grated Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere.) John was unhappy with the way the first batch turned out, so he muttered under his breath and started again.
But all I could smell was cheese and potatoes. I'm a McIntire by birth, and few things make me happier than any kind of potato. Add some cheese (to anything!) and I'm your girl. So I asked John if I could eat some of the first batch.
“Go ahead,” he muttered, waving his hand as if at an annoying fly, “it's ruined.”
So I got out a spoon. And the sounds I made probably sounded far to much like bedroom sounds because John stopped and stared at me.
“Oh. My. Gosh!” I took another big spoonful. “What is in this?”
I was a broke college student with a simple background. I don't think I'd ever eaten anything with real butter and cream in it. (And I didn't know that I had just started my journey to gain 40 pounds over the next eight years! John was a very good cook!)
One day I was in the kitchen – I think with my friend Rachel, who was engaged but not yet married if I've got the timing right – and we were talking about marriage.
“It's wonderful!” I told her. “We've been married 65 days and I haven't cooked a single meal!”
Apparently, me plus excitement does not equal true whispering. Because behind me I heard, “What?” in a deep, suspicious voice.
I turned around to find my new husband staring at me. “Um, I said, we've been married for 65 days.”
“And…you're a great cook.” I smiled and raised my eyebrows in my best innocent look.
“You're cooking tonight,” he said, and he turned and left the kitchen.
“Oh no,” Rachel moaned. “You had it and you lost it!”
“Crap. I don't know how to make anything. What am I going to do?”
“What'd you eat in the dorms?”
I grinned. “Macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. John doesn't like mac and cheese or ramen noodles anymore.”
Rachel started laughing. “Do it! You'll be back on Easy Street by next week.”
She was right. John and I have been married 23 years now, and I can count on one hand the number of dishes I know how to make that I'm good at. On the other hand, I haven't lost those 40 pounds yet.