I'm sitting at my desk in an empty house, talking to myself like a crazy person about my mediocre dinner.
I'm eating leftovers. A baked, spicy, creamy pasta concoction that is a vegetarian version of what my stepmother calls Mac & Jack. I just accidentally WAY oversalted it while reheating it on the stove. Bleh.
The way my stepmom makes it is with mostly cooked pasta, gruyere, a low fat cream sauce (thats right! flour, a bit of butter, and skim milk), with jalapenos, ham, and sometimes sauteed peppers an onions. When I make it I ALWAYS use the bell peppers and onions + fresh basil, several other cheeses, and procuitto as well. I'm a pretentious foodie and have messed with what was already one of my favorite meals -- it never comes out as good as when she makes it.
I made it 2 days ago for my boyfriend, R, a vegetarian. The lack of ham, procuitto, and some of the saltier cheeses (have to be careful about animal renet) left it no where near salty enough & I forgot to compensate.
He didnt like it anyway. Usually he loves what I cook for him, but he has a deep seeded opposition to spicy pasta that I was unaware of and it ruined it for him (generally I agree, this is my only exception). The no meat ruined it for me.
I've been dating R for coming up on 3 years. We are currently looking for an apartment together but he basically lives with me as is...which means my meat consumption has dropped almost to 0. He often goes home on weekends to return to his big screen TV and functioning dishwasher, at which point I typically choose to "meat out" and cook the food I am accustomed to eating.
Hours after this particular pasta mishap he was hungry. What did he eat? What does he always eat? A bowl of Frosted Flakes.
I've heard a rumor that some men can "self-feed"...I have seen no evidence of it yet :)
I told him I would try to adjust this dish further to his preferences but that once we are living together, there will be times when I wanted to eat something he didnt like or wouldnt eat (aka: meat) and that he would have to learn to "self feed" better...a phrase that for years we have jokingly used to refer to his unwillingness to cook unless he has a 3 hour block of time to make elaborate Indian curry dishes.
He didnt take this announcement too well.
Not because he invisions me chained to the stove. Not because he can't cook (he is actually an excellent cook). But, because he felt angry at me for wanting to eat meat. He knew it was irrational. He told me he wasnt upset, that he had no reason to be upset, that he knew and understood that I ate meat.
Knowing is one thing.
Accepting is another.