My lovely wife always gives me something to contemplate. Keep me up at night. Besides the meatballs giving me wicked heartburn. We were talking over dinner about these wonderful meatballs we were having and she asked me had I thought about what my dish was going to be that Ellison could say, “There’s nothing better on this earth than my father’s _______” or “Thursday nights meant one thing around my house as a kid and that was dad’s ________.”
Hmm, that’s a good one.
I can cook a lot of things well, but nothing really spectacularly. I make a crazy triple-stacked peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or I make these breakfast bowls (before the food industry caught on and everyone had one on their menu) which consisted of a layer of hash browns with bell peppers and onions, then a layer of bacon, then two eggs sunnyside up covered with cheese and salsa. But that’s kind of a man’s entree. Not saying a woman couldn’t eat it. It just wouldn’t be right. I made the saltiest burgers in the world one time. I was experimenting one time and mixed in pickle juice from an empty jar of pickles into the meat. And that was on top of Lawry’s, garlic salt, onion salt, table salt and probably a couple table spoons of liquid smoke. It was absolutely horrible. My lovely wife took one bite, looked at me, politely returned the burger to the plate and open-mouth chewed the burger. If I could have any signature dish, it would’ve had to be the salty burger. Don’t know if it was good, but there’d be no other one like it.
Whatever the dish, it’d have to be something that truly took a recipe to create. Not just assembly. You can’t say a sundae or a breakfast bowl is your signature. That’s requires nothing but taking pre-made ingredients and just stacking them on top of each other. There’s no magic in that. I make a crazy good bowl of chili. I do. I was thinking that there were a few different soups I’ve made in the past that were mad good and I could make them a ski trip tradition. You don’t get it unless you ski all day then it’s your handsome reward. I keep thinking that whatever I make, it needs to have cornbread as a side. Cornbread is so freaking good. Why in the world am I thinking about cornbread at 6:30am? Oh yeah, because of my lovely wife.
Just the thought of Ellison talking, having friends, telling her friends she loves her dad’s salty burgers, coming home from college to eat them salty burgers…that’s mind-blowing. Hard to comprehend all of that. Imagine I’ll be totally grey at that juncture. Grey and grumpy. Er, grumpier.
Wednesday. Haven’t run all week except for the seven I obliterated on Halloween. Legs are feeling jumpy. Ready to run. It’s as I suspected it was going to be with little Ellison: habits, rituals and regularly scheduled programming is kinda out of the door. You do what you can, when you can. If you see me running along Georgia at 3am, I haven’t been mugged and left for dead, I haven’t lost my God-given mind. That’s probably just the best hour for it.