Many years ago, I described Mrs. M as containing the parts of me that I didn’t have room for. We’re complements in many ways. For example, I’m contemplative (perhaps excessively); she’s active. This sort-of-layoff we’re currently experiencing has, if anything, polarized those features of our character even more than usual. I’m content to read and listen to music, but Mrs. M is one of those people who chafes at inactivity — she wants to do something, doggone it.
One of the places in which she chooses to act is our kitchen. During the ordinary school year, she hasn’t the time for elaborate cooking, but again, these aren’t ordinary times. So in recent weeks, she’s been cooking a number of my favorites — and tonight she decided to have a go at a new one.
Some months back, I joined some of my colleagues at a British-style pub in Real City for a game of trivia, and I ordered shepherd’s pie for dinner. I’ve had it a few times in the past, almost always at restaurants (or at least the Mondoville cafeteria), and not long ago, I bought a frozen TV dinner version — an experience I would not recommend. But I had mentioned to Mrs. M that it’s a meal I enjoy. And why wouldn’t I? Ground beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, cheese, a few peas and carrots for color and the illusion of healthiness — it’s right in my wheelhouse.
So Mrs. M decided to have a go at making one this afternoon, using a recipe she found online. The results were successful — spectacularly so.
I found myself torn between wanting to wolf it down (Shepherd’s? Wolf it down? Huh? Huh?) and wanting to go slowly to extend the experience. Fortunately there was a lot of it, so I was able to indulge my baser instincts, secure in knowing that I have at least a weekend’s worth of leftovers.
No wonder this guy loved his work.
My complement? Too, the chef.