chicken & potatoes by Kate Lebo
These days, I'm always happy to go home. If Tom has some idea when I'll be home, at least roughly, he'll open the gate and keep a closer eye on Emmy so I can sail right in. She goes mad with happy barking and wants to chase my car so my first sight is usually Tom kneeled down, dog-height, two arms around her, grinning. Then there's work to scan the yard for, did he build more on the little rock wall that's going in to protect the septic field from renegade parkers, or mow the area we've started to call the Green Field, or fill the hot tub to check for leaks? Something like that, most days.
There have been a few times when I've come home in the evening with grocery bags, but now that the moving is over, mostly I rush straight from wherever I've come from, empty lunch sack, empty travel mug, no idea what to eat for dinner. Last night we ended up frying up the leftovers from our dinner at the Trumpeter, reuben sandwich for me, smoked chicken pasta for Tom. The night before it was, well, dinner at the Trumpeter. We've had breakfast for dinner a few times, and one night Tom had grilled cheese and I ate cracked pepper potato chips with cottage cheese as dip. It's a good thing there's always fruit in the house. Tom, I've discovered, can't resist ice cream. "Just remind yourself that it's MY ice cream," I tell him, when he complains about the 5 tubs that are in there now. "But I KNOW you don't care!" he says, "You buy it, but you don't eat it!" He's right. But I will request slices of watermelon the minute I come home, and Tom slices them up for me. Also, for the first time since I started at Alder a few years ago, I've actually been bringing my lunch, most days.
Now I'm determined to reform where it comes to dinner. I roasted a chicken for Tom once back in my old apartment, before I knew that he likes all meat well done, chicken included. That didn't go so well, even by my more pink-tolerant standards. I did make him a good salad though, and we have now served each other many many hot beverages. I used to make him tea at my apartment, and at the mini-farm he wakes up every morning and puts the little espresso maker on the stovetop for me. He's got the sugar amount just right, and the coffee is good even when we run out of whole milk and have to use 2%.
I bought burger patties about a week ago, but they've been sitting in the freezer because getting the grill going for just two people seems like a hassle. Tom's little nephews are coming for a visit this weekend, so maybe hot dogs for them, burgers for us, some salmon, some corn? The corn is getting tall in the fields now, but at the Co-op it's all from California still. Maybe Sunday I'll roast a chicken, or maybe we'll just keep eating those good empanadas from the co-op deli? Either way, I'm happy.