Mon mari gets out Friday.
Twenty three days of lazing around a hospital, feeling good, having his toe tended, his feet rubbed and his every wish catered to by a bevy of young, mostly female, mostly attractive, French doctors and nurses, is far too long.
It has apparently turned his mind to mush.
Last night I mentioned that I had to put some petrol in the car before driving up this morning.
He asked me if I knew how.
Let me repeat that….
He asked me if I knew how.
Or if I knew where the gas station was that would pump it for me. (He's seen other, ancient, decrepit, incapable, idiot, women there, apparently).
I can only assume that, not realizing where he was, he also didn't realize that the tank had to have been filled on at least 3 earlier occasions in order to transport me to his side.
Perhaps he thought the OPEC fairies came in the night and filled it for me.
Perhaps he wondered why I had not sought his advice earlier on how to manage this task.
He must be in awe at my ingenuity at being able to drive for more years than I care to admit to, while always, miraculously, having enough gas at my disposal.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that I even know how to tell which side the tank is on without getting out of the car to look.
I assured him that I would manage the pesky petrol thingy, some how….
Then I mentioned that I had to haul quite a bit of trash, as well. (We don't have trash picked up here.)
He wanted to know what I was throwing out.
He wanted to know how I could have accumulated so much trash being here by myself.
It's not like I was cooking or anything….
I asked him what he thought I was living on? Warm thoughts of him?
Well, it's not like I would be making actual meals. Surely I just had a piece of fruit and went to bed early…
Apparently, the only reason I cook is to please him. The fact that I enjoy eating, too, is merely a secondary benefit.
I chose not to tell him that I wanted to dump all the empty wine bottles before he got home.
I chose not to tell him that this was my 4th trip to haul trash.
I'll have to restock the freezer tomorrow. And the cheese drawer. And the pantry.
And it looks like I'll be having Asparagus Risotto for the 3rd time in as many weeks…. I won't mention that either.
After I hung up I remembered me coming home after a visit to my mother a few years back. Mon mari fixed dinner for me the night I got back. He proudly made 'my' roasted potatoes.
Except that, as he explained, he had 'fixed' them.
He didn't 'change the recipe slightly', or 'modify' the recipe, or 'adjust' the recipe….
He FIXED the recipe.
I hadn't realized that it was broken.
More importantly, I had only been gone for 10 days and he had taken over my territory and, at least to him, improved on it.
Somehow, that didn't generate any warm fuzzy feelings in me…. It's rather nice to be needed.
He's been in the hospital for 23 days. During that time I have not asked for his help or advice, thinking to keep him from worrying about being gone.
Perhaps I've been a bit too self-reliant.
I think I'll go put the ashes back in the stove….
It'll need an expert cleaning by Friday…. It's rather nice to be needed.
Now, about that Asparagus Risotto….
As long as I was on my own, I could go a little crazy….
Asparagus, Tuna, and Caper Risotto
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 cups plus 2 tbs chicken stock
4oz (120gr) asparagus
1 stalk celery
1 tbs butter
1 can tuna, 6oz (170gr)
1 tbs capers
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
Prepare asparagus, cutting to 1 1/2 inch length, reserving tips. Finely chop onion. Cut carrot and celery into small dice, about 1/4"(.5cm). Open and drain tuna. Loosen with a fork.
In medium sauce pan heat butter; add onion, carrot and celery. Sauté 5 minutes, until starting to get tender. Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir. When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/2 cup of stock and all of the asparagus except tips and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup and continue adding 1/2 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 2 '1/2 cups' are added put in the asparagus tips, capers and tuna. Before the last 1/4 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just 'al dente' – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – it will not hold it's shape on a plate. Add the Parmesan, stir, pour into a bowl and serve immediately.
Please, don't tell him I put tuna in the asparagus risotto….
He'll never trust my to be on my own again!
Remember when I said they were keeping him in the hospital because they didn't trust him not to walk on that foot? Even though he said he would promise? Did I mention that he's supposed to say off it another week or two?
He informed me tonight, that we would be stopping at the DIY store on the way home from the hospital. He just needs to pick up a bit of lumber for the weekend…..