Tag Archives: Writing


We’re a little more than halfway through the year proposed in our About statement. It’s clear that we haven’t posted about dinner every day. There’ve been some days skipped because we did something we’ve done before the same way, or because nothing needs to be said about un-repurposed leftovers, or we grabbed some relatively-fast-but-still-decent food, or because dinner never happened.

We’re still here, many plates of eggs and grits later. We’ve eaten lots of macaroni and cheese, too; bunches of kale, and as many green beans as we could find. Rice. Burgers. Pot roast. Pizza. Festive dinners, fancy dinners, sandwiches on the run. Some were more spectacular than others.  Some were well planned; others were figured out as we went along. We read recipes and we improvised. We read articles about relationships and we felt our own way. We’ve celebrated a wedding and a funeral in our extended family, and our little family has grown closer. Whatever’s arisen, we’ve brushed the plaster dust off the counter and gone on.

We didn’t notice that six months had passed. It happened quietly, while we were doing other things. (That’s a lot like how we got together in the first place, but that story for another time.)

We’re too grown-up to celebrate half-birthdays, but this blog isn’t.  So, belatedly, here’s a little recap of where we’ve been.

One Perfect Burger – Moving Day. The first dinner.
Road Trip #1 – Celebrating the marriage of two friends, and visiting another.
Thinking Outside the Boxes – Not your basic packaged macaroni and cheese.
This Dinner Brought to You By iMessage – Perfect bagels.
When in Rome, Do as the Australians Do – A day of home renovation, a night of falling asleep on the couch.
Monkeying Around – Her first baking adventure.
Dinner and/or a Movie – Eggplant Parm and Pickles, but not together.
Very French, or Nearly So – Breakfast on the deck.
It’s Not the Heat, it’s the Humidity – Grilling in the rain.
Running out for Pizza – A satisfying run, a less-so customer service experience.
Crunch Time – Well-fried chicken
Just a Little Something – Dessert. For dinner. That happens sometimes.
One More Time – “Repurposing” is a nice way of saying “leftovers.”
DIY, Kind-of – Kind Bars and Salsa (again, not meant to be served together).
Manhattan Pancakes – A rough day leads to a very special Breakfast for Dinner.
Timing is Everything – It doesn’t take Rachael Ray to assemble a satisfying meal  in 30 minutes or less.
Very Meta – Our first theatre night of the “school year.”
Acquired Tastes – Who knew that could be good?
When Delays, Doubles, and Failed Plans are Just Right – Beef stew and houseguests
The Well-Traveled Salsa – Giving up on the CSA
Tag Team – We work well together.
To Be or Not to Bibimbap – A quick post-choir supper.
Spicy – Some bachelor dinners have hot strippers; this one had rites-of-passage Indian food.
What Price Convenience – A roasted chicken for Sunday dinner
Quiet Dinner for One – Simple as a bowl of pasta.
You Can Bet on It – Her favorite Thai dish, sort of.
A Side of Snobbishness – A trip to the theatre, and a detour for fabulous fries.
Attention Must Be Paid – Getting Breakfast Right
Our Weekend Condition – Lots of chores, and a fair number of brownies.
The Night Shift – What you can cook while you sleep.
Texture, Substance, and Taste – Japanese food isn’t for everyone.
The Best Medicine and the Bedtime Snack – Grumpiness can be derailed by laughter. Ice cream helps, too.
A Sense of Occasion – Because sometimes you have to get dressed up and go out. And pick up burgers.
Thermal Control – Sometimes when roasting a chicken, the only thing that overheats is the cook.
Confidence Gravy – Getting your mojo back.
A Tale of Three Soups – Spoiler: they’re all tomato.
Road Trip #2 – Sandwiches, running, and rain.
Columbus Day – A brave new world, and a decadent breakfast
Domestic Pas de Deux – Batch cooking in preparation for a week in a construction site–and a little dancing.
Breakfast Bolognese – It’s amazing what you can do with the rest of the water in the kettle.
I’m Going to Go Back There Someday – A story of favorite restaurants.
Clearing the Air – The only thing our kitchen needs is better ventilation.
Precisely My Cup of Tea (and Her Cup of Coffee) – Relationships and Beverages
Yes, And – Improvisation leads to semi-Chinese food–and butter.
The Second- or Third-Best-Laid Plans – A date night can lead you anywhere.
Babycakes – Baking for the new mom and dad.
The Best Sauce – Fish and rice and vegetables: simple and perfect.
Assembly Required – Building a desk, making a pot roast.
Divide and Encourage – Dinner and theatre, but not together.
A Night at the Not-Quite Disco – Her second-favorite restaurant serves the classiest bar food we know.
Accidental Soup – Why I needed new glasses.
A Dash of iPhone – A technological crisis averted, and some Mexican take-out.
Including Moderation – Because sometimes grown-ups don’t eat a balanced meal.
The Problem with Thanksgiving – Take the pressure off the stuffing.
OK, Eat – A pair of stressballs only explode in laughter.
Date Night Fish Tacos – Classy comfort food.
What Would Laura Do? – Preparation in the face of a Big Winter Storm.
Linen-White Christmas – Taking the pressure off another holiday.
Untraditional – Taking the pressure off three holidays in a row really would be too much to ask.
My Semi-Debauched Life – Not much of a drinker, huh?
Shelving It – Preparing for a smaller kitchen by decluttering this one.
In Transit – Dinners from, not at, the Country House.
Not Until Today – Pancakes, elevated.
Just a Sip – Not much of a drinker? How about a Very Small Cocktail or two.
Preparations – Another winter storm.
Breakfast During Hockey Season – Biscuits. Burgers. And talk about violence.
Scary Good – We haven’t watched much TV in these six months, have we?
By the Numbers – Baking really is better when you measure precisely.
Picture This – Yes, you eat with the eyes first–but not solely.
The Real Thing – Authenticity, Chinese food, and family.
Blended – The only appliance we need is a better vent-fan.  But this one makes great milkshakes.
Fancy – Valentine’s Day. No pressure.
In the Not-Completely Bleak Midwinter – Saturday breakfast.
It’s Mostly Greek to Me – Pizza before surgery.
Bonus – What I find on a teacup.
Fruit Filling – A reasonably healthy snack idea.
How Firm a Foundation – Batch cooking for a wildly-busy week.
A Sure Thing – Some days, it’s best not to experiment in the kitchen.
No Day So Grim – Waffles make everything better.
Separate Checks – Supporting friends and seeing plays. Just not with each other.
A Different Story – Spring is springing. And so is a leak in the ceiling.
Taking Turns – Cooking, just not together.
Festive Enough – Burgers and Big Theatre Events seem to go together.
Endings Are Hard – Dramaturgy and dessert.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far.

My Semi-Debauched Life

It had been cold in the office on Tuesday–but my “office” in this sense is a corner of a very large multi-purpose parish center with 16-foot-high ceilings, so it’s hard to control the heating.  If I could move my desk onto a 10-foot-tall platform, I might benefit from the rising of warm air, but that seems more trouble than it would be worth, since the “desk” I use most often is a grand piano. But the “office” was quiet, and I got plenty of work done, albeit done while wearing a scarf and wishing I’d brought my fingerless gloves.

I thought about dinner on my drive home.  She’d had a ham-and-swiss sandwich with caramelized onions for lunch. I had planned to have one, too, but ended up in a lunch meeting with a collaborator–rotisserie chicken over salad greens.  The sandwich seemed like a great idea, and I’d be at home to eat it which meant I could toast the kaiser roll, heat the ham, and melt the cheese.

What would go great with that, I thought, is a nice glass of red wine. 

I arrived home, picked up the mail, found her for a kiss hello, petted the cats, and set about gathering sandwich fixings.

A nice glass of red wine.

I trimmed some green beans and tossed them in a sauté pan with a few carrot coins and a couple slices of potato from the pot roast. I toasted the roll. I set the vegetables on a plate to keep warm in the oven while I finished making the sandwich.  I went back to the fridge for a little mayo, still thinking, a nice glass of red wine would go great with this.

And then I saw a half-full bottle of Vitamin Water.

…or that would be just as good.

I poured half the bottle into a glass, topped it with tap water, put the glass and my dinner on a tray, and carried it up to join her.

Richard Rodgers was, from many reports, a heavy drinker.  Alan Jay Lerner was addicted to amphetamines.  Stephen Sondheim smoked a lot of pot.

And for me?

A glass of watered-down Vitamin Water. Zero.  Not even the full-sugar stuff! Half a glass of nutrient-enhanced kool-aid, watered down because it’s too sweet when I drink it straight.

I’m no Rodgers.  No Lerner.  No Sondheim.  No Eugene O’Neill.  No Tennessee Williams.

I ate a sandwich with a plate of vegetables, I drank a theoretically healthy beverage. I carried the tray back to the kitchen and put the plate and glass in the dishwasher. Apparently I’m no good at the whole tortured-artist thing.

No Tonys, no Emmys, no Grammys, no Oscars.  No rehab. No cirrhosis. Such is my semi-debauched life.

I guess I can live with that.