JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My husband made dinner last night

I've been really busy for the past couple of weeks - numerous family occasions, lots of family staying, cooked dozens of meals for dozens of people, some wonderful parties to go to. And then, suddenly, it all came to an end yesterday morning after breakfast. My sister and her children left for the airport, my daughters had already gone back for their new terms, my husband took one son to university, and I took the other off to school (where he is a boarder). I'm left on empty.

By the evening, I was worn out, catatonic, not capable of making any decision. So Lucius cooked supper, as he could see that was the only way he would get to eat. He picked the first asparagus which he grows against the odds of heavy clay soil - four or five succulent blades of precious grass each, sweet and silky, smooth as butter. Then tinned sardines on toast, with spinach from the garden, and Lucius's very particular mixed salad. Hugely restorative.

The salads I make are completely different from those Lucius makes. We start by choosing different bowls - his an inward-curving wooden one he turned himself, mine a more open shape, the smaller turned by Lettice, the larger given to me by my mother-in-law. I nearly always make either a green salad, or a tomato salad, or a conventional mixed salad such as a Waldorf. Lucius puts in everything he can find, and likes to be able to find spring onions (left whole), raw mushrooms (quartered), chunks of raw carrot, a little cooked beetroot, and, above all, tomatoes - all chucked onto a little Cos lettuce, the huge outer leaves left whole. It is very good, and somehow reflects the man, in many of his aspects.

I didn't tackle yesterday's clearing up until this morning. I almost cried when I found the boys' breakfast plates. It will be high summer before they sit down to breakfast together. And days before I can go into their bedrooms to clear up the mess they have left behind. If I start crying I may not stop for days.

Busy busy. And smile.


Ilva said...

Stiff upper lip as my father would have said. I hope you will feel better soon, think about the freedom you have now! But I do know that feeling of emptiness that come after busy periods like that. You have to do some serious food blogging now to fill in the empty void!

Joanna said...

Absolutely - stiff upper lip, and busy busy. At the moment, I'm clearing all the accumulated muddle in my kitchen, whilst listening to Trovatore - I find that Verdi always restores my soul, he knows so much about loss and about love. At the same time, I am working out how to make a lemon souffle to use up all the lemons I have found, and to raise the spirits ... I feel better already, and will be posting any time soon!