“What?!” My very traditional mother asked the question with equal parts shock and amazement. I’d just said that I was buying Bruce a cookbook for his birthday.
OK, it was a long time ago. Bruce and I hadn’t been married for long, and Bruce’s adjustment to a ready-made family (I had two kids, a dog and a station wagon) was to try to take care of us. And that meant cooking night after night.
The problem: he was actually a really good cook. I was a serviceable cook—fast, fried, done. Bruce was all about complex dishes, slowly simmered and carefully displayed, layered in with interesting spices and exotic foods that neither the kids, the dog, or I had ever really eaten.
So I had picked out The Bread and Soup Cookbook, with the plan that I would both appreciate his cooking and, at the same time, move it in a bit more... um... workable direction.
The book was a hit. Bruce found several recipes, and I even dipped in to it to learn how to make Mexican Oatmeal soup (delicious!). We gobbled it up. And birthday after birthday, I bought Bruce another cookbook for his collection.
The cookbooks became a statement about our family. Over time, the kids and I became more adventurous eaters. Bread and Soup gave way to tasty pasta dishes, and delicious global foods, and some downright weird stuff. But we always tried it, and we always had fun.
Today is Bruce’s birthday. It gives me a chance to say thank you for all the wonderful meals—and for all the wonderful years.
Love, E ❤️