The Man Can Cook

Today I’d like you to meet someone very special. My husband, the infamous Nathan Smart. He may be better known for his music or his comedy but there’s more to him than meets the eye. He’s handsome, he’s smart, he makes me laugh harder than anyone, he’s an absolutely wonderful Father and folks let me tell you … this man can cook.

It wasn’t always that way. We were friends for a long time before we ever dated. Back in the day when were just a bunch of twentysomethings doing music and hanging out full time it was rumored that Nathan lived off Pop Tarts and Grape Juice (He may deny this but I have it on very good report). He was notorious for being a picky eater. Very little passed his discriminating palate. He was skinny as a rail and lived off the finest soda pop, fast food and sweets he could find. The years went on and his love of junk food didn’t change but his palate has broadened enormously. In the old days black beans and rice were about as exotic as his food selections got and cooking was just not something he was interested in. A trip to Japan helped change all that along with a healthy dose of my slight addiction to the Food Network. Fast forward to today and you have a man that loves to cook and does it quite well and not just for someone who just started. He’s good.

So this week he decided he would take over the kitchen until further notice. Planning, shopping and cooking dinner every night. I love to cook too but with an 11 month old crawling around getting in to everything I have not been very inspired to say the least. Did I mention that my brother is living with us? Well Josh just moved here from Georgia. So in all of us my husband has a very receptive audience as he attempts to teach himself to really cook.

Last night he made a Summer Flatbread. That’s what I’m calling it since it was a modified version of this recipe. Asparagus, arugula pesto, fresh mozzarella, fresh sliced corn from the cob, peas, fingerling potatoes all on a crispy homemade flat bread and topped off with arugula, Parmesan cheese and a fried egg over easy. It was an explosion of fresh summer flavors. Light and filling all at the same time. Perfect for a July dinner.

I hope this continues …

In The Weeds

From where I sit I can see a weed growing strong and very tall in the yellow flower pot on my deck. Last year it held the bright red geranium my Mother planted for me. Every time I see it I wish I would go out and get rid of that weed and plant something pretty. Then I think about what that involves when you live in an apartment with a little baby. First finding a place to dump it all out and something to shovel it with and a way to occupy the baby while I do it, then getting myself and the baby ready to go out, packing the diaper bag, going to the store to buy another pretty flower to plant and some soil, the money it costs to buy those things, then getting home with them, walking up the walkway and then up two flights of stairs with all that and the baby and the diaper bag, then finding a way to actually do the planting and potting and clean it all up while keeping the baby happy. That’s the process my mind goes through for any number of daily tasks. When my husband isn’t working or going to school or doing homework he might watch our daughter for an hour or so and in those times when I have the ability to get something done, it amazes me how much can be accomplished. These times are few and far between so it’s hard to decide what to do with that gift of free time. So a plant on a deck with a weed flying high and waving in the wind isn’t high on my priority list.

Once upon a time I waited tables for a very short time. There was a phrase I remember people saying “we are in the weeds”. It meant things were backing up, food wasn’t going out fast enough, tables needed to be cleared, it was hectic. That’s how I feel right now……in the weeds.

The funny thing is that this particular weed growing in my flower pot has tiny daises at the top of it. Little round white flowers with yellow centers that don’t seem to realize they are growing at the top of a big ugly stalk. They just smile up at the sun proudly as if they were zinnias or dahlias or a bright red geranium.

And so it is with life these days. Pretty little bright spots of Summer, sunshine and joy in the midst of weeds.